Scorers: Ayr: Tries: C Gossman, R Dalgleish (2), G Anderson; Conversions: P Jericevich (4). Dundee HSFP: Try: A McLean; Conversion: J Steele; Penalty goal: J Steele.
But, coach Kenny Murray, while “pleased” with events thus far, is not totally satisfied.
“We were not clinical enough”, was his minor criticism of a performance which had opposite number Ian Rankin praising Ayr as “a very promising outfit who made what was, on paper, going to be a close-run and exciting game, look easy”.
Rankin added: “I felt we were flattered to be only 14-10 behind at half time.
“But, after we lost our half backs it was a case of damage limitation for us. Ayr deserved to win.”
Ayr’s opening quarter blitz produced good tries for Craig Gossman and Richard Dalgleish, whilst at least two more gilt-edged chances were squandered by passes not sticking. Peter Jericevich converted both tries and, at 14-0, Ayr were looking at wrapping-up the bonus point by half-time.
Instead, Andy McLean’s scamper up the right from half-way, past the only weak tackles of Ayr’s day, produced a converted try. Then, after Jack Steele added a penalty, it was 14-10 at the break.
Robbie Lavery went off at half time, Steele shortly afterwards and there was no way back for Dundee. Grant Anderson, ignoring a four-man overlap, grabbed a brilliant solo try – injuring himself in scoring – then Dalgleish bagged his second try. Jericevich converted both and the bonus and top spot in the table was assured.
Third-choice stand off Sylvan Diez’s quiet efficiency won him the man of the match award, Scott Sutherland repeatedly breenged across the gain line like a Scottish “Skippy” Kelly and the re-cast home midfield buzzed, while the injection of pace from the Gossmans has added a new dimension to Ayr.
This Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Gala at Netherdale is now even more eagerly anticipated.
Ayr: G Anderson, C Gossman, R Fergusson, R Dalgleish, K Gossman, S Diez, P Jericevich; N Cox, S Fenwick, G Hunter, C White, S Sutherland, R Doneghan, A Dunlop, C Forrester. Replacements used: H Wisnewski, D Mutamangira, N Campbell, G Fisken, C Taylor.
Dundee HSFP: J Urquhart, A McLean, C Strachan, H Duthie, T Paris, J Steele, R Lavery; N Dymock, D Russell, A Brown, A Linton, C Cumming, A Redmayne, I Wilson, M Stubbs. Replacements used: D Curry, G Robertson, R Hawkins, S Walker.