BOTH coaches – Ayr’s Calum Forrester and Currie’s Ben Cairns – were left frustrated at the end of this game.
Scorers: Ayr – Tries: R Dalgleish, R Curle, D Kelbrick. Con: Curle. Pen: Curle. Currie – Try: J Reynolds. Con: J Reynolds. Pens: J Reynolds (2).
Forrester’s frustrations stemmed from poor decision-making at crucial moments which cost Ayr at least two tries and a bonus point. Cairns was downcast as, while his side did a lot of things well, they too made basic errors at crucial moments.
“We should have got the bonus, our defence was outstanding, our line-out was good, getting Ross Curle back gave us an X factor which has been missing, our ball retention was good – but wrong decisions cost us”, said Forrester.
Cairns bemoaned his side’s failure to score more first-half points saying: “Then, after I had stressed the need for a good start to the second, we gave away a try and the lead. We missed a couple of kicks, didn’t keep the score-board ticking over as I wanted, then had to adjust our game plan and came up short. Too many errors and small margins cost us,” Cairns continued.
A plus for Ayr was the return of Robbie Fergusson after cancer treatment. The Scotland under-20 centre showed a refreshing appetite for the fray, but it was a pity he was on for a forced replacement with full-back Grant Anderson dislocating a knee.
At that stage Currie led 6-5, two Joe Reynolds penalties having overhauled Ayr’s early lead from Richard Dalgleish’s early try for Ayr.
Fergusson’s break, three minutes into the second half, won Ayr a line-out deep in Currie territory and, when the ball was moved left, Curle ran a great line off skipper Dean Kelbrick for a try which he converted. The centre then added a penalty goal in 54 minutes.
Currie then built-up an impressive head of steam, but a yellow card for skipper Ross Weston let Ayr back into the game and, with a frustrated Weston on the touchline, Ayr made the game safe, creating an overlap on the left down which skipper Kelbrick sprinted for an unconverted 74th minute try.
The visitors finished the match on the attack and New Zealander Joe Reynolds grabbed a solo try, which he converted in injury time.
This caused coach Cairns further grief. Throughout the game, his pack had too often kept the ball up their jumpers, when earlier release might have allowed Reynolds and Richie Vernon to stretch the home defence to better effect. On minimal rations, the Currie backs had looked dangerous throughout.
Ayr: G Anderson, R Dalgleish, R Curle, D Kelbrick, K Gossman, D McCluskey, D Armstrong; G Hunter, S Fenwick, F Watt, C Templeton, S Sutherland, G Fisken, B Johnstone, B McPherson. Substitutes used: J Malcolm, D Rae, C Brown, M McConnell, R Fergusson.
Currie: M McPhillips, F Efthymiou, R Vernon, J Reynolds, R Smith, J Semple, R Snedden; J Cox, M Goodwin, A Hamilton, R Denonain, J Gray, M Vernel, M Peacock, R Weston. Substitutes used: G Carson, M Erskine, T Brooke, M Mladenovic, C Logan.
Referee: N Muir.