Ayr win sets up top-of-table clash

The two Ayrshire clubs in Premiership Division 3 had a big say yesterday in deciding how the final table might look.

At Auldhouse, Hutchesons/ Aloysians were only 12-5 down to Ayr at the break before the visitors showed their strength and ran out 22-8 winners to set up a top-of-the-table meeting with Edinburgh Accies next Saturday.

Two tries from Eddie Manawaiti and another from Michael Goldie put Ayr in command, with Graham Inglis crossing for H/A. The pick of the bunch, however, came from Darren Jessop, who touched down in the second half after a splendid combined move between backs and forwards.

The spectre of relegation eased somewhat at Bellsland after a solid performance by the Kilmarnock pack.

They turned into the gale only 10-0 ahead from an Andrew Gavin try, conversion and penalty with Preston Lodge looking certain to use the wind to pile on the points.

However, it was not until six minutes to go that Preston Lodge made inroads into their lead, with two penalties from Jon Sim. Then, in an amazing injury time spell, tries from Stewart Muirhead and James Adams gave Kilmarnock a 22-6 win and a lifeline.

Despite Scotland physio Stewart Barton's mad dash from the airport to Castle Douglas to turn out for Duns, after being on duty in Italy, it proved to no avail.

He did convert the tries by Gary Holborn and Jock White, as well as landing a penalty, but three tries for Stewartry from Hamish Dunlop and George Wallace with a penalty try, all converted by Wallace, gave the Greenlaw side a 21-17 win, which keeps their hopes of Division 1 survival alive.

Cartha Queens Park's 25-13 defeat at the hands of Dalziel means that they are still not out of relegation bother in Division 2, but Portobello climbed off the bottom of Division 3 with a 17-14 win over Garnock on Saturday, at the expense of Howe of Fife, who lost 32-15 at Aberdeenshire. Highland's 29-9 win over Alan Glens ensured they stay in top spot.

Division 4 leaders Greenock Wanderers had only two Paul Williams penalties to their credit at Memorial Field, but tries for Ardrossan from Alan Hogarth and Alan Anderson, with Steven Duffy adding a penalty and conversion, means the Ayrshire side edge closer to Greenock with a game in hand.

Irvine's 21-17 win over Cumnock took them to second spot in Division 5 with Strathendrick finding themselves against Whitecraig's version of Diego Dominguez in Alastair Little, whose try, two conversions and four penalties, along with Allan Pomphrey's try, took the league leaders to a 26-9 win.

Both matches in Premiership Division 2 were postponed, so Boroughmuir have to wait for confirmation of their championship. East Kilbride and Aberdeen GSFP remain in the hunt for second place.