The two best club sides in Scotland set a high bar for the new BT Premiership campaign, which starts next week, with this 11-try spectacular, deservedly won by the sharper and more-accurate visitors, who out-scored their hosts by seven tries to four.
So, the SRU Charity Shield goes back to the Greenyards, but the Borderers’ coach, Robin Chrystie, admits, for all the good things he saw in this win, he has problems. “A lot of the young guys put their hands up for selection next week, their desire and energy gives me a selection headache,” he said.
For Ayr’s Calum Forrester it was a case of: “Some good things, a few pluses, but a lot to work on for next week.” Forrester felt the controversial yellow card given to Frazier Climo after 26 minutes was crucial. Melrose scored 19 points during his ten-minute absence and Ayr could never catch-up.
The visitors led 32-17 at half-time through tries from Richard Ferguson, Nick Beavon, Ross McCann, Fraser Thomson and a penalty try plus a penalty and one conversion from Ben Chalmers, while Adam Prentice and Rob McAlpine crossed for Ayr, with Climo adding a penalty and a conversion.
In the second half, Blair Macpherson scored two tries for Ayr, both converted by Climo, while Melrose added tries through Sam Pecquer and what is already a try-of-the-season contender from McCann, converted by Jason Baggot. Richard Ferguson, in the first half, and Ruaridh Knott in the second saw yellow for Melrose, but neither was as crucial as Climo’s.