Early on at Millbrae there was a stoppage for an injury to Charlie Jupp of Heriot’s and he was forced off. Luca Bardelli went close for the Bulls and then Frazier Climo, in his last game before retiring, scored an unconverted try. That was in the 14th minute, but any thoughts that the home side were going to run away with things were dismissed three minutes later when Heriot’s skipper Iain Wilson scored a try. That was 5-5 and Bruce Houston’s conversion made it 7-5.
In the 23rd minute Wilson, who has had a great personal season try wise, went over again. This one was unconverted, but the Edinburgh side were 12-5 up. With five minutes to go before the break, Houston kicked a penalty to make it 15-5 to the away team with 40 minutes left.
At the start of the second half there was a very long stoppage when Heriot’s Callum Anderson went down and had to be taken off. Once play resumed the Bulls scored almost immediately through skipper Blair Macpherson. Eli Caven converted and it was 15-12. With 19 minutes to go Jamie Shedden thought he had put Ayr ahead, but there was no try and it was still a three point game. Soon after Macpherson scored his second try and then Caven converted and they were 19-15 ahead.
In the closing stages Heriot’s gave it everything, but the Bulls, who won the Championship at this level in 2021, held on to the delight of the home crowd after a cracking 80 minutes.
On Saturday afternoon, the other placing matches will be contested to bring the Sprint competition to a close. At 3pm, Boroughmuir Bears will play Southern Knights in the fifth/sixth play-off. The sides met as recently as last weekend with the Bears winning at The Greenyards and the Knights need a victory here to avoid a winless campaign. An all-new front-row of Iain Carmichael, Corey Tait and Martin McGinley will start for the hosts with Trystan Andrews in at No.8 and Callum Ramm getting the nod at full-back. Donald Crawford and Rory Brand come in to start in the Knights backline with Craig Bachurzewski, Clark Skeldon and Sam Derrick joining the pack.
With Myreside unavailable, at the same Meggetland venue at 5pm Watsonians and Stirling Wolves will meet in the third/fourth play-off. Watsonians won the regular season game between the two 38-29 at the end of April and this should be another pretty close one. Hector Patterson, Lewis Berg, Ross McKnight and Selkirk player Matt Reid start in the backs for injury-affected Watsonians. Mak Wilson and Kieran Watt join the pack. “It's important this group of players finish the Sprint with a good performance,” Watsonians head coach Stevie Scott said. “We fully expect the Stirling squad to be fired up.”
Wolves have Craig Jardine Gregor Smith coming into the backline and Callum Norrie joins the pack at tighthead prop. Reyner Kennedy comes in at hooker and is skipper. Their head coach Eddie Pollock said: “Our games against Watsonians are also very competitive and I am sure both teams will be doing their level best to finish the Sprint on a high.”