Ayr got another bonus-point win on Saturday after they ran in four tries to beat Boroughmuir 32-10 at Meggatland in the BT Premiership.
Ayr set out their stall early, muscling their way into Boroughmuir's half, full-back Grant Anderson, prop D'arcy Rae, number eight Pete McCallum and flanker Will Bordill bashing through the defence.
It looked like winger Cameron Taylor would get the first score after he collected a deft chip from stand-off Frazier Climo, but he was in touch as he scampered to the try-line.
There were struggles at the line-out for the visitors, but their scrum held firm and the hosts couldn't cope, their front row popping up on more than one occasion. McCallum and second row Robert McAlpine pressed for the line, but it was prop George Hunter who rumbled over for the try. Climo converted. 0-7.
Former Ayr player Dougie Steele led the attack for Muir from stand-off, with prop Karl Fuey in support. They got to Ayr's five-metre line but Anderson and scrum-half David Armstrong put in some hefty tackles.
Bordill getting sent to the sin bin helped Muir at the scrum, and there was no-one home for Ayr as winger Jordan Edmunds scurried away under the posts. Steele converted. 7-7.
Muir flanker Craig Keddie slipped through a gap to get his men back into Ayr's half but a later line-out was stolen by the visitors. McCallum charged off, with Anderson, centre Archie Russell and winger Haddon McPherson in support, but the home defence closed them down.
Another line-out for Muir went awry as hands numbed in the increasing cold and Ayr then camped out in Muir's half until the interval. Four scrums in a row for Ayr let Bordill, then McCallum, go for the line before Armstrong and Climo combined to send centre Ross Curle over. The conversion from Climo came just before the players trotted back to the changing rooms. 7-14.
Curle almost scored again at the resumption, but McCallum's pass, after another storming run, was deemed forward.
Boroughmuir's forwards were on lively form too, hooker Cal Davies stampeding away before Armstrong tracked him down. But the hosts couldn't cope with Ayr's pack and they were flattened in the scrum. In the loose, flanker Blair Macpherson and second row Andrew Dunlop used all their strength to barge through defenders.
Penalties were traded, with Climo and Steele both successful. 10-17.
Another try was on the cards as Ayr's forwards broke through the defence, but a wayward pass couldn't be retrieved by Curle.
Quick and dexterous handling by McAlpine and Armstrong confused Muir before Climo lined up another penalty. 10-20.
Muir centre David Reekie made a foray into Ayr's half but Taylor and replacement centre Danny McCluskey wrapped up the attackers before another huge shove demolished the home scrum.
A fumble from Boroughmuir gave Ayr a scrum in their own half and McCallum made his now trademark break from the back to get right into the hosts' twenty-two. Some juggling from Armstrong kept the move going and terrific support play by replacement back row Graham Fisken saw the latter go over in the corner. The conversion was from too wide an angle for Climo. 10-25.
The bonus point came when McCluskey flew on to a Boroughmuir pass and sprinted away from his own half for the try in the blink of an eye. Climo booted over the conversion. 10-32.
The home team tried to get another score before the final whistle but Ayr held firm. The win now sees the men in pink and black ten points clear at the top of the BT Premiership. Another challenging away fixture beckons next week as they go to the Greenyards to face Melrose.
Final score: Boroughmuir 10 Ayr 32.
- Elena Hogarth.