Ayr Rugby Football Club
Ayr put in another dominant display to dispatch Heriot's at Millbrae and go into the three-week autumn break in a strong position in the BT Premiership.
Early on, the home team managed to turn defence into attack after the visitors' harrying backs launched themselves out of their own half. Quick thinking from the likes of centre Archie Russell and scrum-half David Armstrong snuffed out any attack and Ayr were back in possession.

Heriot's penalty count didn't help them and from a slick Ayr line-out - hooker David Young and second rows Robert McAlpine and Scott Sutherland were spot on - Armstrong fired the ball to winger Craig Gossman and he sailed away for the opening try. Stand-off Frazier Climo converted with ease. 7-0.

The visitors got into attacking mode again, but Climo, captain Pete McCallum, prop George Hunter and flanker Will Bordill had them swiftly contained.

A few kicks from hand by both sides didn't go to plan and Ayr centre Ross Curle found himself under one such effort; he collected, kicked and chased but to no avail.

Heriot's full-back Glenn Bryce was a menacing presence but he couldn't get through Ayr prop Steven Longwell. His front row team-mate Michael Liness next had a go, bursting up the wing, but didn't have the gas to get near the line.

Ayr's scrum was in commanding form, and both sets of forwards did well on the slippery surface.

The Millbrae men pushed on up the park through Bordill and Climo, and when they gained a penalty, Curle took it quickly and pounced over the line. Climo converted. 14-0.

Climo had an excellent day with the boot and soon added a penalty. 17-0.

A seventeen-point lead may look good on paper, but Heriot's were bound to come back, with their abundance of class and sophistication.

Bryce was the danger man again, appearing in mid-field, but Armstrong just got a hand to him and brought him down. The ball went loose, McCallum scooped it up and Climo kicked it out of harm's way.

It was brute force that got the visitors their score in the end, Liness driving over after a couple of line-outs. Stand-off Alex Hagart converted. 17-7.

There was tension between the teams and Armstrong received some unwanted attention from replacement George Turner, causing referee Lloyd Linton to give both a stern talking-to.

Ayr stretched their lead just before half-time with another Climo penalty. 20-7.

The home side turned up the power at the second half, flanker Blair Macpherson knocking Heriot's defenders out of his path like a bowling ball through skittles.

When Heriot's did have possession in the third quarter, they lacked urgency and Ayr turned over, full-back Grant Anderson more often than not getting his hands on the ball and muscling his way through flailing defenders.

Another good Ayr line-out from a penalty allowed Climo to perfectly time a pass to Curle, who stepped through a gap and cruised over for this second try. Climo converted. 27-7.

Heriot's were determined to get through the pink and black wall, and despite tackles by Longwell, replacement Craig Stevenson and Gossman, centre John Semple got their second try, with Hagart converting. 27-14.

Curle landed himself in the sin bin after a tackle on Semple, but Ayr stuck into defence and didn't leak any points during the ten minutes.

Another penalty by Climo after a high tackle on Gossman brought the final points of the game. 30-14.

But it wasn't over. Ayr brought on all their replacements in the last quarter, with a reshuffle in the forwards that saw Lewis Anderson scrum down at number eight. With Heriot's somehow short on a front row player for a period, scrums were uncontested until another prop appeared.

It didn't help them that their replacement Clarke Smith was yellow-carded for repeated infringements but Ayr couldn't take advantage.

They searched for the bonus-point try, but never found it. Still, when the final whistle went, Ayr were satisfied with another commanding performance that leaves them just a point behind league leaders Melrose.

The BT Premiership returns on Saturday 3rd December, with Ayr visiting Gala.

Final score: Ayr 30 Heriot's 14.

- Elena Hogarth.