Ayr Rugby Football Club

It was Ayr who picked up bragging rights yesterday with a 33-22 win over near-neighbours Marr. The clash has generated a lot of buzz throughout Ayrshire over the past few weeks and the game unfolded in front of a packed-out crowd at Millbrae.

It was a dream start for Ayr. After just six minutes Scott Lyle chipped the ball over the Marr defence and chased, he got to the ball before anyone else and glided in for the score. He converted to give Ayr a 7-0 lead.

The onslaught continued and three minutes later Tommy Spinks played the ball off the top of the line out to David Armstrong. Armstrong sniped through the defence and after an audacious side-step touched down under the posts. Lyle's conversion doubled the lead.

After the opening ten minutes Marr began to wake up and slowly built territory inside Ayr's half. Samu Vunisa proved to be a menace with battering carries, but Ayr didn't give an inch. On the 16th minute they managed to cross the try line but were held up due to terrific scrambling defence from Ayr.

From the resulting scrum Grant Baird managed to score making it 14-5. Dougie Steele missed the conversion.

Marr's fight back didn't last long and soon Ayr were back on the score sheet. Almost a mirror image of the first try, Scott Lyle chipped over the defence and chased through, he looked poised to double his tally before Grant Anderson cut in ahead of him and stole the score. Thankfully for Scott Grant wasn't about for the conversion, and he added two more points. After 20 minutes it was 21-5.

Marr didn't take long to answer with Richard Dalgleish dotting down minutes later, marking his return to Millbrae with a score.

Marr were still eleven points behind but enjoyed the lions share of possession. They tried to string phases together but Ayr's defence gave them nothing. Craig Gossman showed his power with a massive hit on his opposite number, driving him near the touchline to change momentum.

The next score came from Ayr on the half hour mark. Tantalising interplay from Armstrong, Gossman and Smith bewildered Marr, allowing Smith to march up the touch line. From the next phase Climo found the ball, weaved through two tacklers and dived over. Lyle made it 28-10. 

Play in the second half slowed down. Redpath must have mustered something special in his half-time team talk as Marr came out a different team. They began to play with purpose, bullying Ayr off the ball and dominating possession. They came close to a score on numerous occasions but just couldn't capitalise, continuing to throw away the ball when it mattered.

Ayr punished Marr for not capitalising with another score on the 64th minute. Gossman, who was at the heart of everything, played a crafty grubber into the try area- Robbie Nairn was quickest to react and dove in for the score. The conversion skewed wide.

The tale took another twist with ten minutes to play when Scott Sutherland was sent to the bin. Marr made full use of the extra man running in two tries in quick succession. The first came after a prolonged period of persistent pressure on the Ayr try and the second was an interception on the stroke of full-time.

Full-Time Ayr 33-22 Marr.

The result puts Ayr into second place and solidifies their spot in the playoffs, but Currie have a game in hand. Marr now find themselves a few points adrift at the bottom of the table.

All of the other action this weekend was called-off due to weather conditions.

Callum Kerr
Photo- George McMillian