Constant drizzle and a cool temperature welcomed Ayr to the third Tennent’s National League 1 match played on the Annay Road pitch. Donald Crawford opened the scoring with a penalty at two minutes and Jamie Bova replied in kind eight minutes later to level the scores. On the quarter hour Bova evaded a Melrose tackle in his own 22 on the left and took off racing diagonally down the pitch before off-loading to Harry Lynch who scored an unconverted try in the right corner, then, on 22 minutes, with Melrose attacking the Ayr line, Bova was sin-binned for nefarious practice in the “red zone”. Melrose, however, failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority.
Half time – Melrose 3 Ayr 8.
Within four minutes of the start of the second half, and after a series of plays, Will Owen crashed in to the left of the posts for a try converted by Donald Crawford. Five minutes later Melrose won a scrum 5 on the right and, using the blind side, Lewis Mallin nipped in for an unconverted try. At 62 minutes Ayr pressed passing the ball backwards and forwards across the pitch before Bova breached the Melrose defence to score a try and his conversion levelled the scores again. With no-side approaching rapidly Melrose put in a series of picks and drives with Owen scoring his second, but unconverted, try to give Melrose the victory. To-day’s Melrose “Man of the Match” was second row forward Thomas Brown.
Melrose 20 Ayr 15
Melrose – Dougie Dodds, Lewis Mallin, Gary McWilliam, Darren King, Ross Lile, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Sean Fisher, Richard Ferguson, Will Owen, Thomas Brown, Craig Fairbairn, Chris Raymond, Callum Wilde, Ben McLean. Replacements – Ethan Deakin, John Cox, Gregor Lindsay, Callum Folan, Hamish Weir.
Ayr – Johnny McCorkindale, James Baird, Harry Lynch, Jamie Bova, Zac Howard, Andy Morrrison, Cammy Black, Scott Clelland, David Young, Craig Miller, Euan Hamilton, Seth Rae, Kerr Borland, Gregor Henry, Morgan Leatherbarrow. Replacements – Gregor Lynch, Jack Brown, Zander Howie, Ross McCorkindale, Matt Donaldson.
Referee – Michael Todd. Touch Judges – Ian Cooper (Melrose) & Bill Wyburn (Ayr)