Ayr 31 - 20 Boroughmuir: Fitness gives Ayr key to unlock determined Boroughmuir defence

MATCHES between these teams seldom fail to entertain and this one was no different. 'Muir, forced on to the back foot for long spells, found infinite ways - not always legal - of frustrating their hosts, but the home side's extra fitness and match sharpness, having had more high- intensity games in the past two months, saw them home.

"A win's a win", said happy home coach Kenny Murray at the finish. "We generally had control, but through some poor decision-making, we didn't capitalist on this. However, the boys stuck to the gameplan, kept it tight, played on the front foot and put some rustiness behind them to get us a five-point win.

"I was pleased for young Robbie Fergusson, who showed what a talent he could be and we're delighted to have beaten a big and stuffy 'Muir side".

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Opposite number Fraser Pringle said: "We competed for 60 minutes, then dropped off the pace, but, given this was just our second game in two months, I remain confident we have the capability to win any game in this league."

The visitors edged the first quarter by two Ally Warnock penalties to one from Ross Curle, before Jamie Doubleday became the first of three visitors to be yellow-carded and, while he was off the field, Steven Manning put Ayr ahead with an unconverted try, wide out.

Ayr's Mark Stewart was then sin binned, Doubleday came back on and a self-converted Warnock try put 'Muir 13-8 ahead after 35 minutes, only for AJ MacFarlane to send Andy Dunlop in straight from the re-start to level the scores at the break.

Doubleday's pick-up and surge, converted by Warnock, gave 'Muir a seven-point cushion after 44 minutes, but from there on, as Ayr ratcheted up the pressure, the visitors were in defensive mode.

A yellow card for replacement Tom McColl was further punished by Curle's successful penalty, the Scotland Club XV squad member adding a second for another ruck offence and as the game entered the final quarter, Ayr were a single point adrift.

The Edinburgh side defended desperately, but Tom Bury's yellow card in 69 minutes was the final straw. Three minutes later, young Fergusson scythed through at the posts, Curle converted and Ayr were ahead, going on to collect the bonus point three minutes later when yet another series of close-range thrusts by the home pack was finally crowned by a typically storming charge over the line by skipper Damien Kelly.

Curle's conversion failed and 'Muir staged a late rally, but victory and the points were Ayr's.

Scorers: Ayr - Tries: Manning, Dunlop, Fergusson, D Kelly. Conversions: Curle (1). Penalty goals: Curle (3). Boroughmuir - Tries: Doubleday, Warnock. Conversions: Warnock (2). Penalty goals: Warnock (2).

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Ayr: Anderson (Steele); Manning (Siwo), Curle, M Stewart, Taylor; Fergusson, MacFarlane; Reid, Adair, Fenwick (Sykes) D Kelly, D Stewart, Nimmo (Tippett) Colhoun, Dunlop.Unused sub: P McCallum.

Boroughmuir: H Jones; Bury, Clapperton, Wilson, Neil; Warnock, Johnson (Reekie); Fraser, Crombie, Latta, Scott (Rose), Davidson, O'Riordan, Rodger (McColl), Doubleday. Unused sub: G Jones, Duley.

Referee: A Healy.