On Saturday Ayr Club XV fell short against a powerful Kelso side in a high scoring affair which ended 33-43. Ayr looked in control for most of proceedings, but a lapse in concentration to start the second half resulted in the visitors running in three scores in quick succession. From then on it would have been a tall order for the hosts to salvage a result.

Ayr took an early lead just five minutes in. Scrum half Matt Donaldson took a few steps out from the ruck before feeding the charging Zac Howard, who ran against the grain to cut through Kelso’s line and under the posts. Donaldson added the extras from the tee. Kelso retaliated in kind, bagging two converted scores to assert themselves in the match. On both occasions it was centre Frank Robson penetrating through the midfield to score. The lead didn’t last long and soon it was all chalked up courtesy of early-substitute Ross Gilmour. The utility back, who was making his 1stXV debut, managed to squeeze over out wide with a man advantage. Donaldson slotted the touchline conversion to level the game. The Millbrae Men found themselves back on top soon after when Euan Hamilton, charged down, kicked on and retrieved the ball to score. Donaldson made it a 21-14 game.

Ayr failed to pull away, and Robson secured his first half hat-trick to level proceedings at the break. Half-time: Ayr RFC 21-21 Kelso RFC. The visitors struck first with the game back underway. A powerful scrum got the better of the Ayr pack and a good shove-on managed to drive the hosts over their own line for Kev Dryden to tap down. They stretched the lead further by latching onto a stray Ayr pass and hacking the ball downfield for Paudie Lawlor to dive clear. Ayr were dealt another blow soon after, with Kelso fly-half Craig Dodds throwing a whizzing pass out to open winger Mark Wilson. Dodds’ conversion made it a 21-40 lead. The hosts got themselves back into the contest when a bit of quick-thinking from Craig Brown seen him tap a penalty and charge over before Kelso could react. Adam MacDonald, also a debutant, made it a 12-point game from the tee. The final act for Ayr came courtesy of Seth Rae, who dotted down from the back of a scrum. Craig Dodds concluded events, slotting a penalty to take the game away from Ayr. Full-Time: Ayr RFC 33-43 Kelso RFC. Zac Howard continued in his rich vein of form to be named Slaters Menswear Man of the Match. The winger was Octobers Player of the Month and followed up with a well taken try and gutsy 80 minute display.  The Club XV will aim to bounce back this Saturday when they travel to Goldenacre to face Heriots Blues. The game kicks off at 14.00.