Callum Kerr @ Millbrae


 Ayr RFC kept up their unbeaten run this season with a 35-25 victory over Kelso at Millbrae. In a game that could have gone either way in the first half, the hosts rallied after the break to put themselves out of reach as the full-time whistle came round.

Despite treacherous weather conditions early doors, the clouds cleared just in time for kick-off.


The visitors wasted no time in asserting themselves. From the off they marched up the field and put themselves in touching distance. After numerous carries from the forwards, they opted to go wide and found winger Robbie Tweedie in space, who cantered over in the easiest of fashions. The conversion made it a 0-7 lead after just four minutes.


From the restart Ayr earned a penalty and split the uprights through Jamie Bova, but the three points were shortly cancelled out by Kelso.


Right from the first whistle it was clear to all it was going to be a feisty encounter, and the referee wasn’t afraid to dip into his pockets. The first of numerous cards was shown to Kelso’s Frankie Robson, whose dangerous tackle earned him ten minutes in the sin bin. From the resulting penalty Jamie Bova narrowed the gap to 6-10.


The cards came thick and fast after that. Kelso’s captain Andy Tait found himself caught up in a scuffle and was subsequently dealt a red card when deemed the instigator. His opposite number, Adam McGowan, was also penalised for his involvement but was only delt a yellow.


Despite the numerical advantage, Kelso scored moments later. Flanker Billy McNeil burrowed over from the back of a well-executed maul, with the conversion not hitting the mark.


Ayr had one last act before the half-time interval. Danny McCluskey, who was instrumental in much of Ayr’s attack, threw a lofty pass over a number of Kelso players to find Jamie Bova in space. The big wing cut back inside and powered through contact to score. His conversion didn’t connect.


Half-time: Ayr RFC 11-15 Kelso Rugby.


The second half started with a bang for Stuart Fenwick’s men. A breakaway run from Ritchie Simpson ended with him diving clear to put the hosts on top for the first time today. Bova’s conversion made it 18-15.


The lead was short-lived, and after numerous attempts Kelso managed to connect from the tee, chalking it all up at 18-18 with 30 minutes left to play.


The next period of the game proved to be vital. A Jamie Bova penalty followed by a lovely try from Danny McCluskey put some space between the sides for the first time in the game. The result was sealed with five left to play when John Fulton dashed down his wing, drew in the covering full-back and hit Adam McGowan with a well-timed pass. McGowan finished off the move by diving over and gifting Bova with a routine conversion, making it 35-18.


Kelso, who remained competitive despite the early red card, finished on a positive note with a converted try of their own in the dying embers of the match.


Full-time: Ayr Rugby 35-25 Kelso RFC.


For a complete 80-minute display, a try of his own and a couple of crucial passes, Danny McCluskey was named Press Man of the Match.


It makes it two wins out of two for Ayr’s senior sides this weekend, with the Bulls downing Southern Knights on Friday evening.