After a hard-to-bear defeat against Jersey last week, Ayr came out all guns blazing at Millbrae against Cornish Pirates. The glorious sunshine reflected Ayr's mood as they took a rapid 10-0 lead but as the game ended with the rain pouring down, the gloom summed up the home team's performance.
Ross Curle opened the scoring for Ayr with a penalty after five minutes then a blistering move saw Craig Gossman go over for Curle to convert after eight minutes. But an awful Ayr guddle allowed Pirates to set up their first try three minutes later. A penalty try followed, both were converted by Angus Sinclair, and Pirates had a lead at the end of the first quarter that they did not relinquish. Indeed, Ayr failed to shift the other side of the scoreboard again as Aaron Carpenter, one of two Pirates Canadian internationals, went over, and Sinclair ended the half with a penalty. Sharper to the ball, dominating the set-pieces and pressurising Ayr, Pirates took control and second-half tries from Joel Conlon, Darren Barry, Matt Evans, the other Canadian cap, Kieran Hallet twice and Kieran Goss completed Ayr's misery as the Cornishmen ran out 53-10 winners.
Much the same script was enacted at Bridgehaugh where Stirling County were still in with a chance at the break at 19-7 adrift, but Plymouth Albion proved too slick in the second half. Stirling had tries from Rory Hughes and Jamie Swanson with Stuart Edwards landing a conversion but the visitors plundered scores from every mistake and pounced on Stirling errors in the second half to run out 38-12 winners, with tries from Toby Howley-Berridge, Matt Crumpton, Ben Rodgers, Eoghan Grace, Len Ashcroft Leigh and Chris Elder with Declan Cusack and Ian Mudford sharing the kicking spoils.
A 29-point first half from London Scottish had Edinburgh Accies reeling and the final 55-19 scoreline was the result of the Exiles running in nine tries with a couple each from Jamie Stevenson, James Love, Mark Bright and Andy Reay. Ben Russell added a solo effort. Ruaridh Bonner, Alex Allan and Shaun Strudwick had the tries for Accies, Strudwick's try the last of the game, epitomising the spirit of the visitors to the end.
The coupon-burster this week in the RBS Premiership was at Goldenacre where Hawick came back from a half-time deficit to turn over Heriot's 25-18. Jack Steele and Cammy Ferguson had the Heriot's tries; Graham Wilson added both conversions and a penalty with Hawick claiming only a Bruce McNeill try. The kicking honours went to Neil Renwick with a conversion and five penalties to win the match.
Glasgow Hawks traveled to Rubislaw to win 23-20, but Aberdeen Grammar Rugby gleaned two points with unconverted tries from David Reid, Harry Duthie, Tom Preece and Erland Oag. Jack McFarleane and Hadden McPherson had the Hawks tries. Scott Wight steered them to the win with two conversions and two penalties, though Jack Steel could claim his penalty as the clincher.
With Melrose ahead 17-3 at half time at Malleny Park, it looked all over for Currie and so it proved, the league leaders running out comfortable 32-10 winners over the bottom side as they stretched their lead at the top. George Horne converted Ian Kerr's try and slotted a penalty for Currie but four tries from the Greenyards outfit by Grant Runciman, Richard Mill, Austin Lockington and Gary Holborn, with Joe Helps converting all four and getting two penalties, saw maximum points heading back to the Borders.