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Ulster Ravevns 38 Ayr 21: clinical hosts wrap it up by half-time

Ayr failed to replicate last week's victory over the Ulster Ravens as they fell to a 38-21 defeat at Deramore in Belfast, writes Ciaran Donaghy.

The home side were clinical in the first half and the game was over as a contest at the break as the hosts scored five tries on their way to a 33-7 lead.

Peter Nelson, the Ulster winger, opened the scoring on six minutes. Conor Joyce made a break through midfield, he flicked it to Paul Jackson before the ball was moved to James McKinney, who managed to provide the scoring pass to Nelson but missed the conversion.

Joyce scored the Ravens' second try on 10 minutes. Kyle McCall drove to the line, and though he was stopped the ball was quickly recycled and the flanker went over from close range with McKinney converting. Stuart McCloskey then crossed for the home team's third try on 23 minutes.

The hosts wrapped the bonus point up on the half-hour mark with a try from full-back Ricky Andrew. Paddy Wallace broke through midfield and offloaded out of the tackle to Andrew and he ran under the posts to make McKinney's conversion a formality.

Ayr got their first try on 33 minutes with Scott Wight adding the conversion. Michael Heaney then got the Ravens' fifth four minutes before the break when Ayr failed to control the ball at the back of the scrum and Heaney picked up and went over. McKinney then made the conversion.

It took the Ravens 12 minutes to register their only try of the second half, Andrew flicking the ball over his head to Adrian Hamilton to go over in the corner. McKinney, though, missed the conversion. Gordon Reid powered over for Ayr late on from close range before replacement hooker Finlay Gillies scored from the final play.

Nottingham, meanwhile, defeated Stirling County 24-14 at Meadow Lane last night with the home side's captain Brent Wilson scoring two tries.

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