Marr are safely through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup after a 45-26 win at Ayr on Saturday, but Craig Redpath was less than happy with his team’s inconsistency.

The Premiership front-runners were in control of the game by half-time after Ayr had drawn first blood, then took their foot off the pedal, much to the head coach’s irritation.

“We're in the next round of the cup and that's all that matters, I suppose,” Redpath said.

"I always knew they would come out and give us a game, and all credit to them for sticking to their task and not giving in. But from our perspective, we have to look at why go from doing the right things and looking like we can score all the time to then dropping off and getting a bit lazy. We need to get that malaise out of our team and be more of a collective unit.

“It is disappointing to let them score two tries at the end when we should have gone on and won by a bit more, but I suppose it is not a bad thing when you are winning and still think you can play better. We get a week off now and I think we need it. We just need to look at ourselves and get that energy and intensity, and if we do then somebody will be on the wrong end of a few points, I would suggest.”

With a lot of the squad that won the double last season having stepped up to the Ayrshire Bulls Super 6 franchise, the Ayr team has a far more youthful look to it this season, with all but one of the pack being a teenager. Despite the defeat, coach Stuart Fenwick the speed with which his inexperienced squad are learning.

“We've set ourselves a goal this year that we always want to be better than we were the week before and that's what we achieved here,” he said. “We've benchmarked ourselves against the top side in the country at the moment and given a good account ourselves.

“We spoke a lot during the build up to the game about winning as many small battles as we could. We knew things were going to go wrong and how we reacted to that was going to be really important. The boys did that - when things went against them they picked themselves up and got on with the next job.”

There was a similar story in the Borders derby at Netherdale, where Gala cruised to a 25-0 interval lead before eventually beating Kelso 35-12. A more assertive second-half display saw Kelso score two tries to come back into the game, but the home team ended strongly to put the issue beyond doubt.

At Goldenacre, too, a strong first-half performance was enough to have the game in the bag for the home team, with Heriot’s Blues ending up 48-12 winners over GHA after having led 38-0 at the break. John Rae scored three of the victors’ eight tries,

By contrast, the first half in Inverness between Highland and Stirling County Wolves was a far closer affair, with the home team just 14-13 up at the break. In the second 40, however, they took full advantage of a stiffening breeze to run out 38-18 winners.

”What we would like now is to have a tie against a Premiership side here at Canal Park,” the National One club’s head coach Dave Carson said. “Bring it on! We harnessed the wind well in the first half, and got our rewards in the second spell when we added three tries to our two in the first.” 

Stirling coach Chris Faill took heart from the resilience shown by his young squad. “We stuck to the task right to the end, scoring two good tries," he said. “We’re always learning and will build on this experience. It was good to give so many youngsters game time.”

Hawick trailed Cartha Queen’s Park by three points midway through their match at Mansfield Park, but they scored 35 unanswered points after the break to win 42-10. Currie Chieftains beat Premiership rivals Selkirk 44-21 at Philiphaugh, Edinburgh Accies won 32-24 at home to Musselburgh, and Jed-Forest won 23-12 at Boroughmuir.