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London Scottish Overpower Cup winners Ayr

London Scottish Overpower Cup winners Ayr

On a glorious summers evening London Scottish put on a fine display of power and pace and comprehensively overcame their fellow Scots 53 - 15. Ayr were put on the back foot from the off as the London Scottish new look pack dominated proceedings. Not to be out done, the London Scottish backs contributed 4 trys in a match which was witnessed by a large crowd in the latest pre-season instalment.

On a glorious summers evening London Scottish put on a fine display of power and pace and comprehensively overcame their fellow Scots 53 – 15. Ayr were put on the back foot from the off as the London Scottish new look pack dominated proceedings. Not to be out done, the London Scottish backs contributed 4 trys in a match which was witnessed by a large crowd in the latest pre-season instalment.

Ayr kicked off playing towards the park end of the ground and the opening phases of the game were all played in the Ayr half as the Scottish pack started to exert their authority. Scottish opened the scoring after 10 minutes following a period of intense pressure in the Ayr 22m. The pack drove deep towards the Ayr line as the ball was moved out to the backs and then passed through hands onto the wing where prop Alex Clarke was lurking and drove over to score on the corner. Dan Mugford kicked a difficult conversion. Ayr stepped up their game and restored parity in the scores when centre Ross Curle intercepted a wayward pass and raced 60 metres to score beneath the posts with fly half Nick Elrick converting.

MPU

Shortly afterwards Scottish re-took the lead when Ayr were penalised for handling the ball in the ruck 30 metres out, with Mugford cooly stroking the ball between the posts. Ayr were again penalised shortly later and Scottish opted to kick for the corner. At the subsequent line out the forwards caught the ball and drove to within 5 metres of the Ayr line. Steve Pape peeled off the back of the ruck to score ten metres in from the touchline. Mugford again kicked a difficult conversion. On 25 minutes Ayr reduced the arrears when Scottish were penalised for not rolling away at the ruck with Elrick converting the penalty. From another line out short of the Ayr line the ball was passed out to the Scottish backs and moved quickly through hands to full back John Bordiss who was held up 5 metres short. The Scottish forwards were quickly on the scene and again Pape emerged with the ball from the back of the ruck to drive over. Mugford missed the conversion attempt. On 35 minutes the Ayr backs had an overlap deep in the Scottish 22m, however centre Curle knocked on and Scottish relieved the pressure at the scrum with a kick which took the play up to the half way line. Shortly before half time with Scottish camped in the Ayr 22m they scored the final try of the half when winger Stephen Hiheath came into the line in a switch move and sliced through the Ayr defence to score beneath the posts. Mugford converted to leave the half time score 29 – 10.

At the break Scottish began to ring the changes in personnel and introduced a number of players from the bench. From the kick off Ayr put themselves immediately under pressure when they failed to secure possession and were driven into touch. From the line out Scottish caught and drove deep into the Ayr 22m, with the ball being passed through the backs out to winger Tim Holgate who scored out wide. Mugford kicked a very difficult conversion right on the touch line. Ten minutes later, after another period of pressure in the Ayr 22m, Scottish scored their sixth try when replacement hooker Tom Standfield drove over after a line out, with Mugford missing the conversion. Scottish were reduced to 14 players when replacement flanker Tom Yellowlees was yellow carded for persistent offending which Ayr exploited and scored their second try of the match, but failed to convert.

On 73 minutes Scottish scored their best try of the night when the forwards had the Ayr pack on the back foot. The backs passed the ball out on the left side of the pitch and replacement winger Mike Adamson raced down the touch line. He switched the ball inside to centre Ollie Grove who sliced through the Ayr back line to score beneath the posts. Replacement fly half James Brown converted. Three minutes later Scottish finished off the scoring when winger Holgate grabbed his second try of the night when he received the ball out wide on the right and cut inside to score. Brown missed the conversion attempt to leave the final score 53 – 15.

Pre-season friendlies are an opportunity to fine tune teams, especially for new players who joined the club over the summer. Scottish certainly raised their game in this match and the coaching team will have learned a lot from this match and they will no doubt will be looking for further improvements in the remaining pre-season matches before the Championship kicks off in earnest. For Ayr – "Haste ye back" and apart from the result hope you enjoyed your weekend in London and look forward to the next time we lock horns.

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