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Highland heartbreak as Ayr raid full points at Canal Park on opening day of the season


By Will Clark

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National League One

Highland 12

Ayr 13

Scott Fraser. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Scott Fraser. Picture: Callum Mackay..

Highland paid the penalty on the opening day of the National One league campaign as they fell to defeat against Ayr at Canal Park.

It was the first competitive match Highland had played in 547 days due to the pandemic which resulted in all league action being stopped on March 13, 2020.

Highland celebrate the first try. Picture: Callum Mackay
Highland celebrate the first try. Picture: Callum Mackay

But it did get off to a great start for Highland who scored their first try after 18 minutes through Owen McDonald with Scotty Fraser converting.

Owen MacDonald gets the first try. Picture: Callum Mackay
Owen MacDonald gets the first try. Picture: Callum Mackay

Mike Gordon scored Highland's second try which went unconverted to give them a 12–0 lead with Ayr scoring a penalty to make it 12–3 at half time.

Mike Gordon touches down for the second try. Picture: Callum Mackay
Mike Gordon touches down for the second try. Picture: Callum Mackay

However Highland were reduced to 14 men early in the second half when Stuart Watson was sent off for a tip tackle.

Ayr made the man advantage count when Ross McCorkindale threw a back hand offload to Frazier Climo to score a try under the posts which was converted to make it 12-10 with 10 minutes remaining.

A flying Andrew Kellock. Picture: Callum Mackay
A flying Andrew Kellock. Picture: Callum Mackay

Ayr took the lead with three minutes remaining when Jamie Bova converted a penalty to make it 13-12 and held on for victory to pick up the four points.

Highland were awarded a bonus point for losing by less than seven points.

Scott Fraser converts. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Scott Fraser converts. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Meanwhile in Caledonia League Two, Highland 2nd XV got their campaign off to a rampant start as they scored seven tries to thrash Ross Sutherland 41–0 in Invergordon.


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