Due to congestion a special fixture sits nestled in the middle of a busy fixture list. The match that should crown a glorious moment for one club at the end of the season will pit virgin finalists Ayr against cup specialists Melrose.
The semi-finals finished Melrose 31-8 Currie, and Ayr 23-14 Heriot’s. The final will be held on the 24th of this month, and while Ayr may be more confused than Caster Semenya, competing on two fronts, they will definitely be pumped for their first ever final against record-breaking finalists, Melrose.
You only have to look at the two semi-finals to see these teams mean business.In the first semi Melrose simply blew Currie away. Currie’s Head Coach Ally Donaldson was at a loss to put a positive spin on this result and it is easy to see why. Melrose put up a display that belies their recent poor domestic form and turned over a Currie side dominant in most aspects all year. Here’s what the borderers two try hero, James King had to say;
Training had gone well all week and we were very confident going into the game. We have been beaten twice by Currie already this season but we knew that those losses were a product of our own mistakes.
The game started at a very fast tempo, as was to be expected, and both teams were keen to play open running rugby. I think the main difference between the two teams was that we took our chances when we made line breaks. Our forwards really fronted up, getting Currie on the back foot and we scored 3 tries off of first phase ball which normally doesn’t happen against a solid defending team like Currie. We also managed to keep Ross Weston quiet by scragging him before he could get pace up. Runciman and Christie did well at the base of the scrum where we knew Weston was a front-foot threat.
There was never any doubt in our camp that we were going to win the game, we were the better team on the day and deserve to go through. We now face a massive game against Ayr in the final, and we know what to expect from them. They are a stuffy outfit, but after Saturday’s performance we are going into the game very high in confidence and expecting some silverware. Obviously it is huge that we are the first team to make the finals 3 years in a row now, but all that is irrelevant unless we win.
Which brings us to the other men’s semi (not so funny this time!). I will admit this is a bit of a sore one, both physically and mentally. Before the game there was some negative talk about this game suiting the SRU with the home teams being a traditional household rugby name and the other being the vibrant, fresh powerhouse in Scottish rugby. This talk was quickly seen as nonsense, however, when this match kicked off and it became apparent that being at home gave Ayr little advantage. Tight ‘til the very end (the motto of Katie Price’s surgeon), this game was ferociously physical and quick-paced.
In the end Ayr deservedly edged it and scored a try that made the score line that little bit more flattering, but both teams played exciting rugby which had some spectators proclaiming it one of the best games of club rugby in recent memory. If ever I needed this confirmed then the sight of a Facebook posting on Monday morning from Ayr’s colossal captain Damien ‘Dad’ Kelly more than explained things. He spoke of how tough the game was and how no one escaped unscathed…before the obligatory gloat “We’re going to Murrayfield! Boom!!”
Well played, sir.
So there you go. Haul ass down to Murrayfield for the Cup finals on April 24 and watch an explosive final. After that you’ve only got a third of a domestic season left to get excited about…