First half try bonanza ensures Ravens see off Scottish rivals

Ravens David Busby in action with Ayr's Ross Curle.
Ravens David Busby in action with Ayr's Ross Curle.

Ulster Ravens kept their hopes of progression from Pool Six on the British and Irish Cup alive with a bonus point victory over Ayr at Deramore.

Smarting from last week defeat in Scotland the Ravens were clinical in the first half and the game was over as a contest at the break as the Ravens scored five tries on route to a 33-7 lead.

Winger Peter Nelson opened the scoring for the home side on six minutes.

Flanker Conor Joyce made a break through midfield. He flicked it to hooker Paul Jackson, the ball was moved to the wing and out half James McKinney and he provided the scoring pass to Nelson but missed he the conversion.

Joyce scored the Ravens second try on ten minutes, prop Kyle McCall drove to the line. He was stopped and the ball was quickly recycled and the flanker went over from close range with McKinney converting.

Centre Stuart McCloskey went over for the home team’s third try on 23 minutes.

McCall drove the ball forward, McKinney spun it wide and McCloskey used his power to hold off two defenders and barge over with McKinney converting.

The home side wrapped-up the bonus point on the half hour mark with a try from full back Ricky Andrew.

Centre Paddy Wallace broke through the 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, centre Finn Russell broke down the right wing and flipped the ball inside to flanker James Eadie to power over.

Scrum half Michael Heaney got the Ravens fifth try 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 with McKinney converting.

It took the Ravens 12 minutes to register their only try of the second half, the ball was moved through the hands before Andrew flicked it over his head to Adrian Hamilton to go over in the corner but McKinney missed the conversion.

Wallace was sin binned on 58 minutes for not rolling away from the tackle and the Ravens were reduced to 13 men after Joyce was yellow carded following a flair up at a scrum.

Ayr made their numerical advantage count when prop Gordon Reid powered over from close range with Wight converting and they brought respectability to the score when replacement hooker Finlay Gillies went over from the final play with Wight converting.

Ulster Ravens: R Andrew, D Busby, S McCloskey, P Wallace, P Nelson, J McKinney, M Heaney,K McCall, P Jackson, R Lutton (Captain), M Rea, M Campbell, C Joyce, F Taggart, A Hamilton;

Replacements J Murphy, A Macklin, J Atkinson, D Dass, D Shanahan, R Adair, A Liddell

Ayr: G Anderson, R Dalgleish, R Fergusson, F Russell, R Curle, S Wight, Peter Jericevich,G Hunter, F Scott, D Rae, C Templeton, G Williamson, J Eddie, A Dunlop, P McCallum.

Replacements: F Gillies, G Reid, D Mutamangira, B Cogley, M McConnell, K Gossman, Craig Gossman.