It was only about half-an-hour before the YM left Hawick for Ayrshire when word eventually came through that the Kilmarnock pitch was playable. And after only three minutes of the game, the Redskins were left wishing it had been called off as the hosts ran in a try from the very first play and, seconds later, captain Stephen Hill sustained a serious shoulder injury that saw him hospitalized and will keep him out for the season.
YM finally clicked into gear after a quarter-of-an-hour when Ryan Hogg rounded off an excellent move from a scrum. Stuart Graham picking the ball from the base before setting the backs in motion. And when John Coutts glided past the Killie defence, Hogg was on his shoulder to take the pass and score. Ali Weir kicked the conversion and YM were 7-5 in front.
Five minutes later, birthday boy Chris Ritson was rather fortunate to extend the Redskins’ lead. A long, looping pass found McLeod in midfield and when the ball reached Ritson, who had Desport outside him, he chose to chip the ball over Killie heads, much to the consternation of his coach. But the ball bounced in his favour and he fell over the line for the touchdown.
Ali Weir kicked the conversion and also slotted two penalties, while Kilmarnock added a penalty of their own, to take the half-time score to 20-8 in the Reds’ favour.
YM were chasing the vital bonus point, and first to score in the second half was Steven Mabon with a brilliant try which involved some great passing between both backs and forwards. Glyn Desport tearing down the wing and when the ball found Coutts, he then fed Garry Douglas who looped a spectacular pass to McCracken. The latter, in turn, found Mabon who went over with men to spare outside him.
The bonus-point try came courtesy of Coutts and, five minutes later, McCracken was on hand to intercept a pass to send Rory Scott in unopposed. The final touchdown went to Coutts who bagged his second score to take the Skins to 44-8. Weir was again on target with both conversions.
The final twelve minutes were Kilmarnock’s after some questionable tackling techniques left the visitors with only 14 players and no fit subs. And in this time the hostrs ran in two converted tries to make the score a bit more respectable. Man of the match, chosen by the YM committee, was Rory Scott.
With three games to go, two of which are at home, 12 points will land YM a second consecutive title.