AYR 44 HAWICK 41
Hawick showed resiliency, but a combination of questionable refereeing decisions and Ayr finding an extra gear late on ended with the Robbie Dyes falling 44-41.
The Greens still control their BT Premiership fate, but the threat of relegation is a very real possibility.
On Saturday afternoon at Millbrae, the visitors showed a large crowd that they will not go without a fight and have the mettle to stand toe-to-toe against one of the best sides in Scotland.
Hawick just couldn’t come up with the big defensive plays in the final quarter that were required to beat the upper-echelon team.
“We surprised ourselves with that performance,” said Matthew Douglas.
“I think there was a mix of a good attitude and them thinking they were in for an easy game with the news that we had a bunch of players missing.
“I think they took one look at the teamsheet and thought it was five points for them, but the boys showed up and we gave them a real game, which I think we should have won.
“Their supporters will probably agree we deserved to win”
Hawick fielded a side missing eight regular players due to a stag weekend in Barbados and played against a full-strength Ayr team featuring Glasgow Warriors star Djustice Sears-Duru.
In the face of such difficult circumstances the collective assurance and belief currently coursing through the Greens, who were six weeks ago wallowing in a four-game losing streak, is now a formidable challenge for any side – and from the opening minute they were not phased by any squad issues.
The Robbie Dyes played with at least a one-man disadvantage from the second quarter following Bruce Campbell’s early yellow card and were down to 14 men when Ayr managed to snatch victory in the closing stages.
The Greens, however, never wavered from their goal until the hosts, aided by questionable refereeing decisions in the final fifteen minutes, rose from the dead late on.
Leading 34-20 midway through the second half following scores from Bruce McNeil, Calum Mackintosh and a brace from Darcy Graham, with Kirk Ford adding three conversions and two penalties, Hawick were on course for a shock victory.
But a late rally from the hosts that included three tries in six minutes turned the game on its head.