Marr gain revenge with victory over Ayr/Wellington
By Duncan Beckwith
Young Marr team show green shoots for the future
With the Schools Cup and Conference fixtures completed before Christmas, Marr College U18s now enter into a series of friendlies with a number of quality fixtures. For the first game of the New Year the U18s entertained Ayr/Wellington. Both teams showed a number of changes from their earlier fixture in November when Ayr/Wellington emerged victorious. Marr used this fixture as an opportunity to blood a number of players with a number of fourth and fifth years playing their first match for the 1st XV.
Marr started brightly and put early pressure on the Ayr defence. Marr were awarded a penalty close to the Ayr line. Marr opted for a scrum and, from secure ball won, Ethan Reilly went over in the corner for the first score of the day. 5-0 to Marr.
For most of the first half the game was fairly even, though Marr perhaps had the slight edge with some good forward play Lee Fraser was also hitting some good lines and made numerous breaches of the Ayr defensive line. From a number of forward drives Marr then created space for Evan Light to go over in the corner for Marr's second unconverted try. 10-0 to Marr.
At the start of the second half Ayr seriously attacked the Marr line for the first time and after a period of sustained pressure went over for a converted try. 10-7 to Marr. Poor tackling by Marr allowed the Ayr standoff to go through under the posts for a second converted try and give Ayr the lead 14-10.
To Marr's credit they came back and from a quick tap penalty Jack Bray made a break and then fed Ethan Reilly to score under the posts. Beckwith kicked the conversion and Marr were back in the lead 17-14, The roles were reversed a few minutes later with Reilly making the break and feeding the ball to Bray who went over for the score successfully converted by Beckwith, 24-14 in Marr's favour.
Ayr had the final say in the match and after a penalty was kicked to the corner they drove the lineout maul and went over for a try to make the final score 24-19 to Marr.
A useful workout for both teams after the festive breakout and good to be able expose a number of players to the greater intensity of U18 rugby.