It was a disappointing afternoon for the Ayrshire Bulls, who fell the wrong side of a close 20-29 clash with the Southern Knights. Neither side were able to keep leads for the first hour with momentum batting back and forth, before the visitors wrangled control in the final stages to secure victory.

Talking after final whistle, Peter Murchie believed his team were in good stead the second half and was frustrated his men lost control: “We got ourselves into a winning position at 20-17 and then we let it slip from there. We made way too many mistakes today”. The Southern Knights started the season losing five games on the bounce before finding their groove at the turn of the year. Peter Murchie was able to find positives in their turn of form: “We have lost our mojo a little bit… There is no magic wand to get your form back but look at the Knights. “We just have to drive high standards. First things first we have to win the game at Boroughmuir (Saturday 15th) and we’ll worry about what comes after that later”. It was the Knights who struck first. Referee Sam Grove-White deemed a rolling maul was brought down illegally resulting in a penalty try. Blair Macpherson, the guilty man, was sent to the sin bin for the act. Despite being a man down the Bulls mustered a quick ten points. Sam Kitchen dove over from a line-out drive before a Ross Thompson conversion and penalty pulled them in front. As Macpherson returned David Armstrong left. The scrum half was pinged for a high tackle on Knights winger Patrick Anderson, resulting in a yellow. Struan Hutchison chalked up the game moments later from the tee. After half an hour played Thompson’s boot was back bagging points. The ten capitalised from the tee after Macpherson did well to force a turnover in front of the posts. The Borderer’s regained the lead just before the interval. A breakaway score courtesy of Neil Irvine-Hess put them in front, before Hutchison stretched the lead with the conversion. Half-time: Ayrshire Bulls 13-17 Southern Knights. After a long stoppage for an injury to Irvine-Hess, Sam Kitchen was back in to score. The FOSROC Super6’s leading try scorer secured his seventh of the season with a bull-dozing carry from the back of a ruck. Thompson’s conversion made it 20-17. Kitchen’s brace concluded the Bulls’ scoring. The Knights took the lead when replacement Conor Young broke through the line after 55 minutes. With 15 left to play Ciaran White was first on the scene to a hacked grubber over the try line, to seal the tie. Full-time: Ayrshire Bulls 20-29 Southern Knights. The Bulls will seek redemption next weekend when they travel to Meggatland to face Boroughmuir. The action gets underway at 15.00.