Ayr 23 Doncaster Knights 17

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KNIGHTS bowed out of the British & Irish Cup after a below par performance in Scotland.

Lynn Howells’ young side produced a disjointed showing - although they weren’t helped by a series of injury blows - as they were dumped out of the competition by the Scottish Premiership outfit.

PJ Gidlow suffered a broken arm and both Oli Denton and Paul Devlin went off injured to add to Doncaster’s woes .

The Knights started the winner-takes-all Pool D clash brightly but could not turn their possession into points, before Ayr scored with their first real foray forward.

Mark Stewart surged through a gap in the Doncaster defence to touch down and further tries from Damien Kelly and Ross Curle gave the hosts a 17-3 advantage at the break, with a Christian Lewis-Pratt penalty all that Howells’ men had to show for their efforts.

Things quickly got worse at the start of the second period as Denton, Devlin and Gidlow were all forced to leave the field.

And it wasn’t until late in the game that Ed Jackson and Steve Lawrie scored for Doncaster to raise hopes of a comeback.

But two Curle penalties kept Ayr’s noses in front and meant they became the first Scottish side to ever reach the last eight of the cross-border competition.

* For more Knights news see this week’s Free Press.