DETERMINED Ayr RFC fly-half Scott Lyle hopes Saturday's battling 19-6 triumph against derby rivals Marr Rugby will be a huge boost in their bid to retain the BT Premiership title.

However Marr captain Angus Johnston and head coach Craig Redpath are optimistic their side can bounce back from the defeat as they gear up to face the latter's former club Melrose on the road this coming Saturday.

The two teams went head-to-head in front of a bumper crowd of more than 1,000 on Saturday.

Lyle, who joined the Millbrae club in the summer said: "At the end of the day a win's a win, but we under-performed and know we can better. Credit to the Marr boys as they kept going go long, we probably thought we would have broken through before we did. We have some momentum with three wins in a row and hopefully we can pick up some more wins.

"Our aim is to retain the title. It was nice to score 12 points and keep the scoreboard ticking over."

Head coach Calum Forrester said: "There was an important defensive set at the end of the first half and Marr could have come away with something for that but we didn't."

They were also without seven key players and the coach said: "It shows the strength and depth of the squad. Young Paddy Dewhirst has his first start of the season but he did well and he and the number nine Harry Warr are just 19."

The Ayr coach was impressed with his opponents and said: "Full credit to Marr. It was a proper derby, which was good for rugby in the area. If we get crowds like this at all of these games it will encourage other people to come along. If we are at home and Marr are away they can watch us and if Marr are at home they can watch them."

Marr coach Craig Redpath was disappointed with some decisions and said: "We worked hard and defended well and showed a lot of desire and commitment, I'm unsure about some refereeing decisions. He penalised us for back chat and they were talking away. We had a penalty claim we didn't get but he gave them one under the posts. Richard Dalgleish was wide open to score at the posts before half-time but didn't take it.

"We need to re-group and it doesn't get any easier. It was a blow to lose Kyle Hatherall for a red card and we could miss him for a few weeks."

Skipper Angus Johnston said: "It was difficult going down to 14 men, but we battled and the fact they got the penalty try shows how well we played. We had our chances but weren't clinical enough. But we have things to build on although are not far away. We are at Melrose on Saturday and are looking to win."