Stirling County's depleted squad made the journey to the seaside to play the league leaders, and as expected found it tough-going at Millbrae. County were without back row regulars Tim Clarke, Robbie Boswell and Bengi Bersanti all side-lined through injury, elite development players Adam Ashe and Sean Kennedy and professional-draft backs Byron McGuigan and Troy Nathan were also unavailable, whilst Rory Hughes was not released from Scotland Sevens preparation. County brought back Steve Swindall, Dave Maw and Graham Lindsay, with Adam de ste Croix and Matt Lamb making the starting line-up for the first time this season.

Colin Hutton, Josh Forrester and Ruaridh Leishman were called up to the bench.

A much changed County side put Ayr under early pressure, with Brian Archibald stroking over a third minute penalty after Ayr were adjudged not to release in the tackle.

The homeside responded when Callum Forester scored in the right corner to give Ayr a 5 - 3 advantage after 8 minutes.

Ayr quickly added to their lead with a Peter Jercevich penalty on 20 minutes after County failed to roll-away from the tackle, and six minutes later Robbie Ferguson left the County defence floundering once again to score his side's second try, giving Ayr a 13 - 3 lead.

Colin Hutton came on for Raby at prop, and County finished the first half the stronger side and Garry Mountford dived over to touch down on the line for a try converted by Archibald to reduce the deficit to 13 - 10 on the half-hour mark.

Six minutes later, County's defence on half-way pressed Ayr into a loose pass which was intercepted by Matt Lamb, and the winger sped 50 yards to score under the posts, with the try converted by Archibald to give County a 17 - 13 lead at the break.

Steve Gillies replaced Archibald at half-time, and the backs re-shuffled with Graham Lindsay moving to inside centre.

County kept Ayr pinned back in their own 22 for the first ten minutes of the second period, but couldn't find the final pass to unlock the home defence. the defining moment of the match came when second-row forward Deacons was yellow-carded for coming into the side of a ruck in Ayr's 22, and County paid the penalty by losing two tries when down to 14 men.

Ayr now led 25 - 17 and that secured a fourth-try bonus point for the Millbrae men.

The hard-working Swindall went off injured before Graham Fisken dived over to score Ayr's fifth try converted by Jercevich securing the win for Ayr.

On 74 minutes Ayr's Craig Gossman scored a solo try converted by Jercevich to complete the scoring. Head Coach Graeme Young will be hoping to have a number of key players back in action next week when County are at home to Aberdeen Grammar in their next Premiership match - kick-off at Bridgehaugh is 3pm.