Jordan Preston double helps Ayr take commanding play-off lead
Jordan Preston scored in each half as Ayr claimed a comfortable 4-1 advantage over Peterhead in the first leg of this Championship play-off semi-final at Balmoor.
Michael Donald got the away side off the mark after 18 minutes as he floated a shot from just outside the 18-yard box into the bottom corner to hand the Honest Men the advantage.
Ayr almost doubled their lead midway through the first half but Robbie Crawford's effort struck the upright and instead Leighton McIntosh levelled matters at the other end as his right-footed shot found the target for his 14th goal this season.
But the visitors restored their slim lead four minutes before the break as Blackburn loanee Preston picked out the bottom corner from the right of the penalty box.
Patrick Boyle set up Preston for his second as the hour mark approached, the 20-year-old striker firing into the top corner from outside the box.
And Robbie Crawford made it four from close range with 15 minutes remaining to give Peterhead a mountain to climb in Saturday's second leg.