Friday, 31 October 2014

Lowe in Scotland U20s training squad

Ayr's Gavin Lowe has been named in the thirty-six-strong Scotland under-20s squad for their training camp in November.

The youngsters will play a match against Boroughmuir at Murrayfield and then get the chance to train with the senior Scotland squad.

Read the full story here.

Gala v Ayr preview

Ayr go on their travels to the Borders tomorrow to face Gala in the BT Premiership.

After a great win over Gala's neighbours Melrose at Millbrae last Saturday, Ayr would have been in buoyant mood throughout the week but danger lurks at Netherdale.

"We are expecting another close encounter like there was earlier this season," says head coach Calum Forrester.  "We were delighted with the way we started against Melrose which was exactly the response that we were looking for following a disappointing display the week before.  This week we will be looking to build on that."

Forrester has chosen the same squad as last week, with Glasgow Warrior Jon Welsh again donning the pink and black shirt.

The only change is Andrew Dunlop swapping from the bench to the starting line-up in place of Will Bordill.  Bordill and Murray McConnell, also amongst the substitutes, have been named in the match day twenty-three for Warriors' Pro12 game tonight against Treviso.

15. Craig Gossman, 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Ross Curle, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Robbie Fergusson; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Stuart Fenwick, 3. Jon Welsh; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland, 6. Callum Templeton, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Blair Macpherson.

16. James Malcolm, 17. Fraser Watt, 18. Will Bordill, 19. Murray McConnell, 20. Kerr Gossman.

Kick-off 3pm!  Follow the scores live on Twitter.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ayr boys in Glasgow U18s and U16s squads v Caledonia

An unprecedented eleven Ayr players have been named in the Glasgow under-18s squad to face Caledonia at Murrayfield, kick-off 6pm.

Prop Kyle McNulty, second row Matthew Northcote, flanker Ross Hay, stand-off Paddy Dewhirst, centres Gregor Paxton and John McCorkindale, winger Sam Gray and full-back Mark Conlan all start, with Ruaridh Sayce, Gregor Lynch and Sam Graham taking their places on the bench.

Matt Davidson, Cameron Reece, Robbie Nicol and Calum Gaw start for Glasgow under-16s in their match against the Caledonia under-16s on Wednesday.

Good luck to all!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Player of the month poll for October now open!

It's time to vote for your player of the month for October!  Players who have made two or more match day squads for the men's first XV are listed. 

Last month's poll was a draw for the first time ever, with scrum-half David Armstrong and number eight Blair Macpherson securing the same number of votes.

The poll closes on Thursday morning at 10am and the winner will be announced soon after on Twitter, Facebook and our homepage.

Vote here.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Ayr 35 Melrose 17

The BT Premiership is shaping up to have more drama than an entire series of Downton Abbey.

Whilst ITV's Sunday night ratings winner is happy to let its plots plod along like a snail going uphill, Scotland's club rugby scene has twists and turns aplenty, with Ayr and Melrose two of the main characters pushing along the storylines at pace.

After last week's disheartening loss to Heriot's, it was hoped the men in pink and black would bounce back once they stepped on to their home turf against Melrose, and did they.  Barely had the whistle gone when the back row of Callum Templeton, Will Bordill and Blair Macpherson were throwing themselves around like men possessed.

Melrose were also in on the act, but took things too far when flanker Peter Eccles put in a high tackle on outside centre Ross Curle.  A few minutes later and Melrose got another ticking off, giving Curle his first chance at goal, with he duly took.  3-0.

The two sides each had a line-out and it was Ayr's which was the platform for the first try.  The ball flew through the hands of captain Dean Kelbrick and stand-off Danny McCluskey before being fired back to Kelbrick, who crossed the whitewash with eight minutes on the clock.  Curle converted.  10-0.

Two minutes later, and the home side was flying again.  A huge kick from scrum-half David Armstrong was deftly caught by Bordill and he set off full-back Craig Gossman, who found Curle and he was over the line before anyone knew what had happened.  He easily converted his own score.  17-0.

Melrose didn't let their heads go down, and a beautiful dummy from number eight Graham Dodds allowed him to make metres, but he was isolated and the Borderers knocked on a couple of phases later.

A squint line-out throw didn't help the visitors and Ayr were ready to pounce.  Gossman put his opposite number Fraser Thomson under pressure with a kick which, despite the Melrose man claiming it, ended up in Ayr hands.  Macpherson, second row Scott Sutherland, hooker Stuart Fenwick and McCluskey all had a go at getting over the line, but the latter was illegally prevented by winger George Taylor and he was sent to the sin bin at sixteen minutes.

This resulted in an easy penalty in front of the posts for Curle.  20-0.

There was hardly time for the players, never mind the crowd, to catch their breath and Ayr were off again.  Templeton stole a Melrose line-out and a few minutes later, used one of his big paws to casually pat aside winger Callum Anderson and outstrip the Melrose defence to sprint over for Ayr's third try.  Curle converted.  27-0.

The match then took an odd turn as it went from the ceaseless excitement of the first quarter to a period of at least ten minutes messing about at the scrum in Ayr's half.  The referee was not happy with the home side and prop George Hunter found himself yellow carded.

Melrose took advantage and wily prop Nick Beavon transferred his tricks from the scrum to open play and grabbed a try.   Joe Helps converted.  27-7.

Ayr moved play back in Melrose's half and after a couple of line-outs, a pile-up in the corner ensued.  The ball somehow spilled out and was tidied up by Ayr winger Richard Dalgleish.  Despite the best efforts of Curle, McCluskey and Kelbrick, they couldn't get over the line.

Melrose's line-out throw was again not straight, but they kept their composure and Thomson launched a promising-looking attack, with stand-off Austin Lockington in support.  He couldn't escape the clutches of the marauding Bordill, who clung on to his shirt. 

The visitors wouldn't be stopped though, and young flanker Neil Irvine Hess charged up the wing for a well-earned try.  It was unconverted.  27-12.

The torrential rain at the start of the second half quelled the excitement and both sides trundled back and forth for a few minutes before anything really happened.

Melrose looked threatening, stealing an Ayr line-out and Lockington was again charging around.  But they couldn't stop Hunter, who leapt on a kick charged down by second row Rob McAlpine at the back of a scrum, nicely caught the ball and sped over the line for the bonus-point try at forty-eight minutes.  Curle missed the conversion.  32-12.

Macpherson was putting in some big tackles and gaining Ayr a turnover but they were getting on the wrong side of the referee, sparking some hisses of dissatisfaction from the crowd. 

There was more disappointment at fifty-three minutes when Dodds crossed for an unconverted try for Melrose.  32-17.

Those were the last points for the visitors, although they didn't give up trying.  Thomson again led the way, but he was unceremoniously set on his backside by Gossman whenever he tried to breach the Ayr defence.

Dalgleish and his fellow winger Robbie Fergusson were also quick to snuff out any attacks, and Fergusson thought he was in for a try at one point only to be called back for a knock-on.

Replacement scrum-half Murray McConnell was buzzing around as usual, trying to cause havoc and his neat little kick almost did, but for Thomson managing to ground the ball before substitute Kerr Gossman could get to it. 

It was a good day all round for the bench, with James Malcolm, Fraser Watt and Andrew Dunlop making valuable contributions.

Melrose were either tiring or getting tired of being over-run and shut down, because the errors were ever-more prevalent.  They missed their kick for the corner when Ayr had infringed in their own half, booting the ball in the direction of the Burns Monument instead of the Brig a Doon Hotel.  They then knocked on when trying to catch Ayr's drop-out. 

Despite nice hands from Sutherland and Templeton, Ayr knocked on twice too.  Frustration spilled out on a couple of occasions, with the front rows squaring up to each other before the scrum was even set.

The match finished with Curle teeing up a penalty, despite grumblings from the crowd who were keen to see another try.  But the hard work had been done and Curle quickly slotted the kick before the whistle went.  35-17.

There's sure to be more dramatic goings-on next week when Ayr head to Netherdale to take on Gala, but for now they'll be delighted with a good win which puts them second in the BT Premiership table.

Final score: Ayr 35 Melrose 17.

- Elena Hogarth.

Man of the match Danny McCluskey receiving his bottle of Famous Grouse from head coach Calum Forrester.  Danny is sponsored by Boyd Digital.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Ayr v Melrose preview

Ayr face an extremely stern test tomorrow in round nine of the BT Premiership as they welcome Melrose to Millbrae.

Each team comes into the clash on the back of two very different results; Melrose swatted aside Gala and Ayr had something of a nightmare against Heriot's.  The Millbrae men have to be at their very best this week to overcome the visitors.

"We are under no illusion of the task in hand against a Melrose side full of confidence," says Ayr head coach Calum Forrester.  "We will need to front up in what is going to be a very physical encounter."

Although the squad is full of familiar faces, it has been shuffled around somewhat.  Craig Gossman starts at full-back whilst Robbie Fergusson takes the left wing berth, with Kerr Gossman moving on to the bench.

The front row is comprised of George Hunter, Stuart Fenwick and Glasgow Warrior Jon Welsh.  Returning from injury is the towering Robert McAlpine.  He teams up with Scott Sutherland in the second row, meaning Callum Templeton moves to blindside flanker.  Andrew Dunlop is also making a comeback from injury, taking his place amongst the substitutes.

15. Craig Gossman, 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Ross Curle, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Robbie Fergusson; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Stuart Fenwick, 3. Jon Welsh; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Callum Templeton, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Blair Macpherson.

16. James Malcolm, 17. Fraser Watt, 18. Andrew Dunlop, 19. Murray McConnell, 20. Kerr Gossman.

15. Fraser Thomson (capt), 14. Callum Anderson, 13. Tito Mua, 12. Joe Helps, 11. George Taylor; 10. Austin Lockington, 9. Murdo McAndrew; 1. Nick Beavon, 2. Richard Ferguson, 3. TBA; 4. James Head, 5. Lewis Carmichael; 6. Neil Irvine Hess, 7. Peter Eccles, 8. Graham Dodds.

16. Nicky Little, 17. Ross Miller, 18. Ruiri Knott, 19. Bruce Colvine, 20. Richard Mill.

Kick-off 3pm!  Follow the scores live on Twitter.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ayr boys in Glasgow U18 win at Murrayfield

There was a noticable Ayr presence in the Glasgow under-18s team who beat their Borders counterparts 17-15 at Murrayfield last night.

Sam Gray, Gregor Paxton, John McCorkindale, Kyle McNulty, Matthew Northcote and Ross Hay all started, whilst Ruaridh Sayce, Sam Graham and Paddy Dewhurst were on the bench.

Gray and Paxton were two of three try-scorers for Glasgow, with Nicholas Moore of St Aloysius the third.

Read the full story here.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Forrester recruits Fergus and Finn

Ayr head coach Calum Forrester has secured the services of his current charge Fergus Scott and former team-mate Finn Russell to help coach the University of Glasgow teams.

As well as taking the reins at Millbrae, Calum has been putting the students at Glasgow through their paces since last season, having taken over from former Ayr player Peter Jericevich.  With Fergus and Finn now helping out, the pink and black influence continues.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Heriot's v Ayr preview

Ayr travel to Goldenacre on Saturday to take on Heriot's with another British and Irish Lion in the line-up for a tough tie in the BT Premiership.

After Sean Maitland pulled on the pink and black shirt a fortnight ago, this time it's Ryan Grant who has been released by Glasgow Warriors to begin his injury comeback and makes up a new look front row along with James Malcolm and Stuart Fenwick.  His fellow Warrior Jon Welsh is on the bench, as are the returning Will Bordill and Craig Gossman.

Murray McConnell starts at scrum-half and Robbie Fergusson takes the full-back berth in place of the injured Grant Anderson.

Head coach Calum Forrester was pleased with Ayr's defensive efforts last week in their win over Currie and knows that his team will have to be just as good again this Saturday.

"Heriot's are one of the most dangerous attacking sides in the league," he says.  "They showed from their result last week that they will keep fighting to the end, so we will need to be more clinical in attack and take advantage of the few opportunities that will come our way."

15. Robbie Fergusson, 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Ross Curle, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. Ryan Grant, 2. James Malcolm, 3. Stuart Fenwick; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Graham Fisken, 7. Ben Johnston, Blair Macpherson.

16. George Hunter, 17. Jon Welsh, 18. Will Bordill, 19. David Armstrong, 20. Craig Gossman.

15. Glenn Bryce, 14. Harry Boisseau, 13. Liam Steele, 12. Rory Carmichael, 11. Charlie Simpson; 10. Gregor McNeish, 9. Graham Wilson; 1. Nathan Borel, 2. Davy McGregor, 3. Struan Cessford; 4. Russell Nimmo, 5. Ben Toolis; 6. Jono Armstrong, 7. Jack Turley (capt), 8. Jason Hill.

16. Blair Couper, 17. Gavin Cameron, 18. Joe Naya, 19. Jack McLean, 20. Stuart Edwards.

Kick-off 3pm!

Ayr on West FM

Last week, first XV player Robbie Fergusson and assistant coach Glen Tippett popped into West FM to chat about upcoming fixtures and Robbie's return to rugby after his successful treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Listen to a short clip of Robbie talking to Fiona Shields here.

Every week, someone from Ayr RFC will be on West FM to discuss the previous weekend's match and preview the next game.  Listen out for club president Billy McHarg in the next couple of days!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Ayr 20 Currie 11

Ayr again had a slow first half but rallied to overcome Currie in week seven of the BT Premiership and move into second place on the table.

Currie have been Ayr's banana skin team in the past few seasons, usually at Malleny Park, their ground in Edinburgh, but their tenacity at Millbrae yesterday showed they can be just as much of a handful away from home.

They were on the charge, and it was only some flying tackles from Ayr's returning second row Callum Templeton and centre Ross Curle that closed them down.

Just like last week, Ayr's discipline was a worry and Currie centre Joe Reynolds had a kick at goal at ten minutes, which he missed.

Ayr gave themselves a shake and got stuck in, scrum-half David Armstrong taking a superb high ball, flanker Graham Fisken rising to the occasion in the line-out and prop George Hunter blasting his way through defenders.
Teenage flanker Ben Johnston cantered through a gap in Currie's defence at seventeen minutes, flipping the ball on to Curle, who deftly took it off his bootlaces, and he found winger Richard Dalgleish ready and waiting to dive over in the corner for Ayr's first try.  The conversion angle was too wide for full-back Grant Anderson.  5-0.

Currie replied a few minutes later when Reynolds got a second shot at the sticks.  5-3.

Despite good handling from Templeton and his second row partner Scott Sutherland, the game entered a rather boring period of kicking until Currie decided they had had enough and wanted to run it.  They couldn't out-run Fisken and Curle though, who snuffed out the attack as it crept increasingly closer to Ayr's line.

Ayr wobbled at twenty-five minutes though, giving away another penalty which Reynolds slotted.  5-6.

Four minutes later, Reynolds had yet another chance but missed.

Number eight Blair Macpherson, winger Kerr Gossman and hooker Stuart Fenwick livened things up for the home team, but there was no way through Currie's solid defence.
Their right winger Fidias Efthymiou had been itching to make his mark on the game from the start, and he got his opportunity as he sprinted off up the touchline, but Gossman quickly tracked him down and forced him off the pitch.

Urged on by some incomprehensible gutteral shouts from stand-off James Semple, Efthymiou and flanker Malcolm Peacock launched another attack, which was extinguished this time by Ayr captain Dean Kelbrick.
The ever-robust Anderson was also involved in containing Currie, but injured himself in the process, and as he was escorted off the pitch by the medical team towards the end of the first half, Robbie Fergusson made his return to competitive rugby after fighting and beating Hodgkin Lymphoma.  There has probably never been a cheer like it at Millbrae as he ran on.

An unsuccessful penalty attempt by Curle was the only other incident of note in the first half.

Ayr were certainly fired up at the resumption of play, replacement scrum-half Murray McConnell headed for the tryline, as was Fergusson.  It was Curle, though, who shot over after a slick pass from Kelbrick, and he converted his own score.  12-6.

Curle added a penalty a few minutes later.  15-6.

Both teams mirrored each other slightly for a period, each knocking on after working hard to secure possession.  It was Ayr who mopped up a Currie mistake to their advantage, letting Curle, Templeton and Gossman loose and eventually Fenwick tried to wrestle his way over the line, but he was well wrapped up. 

A couple of Ayr scrums followed and Macpherson looked to be over at sixty minutes, when Currie captain Ross Weston was summarily sent to the sin bin for illegally interfering.
Shortly after Weston's dismissal, Dalgleish was flying up the wing for a try when an excellent double tackle forced the ball from his hands just as he was about to touch down.

More tedious kicking threatened to lull the supporters into an afternoon nap, but they quickly woke up when Fergusson, arms outstretched like someone was about to lob a sack of tatties at him, caught a Currie kick and shot off on a fifty-metre run.  He could only chip ahead as two defenders looked to close him down, but the fans loved seeing the young man raring to go.

With ten minutes to go, a solid Ayr scrum provided the platform to fire the ball out wide to Kelbrick, who dived over in the corner for the third try of the day.  The conversion attempt by Curle was unsuccessful.  20-6.
Ayr were keen for more, with McConnell fighting his way out of his own half and Fenwick selling a terrific dummy, but Currie were managing to pin them back.  A burst by Fisken made the difference and Ayr made metres, but Currie turned them over.

Efthymiou was again the danger man for the visitors, but Fisken and Hunter had him under control.  However, Reynolds was Currie's point-scorer for the day and he added a try to his tally at the end.  He may have been distracted by the entire Ayr team charging at him as he attempted to convert.  20-11.

The referee blew the whistle to bring the tricky encounter to a close, and although they missed the four-try bonus point, Ayr will have been glad to get through it and leapfrog Heriot's, whom they face next week, in the BT Premiership table.

Final score: Ayr 20 Currie 11.

- Elena Hogarth.

Photos by Rob Hardie of Touchline Images.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Ayr v Currie preview

Ayr welcome Currie to Millbrae on Saturday for the men in pink and black's fourth home game of this season's BT Premiership.

Although Ayr had a heartening away win over Boroughmuir last weekend, head coach Calum Forrester knows his team will need to get out of the blocks quicker tomorrow.

"Matches between Ayr and Currie have been hard-fought physical encounters recently and we cannot afford to start this week the way that we started last."

He adds: "Ben (Cairns, Currie head coach) has a well-drilled side and we will need to be at our best on Saturday."

The players' minds will no doubt be firmly on the match, but for everyone else involved at Millbrae, the return of Robbie Fergusson will be at the forefront of their thoughts ahead of this fixture.  The twenty-one-year-old was due to play his first game for the second XV last week after his successful treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma but the match was called off.  Now he's named on the bench to face Currie tomorrow.

"Robbie has been an inspiration to everyone who knows him with his positive attitude and the determination he has shown to get through the past eight months," says Forrester, "and he has looked as sharp as ever in training."

Also making comebacks are Ross Curle, who starts at outside centre, with Richard Dalgleish moving to the wing, and Callum Templeton, who partners Scott Sutherland in the second row.

George Hunter and Stuart Fenwick start at prop and hooker respectively and Glasgow Warriors have released Murray McConnell, who takes his place amongst the substitutes.

15. Grant Anderson, 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Ross Curle, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Stuart Fenwick, 3. Fraser Watt; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Graham Fisken, 7. Ben Johnston, 8. Blair Macpherson.

16. James Malcolm, 17. D'arcy Rae, 18. Craig Brown, 19. Murray McConnell, 20. Robbie Fergusson.

15. Matt McPhillips, 14. Fidias Efthymiou, 13. Richie Vernon, 12. Joe Reynolds, 11. Ruaridh Smith; 10. James Semple, 9. Richard Sneddon; 1. John Cox, 2. Matt Goodwin, 3. Alistair Hamilton; 4. Romain Denonain, 5. Jamie Gray; 6. Mike Vernel, 7. Malcolm Peacock, 8. Ross Weston (capt).

16. Graeme Carson, 17. Mike Erskine, 18. Travis Brooke, 19. Marko Mladenovic, 20. Chris Logan.

Kick-off 3pm!  Follow live scores on Twitter.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ten in Glasgow U18s and U16s squads

Ayr have several players in the Glasgow under-18s and under-16s squads for their fixtures against their Edinburgh counterparts at the weekend at Netherdale.

Kyle McNulty, Matthew Northcote, Ross Hay, Sam Gray, Gregor Paxton, Gregor Lynch and Sam Graham will line up on Sunday at 5pm for the Warriors under-18s, whilst Calum Gaw, Cameron Reece and Matt Davidson will take part in the under-16s match at 3.30pm.

Northcote, Hay and Paxton were yesterday named in the Scotland under-18s training camp squad for next week, so it will be a busy few days for them.

Good luck to all!

Youngsters in Scotland U18s squad

Ayr youngsters Ross Hay, Matthew Northcote and Gregor Paxton have been named in the forty-two-strong Scotland under-18s squad for an upcoming training camp.

They will be joined by Aaron Tait, now of Merchiston Castle School, for four days of training at Loretto School next week, led by Scotland under-18 head coach Eddie Pollock.

Read the full story here.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Chris Paterson takes kicking tutorial

Scottish rugby legend Chris Paterson dropped into Millbrae on Monday evening to give the youngsters a kicking lesson.

The stars of the future listened with rapt attention as he shared his goal kicking tips and they will surely be put to good use at the weekend.

Ayr Ladies draw Glasgow Uni in Cup 1st round

The first round of the Sarah Beaney Cup was decided today and Ayr Ladies will face Glasgow University on Sunday 26th October in a home tie.

The two sides are no strangers to each other after competing in the same league last season, and the Ladies also beat the Badgers in the RBS Women's Bowl quarter-final. 

Read the full story here.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Boroughmuir 16 Ayr 34

Ayr scored five tries to beat Boroughmuir at Meggatland in week six of the BT Premiership.

Whilst the visitors were simmering away nicely in the second half, they were a bit undercooked in the first.  Ayr's infringements didn't help their cause and there were only two minutes on the clock when Boroughmuir's stand-off Graeme Blackhall kicked a penalty.  3-0.

Ayr held firm at the set pieces and when Boroughmuir were launching attacks from the likes of centre Chris Hardie, Blair Macpherson, Kerr Gossman and Danny McCluskey were on hand to put a stop to it.

However, at ten minutes, they were penalised for not releasing and Blackhall stepped up to the tee again.  6-0.

After a couple of knocks-on from both sides, Ayr gained the possession and quickly moved to within five metres of the tryline.  But Glasgow Warriors' Sean Maitland's pass found no-one.

There was a lengthy stoppage as Ayr prop Nick Cox was unfortunately stretchered off with a broken ankle.  He was replaced by Stuart Fenwick.

Ayr had a chance to get on the scoreboard and full-back Grant Anderson successfully kicked a penalty.  6-3.

Boroughmuir were in attacking mode again, with prop Simon Bergham rumbling ominously close to Ayr's line, but Gossman got there in time to haul him to the ground.

Further knocks-on occurred before a great take at the line-out from flanker Graham Fisken allowed Fenwick and centre Richard Dalgleish to charge head-first into the home defence, but alas nothing came of their hard work. 

Some chat from Boroughmuir irritated the referee and he sent them back ten metres, and Ayr had a scrum on their five-metre line, although the ball somehow ended up in blue and green hands.

Despite a steal at the line-out and some great work from Glasgow Warriors' hooker Dougie Hall, Ayr were twice penalised for holding on. 

Boroughmuir were roaring themselves on, but perhaps got a bit over-excited as they knocked-on again and later threw a wonky ball at the line-out.  The ensuing scrum for Ayr allowed them to trundle to the tryline and after showing great patience, Anderson nipped over in the corner.  He converted his own score.  6-10.

At the start of the second half, Hall was again making metres and Gossman got his hands on the ball, fought his way up the wing and scored in the corner.  Anderson couldn't manage the wide conversion.  6-15.

Boroughmuir worked their way out of their own half and a great break from replacement prop Cal Davies, backed up by winger Frank Yawayawa and scrum-half Johnny Adams, almost resulted in a try but for a determined tackle by Ayr's scrum-half David Armstrong.

Ayr retained possession for the next few minutes and captain Dean Kelbrick led the attack, bashing his way through and over the Boroughmuir defenders.  A pile-up on the line followed but the home team turned over and cleared. 

Boroughmuir weren't giving Maitland any space at all but their own mistakes were helping the visitors along.  A kick straight out gave Ayr a line-out in a nice position and a blast from Macpherson gave Anderson the chance to skip over for his second try, which he converted.  6-22.

There were uncontested scrums for the rest of the match after a clash of heads forced Fenwick off to get stitched up. 

Ayr showed ambition and speed in their quest for a four-try bonus point but it wasn't to materialise just yet.  They had Yawayawa to contain and more personnel changes to deal with as Maitland gave way to Cameron Taylor and second row Graham Williamson was replaced by Craig Brown.

Boroughmuir demonstrated their ambition too, as they refused to lie down and roll over.  They bided their time in Ayr's half, spotted a gap in the defence and full-back Ian Martin raced through it for their first try.  He couldn't convert it.  11-22.

There was another long break in play as Ayr lost their third front row player of the afternoon, with Fraser Watt treated for a neck injury.  He thankfully was able to get up and walk off the field, and was replaced by Tom Hiddleston.

A back coming on for a prop didn't seem to upset Ayr too much, as Armstrong whipped the ball out of an uncontested scrum and fired it to Macpherson who ran over for that all-important fourth try.  Anderson got the conversion.  11-29.

Again, the home team came back at Ayr, this time number eight Magnus Bradbury escaping the clutches of the defenders to cross the whitewash.  Martin's conversion attempt was wide.  16-29.

There was time for one last attack from Ayr as they turned Boroughmuir over and Fisken, Dalgleish, Taylor and Hiddleston showed brilliantly quick hands to send Gossman over for his second and Ayr's fifth try.  Anderson's drop-kick conversion attempt was unsuccessful.  16-34.

No matter, as the whistle went for full-time and Ayr and their supporters could go home happy.

Final score: Boroughmuir 16 Ayr 34.

- Elena Hogarth.

Photos courtesy of Dave Patterson.

Robbie in today's Scotsman

Robbie Fergusson talks to Gary Heatly in today's sports section of the Scotsman.  The twenty-one-year-old discusses his treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma and his return to playing after six months.

Robbie turns out for the second XV today against Boroughmuir and everyone is very happy to see him fit and well.

Read the full story here.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Boroughmuir v Ayr preview

Ayr welcome Scotland international and British and Irish Lion Sean Maitland into the team for a tricky encounter with Boroughmuir at Meggatland in week six of the BT Premiership.

Boroughmuir are currently mid-table and recorded a heartening win over Melrose in week three, so cannot be underestimated.  After a close call against Edinburgh Accies at Millbrae last weekend, head coach Calum Forrester knows Ayr will need to up their game in the capital. 

"We were not clinical enough in attack last week and we wasted a number of opportunities to score. We will need to be more accurate at Meggetland where chances to score will be limited," he says.   "Boroughmuir will be looking to bounce back after losses in recent weeks, so we are expecting another hard battle this weekend."

As well as Maitland pulling on the pink and black, his Glasgow Warriors team-mate Dougie Hall again turns out for Ayr after a strong performance last week.  George Hunter is travelling with the Warriors this weekend, so his place in the front row is taken by a returning Nick Cox.

Kerr Gossman has recovered from injury and lines up on the wing with Maitland, and Danny McCluskey starts at stand-off.

On the bench, Craig Brown returns and Stuart Fenwick takes Cox's spot.


15. Grant Anderson, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Richard Dalgleish, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. Nick Cox, 2. Dougie Hall, 3. Fraser Watt; 4. Graham Williamson, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Graham Fisken, 7. Ben Johnston, 8. Blair Macpherson.


16. James Malcolm, 17. Stuart Fenwick, 18. Craig Brown, 19. Cameron Taylor, 20. Tom Hiddleston.

Kick-off 3pm!  You can follow live scoring on Twitter.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Fireworks Night on Fri 7th Nov

The best fireworks show in Ayrshire takes place on Friday 7th November at Millbrae and is definitely not to be missed. 

Fiona Shields of West FM will be master of ceremonies for the evening, which begins at 7pm.  The bonfire will be lit at 7.30pm and the fireworks display then commences at 8pm.

Entry is £5 and under-5s go free!  All welcome!