Friday, 23 March 2018

BT Premiership Semi-Final Preview

Tomorrow Ayr travel to Malleny Park to face Currie Chieftains in the BT Premiership semi-final.

The last two contests between Currie and Ayr have been nail-biters. The teams last faced-off at the end of 2017 when Currie inched a 12-14 victory at Millbrae, with the time before that an injury time winner for Ayr in the BT Cup.

Ayr will take confidence in their 10, Scott Lyle, who picked up BT Premiership Golden Boot last weekend. In the backs Rory Hughes starts at 14 after being released to play by the Glasgow Warriors. Also returning is former Millbrae man Robbie Fergusson, who is freed up by Scotland 7s.

In the pack skipper Peter McCallum returns from injury alongside fellow back-rower Tommy Spinks. George Hunter moves into the second row for the injured Scott Sutherland. 

On the bench Paddy Dewhirst and Matt Davidson return to BT Premiership action after international duty with Scotland U-20s and U-19s, respectively.

Spaces are still available on the supporters bus heading to Malleny Park at 12.30 tomorrow. Contact the clubhouse on 01292 441944 to book your spot.

Squad: G. Anderson, R. Hughes, R. Fergusson, F. Climo, C. Gossman, S. Lyle, D. Armstrong; R. Hislop, L. Anderson, S. Longwell, G. Hunter, R. McAlpine, B. Macpherson, T. Spinks,  P. McCallum (C) 

Subs: D. Young, J. Agnew, M. Badenhorst, G. Stokes, H. Warr, P. Dewhirst, M. Davidson. 

On Sunday the U-18s are in Youth Cup Final action at BT Murrayfield against Stirling County. A replay of last years final, Ayr are calling on their supporters to paint the national stadium pink and green. You can book your spot on the supporters bus via the clubhouse. 

U-18s squad: C. Black, C. Easton, T. Lanni, H. Lynch (C), J. Jacobson, J. Rennie, J. Gaw; J. McDougall, S. Clelland, C. Miller, D. Bryce, S. McLarty, M. Wyllie, O. Mossie, K. Borland.

Subs: M. Field, J. Finnie, B. Cree, D. Tucker, J. McIntyre, A. Morrison, R. Maiden. 

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Turn Malleny Pink and Black

Ayr will be running a bus to Malleny Park on Saturday 24th of March for the BT Premiership semi-final against Currie Chieftains.

With the boys on the cusp of yet another premiership final we are calling all fans to get on the M8 and turn Malleny pink and black.

The price of a seat on the bus is £10 with the departure time still TBC. 

To book your place before spaces run out or to find out more contact Colin at the bar on 01292 441 944.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Watsonians 17-27 Ayr

Ayr secured third spot in the league on Saturday with a 17-27 away victory over Watsonians. The win means on the 24th Ayr will face Currie Chieftains at Malleny Park in the BT Premiership semi-final.

On the occasion of his 100th appearance, Craig Gossman lead the team onto the pitch at Myreside. In dreary conditions Ayr fired out of the blocks and after a minute got an opportunity for points, but Scott Lyle missed a tricky penalty kick in daunting conditions.

Horizontal rain and swirling winds plagued the contest and done its best to prevent free flowing rugby but that didn't stop Ayr from conjuring up some magic on the 6th minute for the opening try. Scott Lyle nailed a cross-field kick to Grant Anderson out wide, Anderson then played a crafty chip infield which landed in the hands of Frazier Climo. From there it was an easy run in for the score. Lyle's conversion made it 0-7.

The barrage didn't stop there. From a penalty Scott Lyle sent the ball into the corner and Jonny Agnew capitalised in the next phase. After just ten minutes Ayr lead the home side 0-14.

Watsonians weren't going to give up third place without a fight however and four minutes later a weaving run from Michael Allen carved through the defence and over the line. Ali Harris converted to scrape the deficit back to 7.

Ten minutes later Watsonians received a blow picking up two yellows in as many minutes. Lyle took advantage of the later penalty to add three onto the lead. 7-17.

Despite down to 13, the home side tightened their defence and earned a penalty with only a few minutes left in the half. Harris made no mistake making it 10-17 at the interval.

Watsonians started the second half with a full squad once again and managed to strike first. A Sean Crombie try was converted by Harris to tie it all up.

After the score James Armstrong made way for James Pinkerton, marking his 1st XV debut.

All season long Ayr have benefitted from a dominant pack at scrum time and Saturday was no different. After multiple scrum-penalties deep in Watsonians' 22 Ayr broke and charged for the line. Steven Longwell has earned a reputation for being dangerous from close range and lived up to expectation, powering over to regain the lead. Lyle added the extras to make it 17-24.

With an hour played Scott Lyle stretched the lead to more than one possession with a routine penalty kick. With 20 minutes left to play Watsonians now found themselves down ten points and losing grasp of their third spot. They looked in a good position to build an attack with ten to play but Ayr wouldn't budge. George Stokes was paramount in Ayr's defence, popping up everywhere in the defensive line.

With eight minutes left Cameron Reece made his Ayr debut, replacing try scorer Jonny Agnew.

Watsonians last real attack was once again snuffed out. A dangerous driving maul was ground to a halt by Ayr's forwards- winning a scrum and regaining possession.

Full-time: Watsonians 17-27 Ayr.

In a game where both side had to battle the elements as much as each other it was Ayr's steely resolve that showed, snatching third place with conviction.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Gossman Set for Centurion Club

Tomorrow BT Premiership action resumes with Ayr away to Watsonians in the last game of the regular season.

With play-offs secured for the Millbrae Men tomorrow's result dictates whether Ayr finish in third or fourth heading into the semi-finals.

With many players away with Scotland U20s and some on the sidelines Calum Forrester has selected a new-look XV which will aim to rectify the errors of the home defeat to Watsonians last year.

Craig Gossman is starting in his familiar 11 jersey and is set to join Ayr's Centurion Club with Saturday his 100th appearance in the Pink and Black.

With Pete McCallum and Tommy Spinks missing to injury Blair Macpherson and George Hunter switch to back row- with Grant Anderson picking up captaincy. James Armstrong comes inside to 13 after an impressive home debut on the wing last time out. Jamie Bova comes in at 14 for Matt Davidson who is travelling to Ireland with Scotland U20s.

On the bench Cameron Reece and James Pinkerton could be set for their debut's after being called up from the second XV.

1st XV Squad: G. Anderson (C), J. Bova, J. Armstrong, F. Climo, C. Gossman, S. Lyle, D. Armstrong; R. Hislop, L. Anderson, S. Longwell, J. Agnew, R. McAlpine, G. Hunter, G. Stokes, B. Macpherson.

Subs: S. Collier, M. Badenhorst, C. Reece, H. Warr, J. Pinkerton

The game kicks off at 3.30pm and you can follow the action every step of the way on Twitter @OfficialAyrRFC

Millbrae are also in action tomorrow. They face Clydebank away from home at 12.30pm.

Photo: George McMillian

Monday, 5 March 2018

Playoff Place Secured

With the Beast from the East plaguing most of the weekends action Ayr's interest was at the Oriam where Heriots and Currie faced off in Scotland's first indoor senior rugby match.

Despite a fast start from Heriots to take a two-try lead early on Chieftains powered on to secure a 19-47 victory.

The result means that Ayr go into this weeks rescheduled fixture against Watsonians with a play-off place already secured. The 'Millbrae Men' currently sit in fourth, but a victory on Saturday would result in both sides swapping positions and Ayr would enter the playoffs as third seed.

This ultimately decides who Ayr face in the semi-finals. A loss on Saturday means Melrose at the Greenyards whilst a win would mean Currie away.

The game at Myreside is this Saturday with KO time still TBC. If you cant make it to the capital you can follow the action every step of the way on Twitter @OfficialAyrRFC.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Action Postponed

What was shaping up to be a busy weekend for all in pink and black has now drawn to a standstill.

The infamous "Beast from the East" snow clouds which have plagued most of the country for the last couple of days has hindered the weekend's action, with all Ayr games now postponed.

Ayr's 1s and 2s were set for action in the capital with Watsionians but due to the ten-inch blanket over Myreside action has been rearranged to March 10.

Even BT Murrayfield couldn't escape the weather with the U-18s Youth Cup Final on Saturday being postponed. Scottish Rugby will announce the rearranged date in the near future.