Saturday, 28 November 2015

Aberdeenshire Quines v Ayr Ladies preview

It will be an early start for Ayr Ladies on Sunday as they travel north to take on Aberdeenshire Quines in the BT Women's National League Division 1.

There will be no complaints from the players, though, as they're champing at the bit to get back to action after three postponed matches in a row.  But they will be ready for the challenge of the Quines after some dedicated training over the past few weeks.

The squad is bolstered by the return of Emily Irving from Scotland duty in Spain, and she partners stand-off Catherine Shennan at half-back.  Laura Turner starts at prop, and there's a mixture of speed and strength on the bench.

Ayr Ladies:
15. Samantha Morrison; 14. Lauren McBride, 13. Linsey Bunten, 12. Kelsey Swift, 11. Erin McSorley; 10. Catherine Shennan, 9. Emily Irving; 1. Laura Turner, 2. Lisa Croniken, 3. Louise McLauchlan; 4. Phoebe McDowall, 5. Sarah Paterson; 6. Rachael Mulholland, 7. Lynsey Turner, 8. Lynda Morgan.

16. Lindsay Dick, 17. Michelle Nelson, 18. Nattalie Rooney, 19. Sarah P Paterson, 20. Lisa Main.

Kick-off 2pm!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Millbrae men in Warriors squad

Ayr tyros Ali Price and James Malcolm have been named on the bench for Glasgow Warriors' Guinness Pro12 clash with Treviso at Scotstoun on Friday evening.

22-year-old scrum-half Price and 21-year-old hooker Malcolm have already featured for the Warriors this season, as well as several successful outings for Ayr.

Former Millbrae men Mark Bennett, Finn Russell and Gordon Reid start for the current Pro12 champions.

Read the full story from Glasgow Warriors.

Best of luck to all!

Ayr v Gala preview

Ayr welcome Gala to Millbrae on Saturday for round thirteen of the BT Premiership, kicking off at 3pm, and the home team will be boosted by the presence of Glasgow Warrior Junior Bulumakau.

The Fijian-born, Scottish-raised winger was signed by the Scotstoun side from the British Army in the summer, and has previously played in the BT Premiership for Heriot's.  He'll no doubt get a warm welcome from the Millbrae faithful as he makes his Ayr debut.

The fans will be keen to see their team get back to winning ways after a frustrating afternoon at the Greenyards last weekend, where injury, illness and the might of Melrose combined to inflict upon Ayr their first defeat in eight games.

Ayr head coach Calum Forrester sees this week's match as the perfect opportunity to bounce back, but knows that although Gala are currently ninth in the table, there are never any easy games in this league.

'Gala will be coming to Millbrae full of confidence following their victory over Hawks.  Our fixture earlier in the season was a close encounter and our defence will need to improve from last week if we are to get the win.'

Partnering Bulumakau on the wing is returnee Haddon McPherson, whilst Frazier Climo has overcome an eye injury sustained during the first half last week to remain at stand-off.

Blair Macpherson and Andrew Dunlop team up in the second row, with Callum Templeton starting at blindside flanker after making a very welcome return from a long-term ankle injury as a substitute last week.

There's a very sturdy bunch of forwards on the bench, with Cameron Taylor and Archie Russell adding speed.

15. Grant Anderson; 14. Haddon McPherson, 13. Ross Curle (c), 12. Danny McCluskey, 11. Junior Bulumakau; 10. Frazier Climo, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Lewis Anderson, 3. Javan Sebastian; 4. Blair Macpherson, 5. Andrew Dunlop; 6. Callum Templeton, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Pete McCallum.

16. David Young, 17. Steven Longwell, 18. D'arcy Rae, 19. Cameron Taylor, 20. Archie Russell.

15. Graham Speirs; 14. Frankie Robson, 13. Dwayne Burrows, 12. Alan Emond, 11. Keith Young; 10. David O'Hagan, 9. George Graham; 1. Luke Pettie, 2. Richie Tod, 3. Chris Keen; 4. Callum Rowlandson, 5. Chris Weir (c); 6. Rob Louw, 7. Gary Adams, 8. Euan Dods.

16. Gary Robertson, 17. Josh Irvine, 18. Craig Borthwick, 19. Ross Livingston, 20. Craig Dods.

Kick-off 3pm!

Ayr 2nd XV v Gala A kicks off at 2pm and you can follow their scores live via the Ultimate Rugby app.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Win a 2015/16 season mug!

Our new season's mugs have arrived and we're giving ten away to some lucky Tweeters who will be at Millbrae for our game against Gala on Saturday.

All you have to do is tweet a picture of yourself at Millbrae on game day to and the first ten will receive a mug.  Come up into the stand at full-time and you'll get your prize from our media co-ordinator Elena.  

Don't worry if you're not on Twitter, we're running another competition via Facebook for a £100 cash give-away on Saturday 12th December.

Get tweeting and we'll see you all on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off! #mugforamug 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Melrose 35 Ayr 24

It was a freezing cold Greenyards that welcomed Ayr on Saturday and a scorching hot Melrose that ran in four tries to beat the BT Premiership leaders.

The hosts started as they meant to go on, with full-back Fraser Thomson ripping through the Ayr defence to fly in for a try with barely a minute on the clock.  Joe Helps converted.  7-0.

A raft of last-minute injuries saw six changes to Ayr's squad, with prop George Hunter again playing in the second row.  There were welcome returns to action for winger Kerr Gossman and replacement lock Callum Templeton, who has been on the sidelines for several months with an ankle injury.

A chip and chase from centre Ross Curle and winger Cameron Taylor livened things up for the visitors, and after some hard work in the loose from number eight Pete McCallum and flanker Blair Macpherson, stand-off Frazier Climo got Ayr on the score board with a penalty.  7-3.

Climo brought them within a point moments later with another successful kick at goal.  7-6.

Melrose sent their restart straight out and then failed to bind properly at the resulting scrum on the half-way line.  This let Ayr kick for touch and make for the line.  Scrum-half David Armstrong led the way, with Climo, Macpherson, McCallum, centre Danny McCluskey, hooker Lewis Anderson and Gossman trying to reach with whitewash before Curle crashed over only to be held up.  Another penalty by Climo sailed over the crossbar shortly after.  7-9.

Melrose were on the prowl and speedy winger Sam Pecqueur was nearly over in the corner.  Helps nudged them back in front with a penalty.  10-9.

Pecqueur did get his try - the first of two - when he slipped through three tackles.  Helps' conversion was wide.  15-9.

Ayr were dealt a blow when Climo had to leave the field with an eye injury.  He was replaced by Archie Russell, with Curle moving to stand-off.

Helps' penalty was the only other score before half-time.  18-9.

Melrose put Ayr's defence under enormous pressure at the start of the second half.  Centre Andrew Nagle would have been away for a try were it not for a forward pass.

Ayr's line-out wobbled but the scrum was sturdy for the most part.  Melrose delighted their home fans with a long, slow, determined drive out of their own half that led to a penalty, but Ayr managed to turn over and clear thanks to some tough work by flanker Graham Fisken and second row Andrew Dunlop.

McCallum, Ayr's danger man in so many of the previous games, was heavily marked in the first half, but Melrose eased their grip on him after the resumption and it was his scintillating break after a perfect pass from Armstrong that got Ayr into Melrose's twenty-two.  Terrific support from Dunlop almost saw him reach the line, but it was hooker Anderson who crashed over.  Curle superbly struck the conversion from the touchline.  18-16.

But there was no respite for the visitors.  The home backs were churning up the hallowed Greenyards turf with their fast feet and Pecqueur was over again, Helps adding the extras.  25-16.

Ayr wouldn't lie down though, Macpherson claiming the restart and letting full-back Grant Anderson loose to muscle his way up the wing for the try.  Curle couldn't get the conversion.  25-21.

Silly infringements were cancelling out Ayr's good work and Helps punished them with the boot.  28-21.

Another swift break by McCallum got Ayr into the opposition half and Curle struck back with a penalty.  28-24.

It seemed like the visitors were going to stage a comeback, especially when Melrose duffed their penalty kick for the line-out and Ayr bossed the ensuing scrum.  The ball was quickly fired through the backs and into the hands of Taylor, who shot off only to be dragged into touch.

It went from bad to worse with McCallum sin-binned and Melrose flanker Grant Runciman barging over for a try.  Helps converted.  35-24.
There was still time on the clock for Ayr to search for the losing bonus point, but they couldn't get past the determined Melrose defence.

It was a disappointing afternoon for Ayr and their travelling fans, but they still lead the BT Premiership by five points, with Heriot's in second after their huge win against Selkirk, and Melrose just two points behind in third.  There's all to play for as the league moves to its conclusion and Ayr will be firmly set on returning to winning ways when they welcome Gala to Millbrae next week.

- Elena Hogarth.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Melrose v Ayr preview

It's the second week in a row that Ayr hit the road, this time travelling to the picturesque Greenyards to face Melrose in the BT Premiership.

Last week's bonus-point win against Boroughmuir at Meggatland saw the men in pink and black stretch their lead at the top of the table to ten points, but third-placed Melrose will be looking to narrow that gap and leap-frog second-placed Heriot's.

Melrose beat Ayr 23-19 at Millbrae in September and this week's visitors are undoubtedly keen to turn the tables on what is forecast to be a very cold day in the Borders.

'Matches between Melrose and Ayr are always hotly contested,' says Ayr head coach Calum Forrester.  'We will need to continue our good form this Saturday for the full eighty minutes in order to come away with the result we desire.'

There are only two changes to the starting line-up, with Lewis Anderson coming in at hooker for the unavailable James Malcolm and inside centre Danny McCluskey moving up from the bench, with his spot there taken by Archie Russell.

Kerr Gossman joins Russell amongst the substitutes after two excellent appearances for the 2nd XV in which he scored three tries.  David Young fills the replacement hooker spot.

15. Grant Anderson; 14. Haddon McPherson, 13. Ross Curle (c), 12. Danny McCluskey, 11. Cameron Taylor; 10. Frazier Climo, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Lewis Anderson, 3. D'arcy Rae; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Andrew Dunlop; 6. Blair Macpherson, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Pete McCallum.

16. David Young, 17. Javan Sebastian, 18. Graham Fisken, 19. Kerr Gossman, 20. Archie Russell.

15. Fraser Thomson; 14. Joe Helps, 13. Nyle Godsmark, 12. Andrew Nagel, 11. Sam Pequer; 10. Tom Galbraith, 9. Bruce Colvine (c); 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. Richard Ferguson, 3. Gary Holborn; 4. Graham Dodds, 5. Lewis Carmichael; 6. Neil Irvine Hess, 7. Grant Runciman, 8. Ally Miller.

16. Cammy Mackay, 17. Dan Elkington, 18. Ally Grieve, 19. Murdo McAndrew, 20. Richard Taylor.

Kick-off 2pm for the 1st and 2nd XVs.  Follow the 1sts' scores live on Twitter and the 2nds' game via the Ultimate Rugby app.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ayr players in Glasgow 'A' game

Ayr's Ali Price and James Malcolm will start for Glasgow 'A' in today's game against Edinburgh 'A' at Broadwood Stadium, kicking off at 3pm.

Javan Sebastian, Will Bordill and Archie Russell have been named on the bench for the sixty-minute match.

Read the full story from Glasgow Warriors.