Thursday, 26 February 2015

February 2015 POTM open!

This month's player of the month online poll is now open!

Vote for your favourite player for February here.

The results will be announced on Monday afternoon.

Ayr Ladies host 7s tournament in May

Saturday 9th May will see Ayr Ladies host their first rugby sevens tournament at Millbrae.

The Ladies are currently looking for teams to enter and encouraging as many spectators as possible to come along as all proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research UK.

Find out more here or contact Robbie Fergusson on 07921 437431/robbiefergusson@icloud.com.

Three Ayr players in Club XV squad

Winger Craig Gossman, hooker Fergus Scott and prop Fraser Watt have been named in the Scotland Club XV squad to face the English Counties tomorrow.

Gossman and Scott are in the starting line-up, with Watt amongst the replacements, for the match at Fylde RFC near Blackpool.

Gossman retains his place from the previous Club International against Ireland, which the Scots won, whilst Scott moves from the bench and Watt is called up for the first time after a dominant display in the front row for Ayr at the weekend.

We wish them and the whole squad the best of luck!

Read the full story here.

Curle suspended

Following at disciplinary hearing at Murrayfield on Wednesday evening, Ross Curle has been suspended for five weeks for a dangerous tackle during last Saturday's game against Heriot's.


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Under-18s host race night

The under-18 boys are hosting a race night at Millbrae on Saturday 28th February at 7.30pm.  This is their final fundraising event for their forthcoming tour to South Africa, so do support it if you can.

Tickets will be available on the night.  They are £5 and include food.  Take a look at their Facebook page for more information.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Ayr 25 Heriot's 23

Ayr overcame mud, rain, snow, sleet, hail and the BT Premiership leaders Heriot's to record a much-needed win at Millbrae.

It was the club's fourteenth Ladies' Lunch, so over a hundred extra female fans added to the expectant atmosphere, and both teams certainly gave the crowd a lot to cheer about.

Ayr got on the scoreboard early on, with a Ross Curle penalty.  3-0.

However, it wasn't long before Heriot's evened things up thanks to a penalty by scrum-half Graham Wilson.  3-3.

There was trouble on the horizon as Heriot's marauding backs spotted a gap in the home defence and winger Colin Goudie flew over for a try.  Wilson couldn't manage the wide conversion.  3-8.

With the Millbrae faithful roaring them on, the men in pink and black kept their composure, and soon had another penalty chance when Heriot's strayed off-side.  Curle struck it perfectly from forty metres.  6-8.

Heriot's were on the scent of another try, but excellent defensive work from outside centre Robbie Fergusson, number eight Graham Fisken and Curle put a stop to it.  Alas, it was Ayr's turn to be off-side and Heriot's took the line-out, where they knocked-on.

The visitors then gave away a penalty at the scrum, and a good take at the line-out from Scott Sutherland allowed flanker Andrew Dunlop to unleash the backs.  The ball found its way to Sutherland's second row partner Rob McAlpine, whose enthusiasm in attack almost knocked over referee Cammy Rudkin.

Fergusson then made a scintillating break and kept going with several Heriot's tackles clinging on to him.  Scrum-half David Armstrong and Fisken moved things along and it looked like full-back Grant Anderson had dived over for a try, but the referee adjudged he had been held up.

A couple of scrums for Ayr let flanker Peter McCallum burst to the line but the ball got away from him before he could ground it.

It was winger Craig Gossman's turn to try and make it to the line.  He couldn't get there, and neither could Fisken as he was tackled high.  Curle stepped up to the tee and kicked the penalty.  9-8.

The slim lead didn't last for long as a drive from a line-out led to Heriot's hooker Dave McGregor grabbing a try.  Wilson missed the conversion, possibly distracted by Ayr winger Richard Dalgleish charging at him.  9-13.

Heriot's shot off into Ayr's half once again but they turned it over and Gossman hacked on for Dunlop to chase.  He was beaten to it by the visitors.

A penalty moved Ayr into Heriot's twenty-two and they launched an attack from the line-out.  The ball bobbled over the line and Curle pounced for the try.  He couldn't convert his own score though.  14-13.

Another exciting run from Fergusson had the crowd on their feet, but despite support from hooker Fergus Scott, it came to nothing.  Soon after, Heriot's were off-side again and Curle's kick sailed over the crossbar.  17-13.

With the rain now lashing down, Curle, in the last play of the half, had another penalty attempt from well inside his own half but it was short.

More wintery showers at half-time turned the turf into a mire, and the second half began with several kicks back and forth before Heriot's tried to run it.  They didn't get far as Armstrong was hot on their heels.  But Ayr then infringed and Wilson kicked the penalty.  17-16.

Wilson's talents weren't just restricted to the boot; he showed off his handling skills with a cheeky pass through his legs at the back of a Heriot's scrum.  His backs would have been away but for yet another tackle by Armstrong.  Heriot's then gave Curle another shot at goal and he took it.  20-16.

A kick from Armstrong was beautifully caught by Gossman, but McGregor was hurt in the ensuing melee and both sets of fans were saddened to see him leave the field.

The ball was getting slippery in the mud and it was up to Anderson to tidy up the spills.  Heriot's dismissed their own handling errors to propel second row Russell Nimmo towards the line and he scored at the base of the post.  Wilson converted.  20-23.

The visitors then lost their heads, with winger Charlie Simpson clearly obstructing Curle as he chased a kick, and second row Daniel Levison finding himself in the sin bin, where he was joined by one of the props.

With a two-man advantage, Ayr trundled to the line and prop Stuart Fenwick claimed the try.  Tempers frayed but it erupted into nothing more than some shirt-pulling.  Curle couldn't get the conversion.  25-23.

The final few minutes were tense, to say the least.  Heriot's had the majority of the possession and Ayr worked hard to pin them to the half-way line and not give away any penalties.  It looked like centre Josh Laird might squeeze through the home defence, but his side infringed to bring the match to an end.

Curle claimed the man-of-the-match award, but it was a terrific all-round performance from the entire squad.

Final score: Ayr 25 Heriot's 23.


- Elena Hogarth.

View Alan Graham's photos of the match here.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Ayr v Heriot's preview


It's the final home league game of the season for Ayr on Saturday and they will be aiming to put in a big performance against current BT Premiership table-toppers Heriot's.

After exiting the BT Cup at the quarter-final stage last week, the men in pink and black now turn their attention back to the league and trying to gain as many points as possible to secure a position in the play-offs.

"The target is still a home semi-final and nothing less than a win will do this weekend," states Ayr head coach Calum Forrester.

But he knows his players face tough opposition.

"Heriot's have been playing some good rugby this season and we will need to be at our best on Saturday."

Coached by Phil Smith, who steered the Scotland Club XV to victory at Netherdale two weeks ago, Heriot's have a very strong team, with their number eight Jason Hill having joined Glasgow Warriors for training in recent weeks.

There are some changes to the Ayr squad, with Peter McCallum starting at openside flanker, meaning Graham Fisken moves to number eight.

In the backs, Ross Curle starts at inside centre, with Danny McCluskey partnering David Armstrong at half-back after the latter's red card from last week was overturned by the SRU.

It's Ladies' Day on Saturday, so there will be a great atmosphere at Millbrae.  Make sure you're there to add to it!

Ayr:
15. Grant Anderson (capt); 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Ross Curle, 11. Craig Gossman; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. Stuart Fenwick, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Fraser Watt; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Peter McCallum, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Graham Fisken.

Replacements:
16. David Young, 17. Gordon Sykes, 18. Blair Macpherson, 19. Jack Preston, 20. Dean Kelbrick.

Heriot's:
15. Keith Buchan; 14. Charlie Simpson, 13. Liam Steele, 12. Josh Laird, 11. Colin Goudie; 10. Stuart Edwards, 9. Graham Wilson (capt); 1. Nathan Borel, 2. Dave McGregor, 3. Struan Cessford; 4. Russell Nimmo, 5. Daniel Levison; 6. Jono Armstrong, 7. Jack McLean, 8. Jason Hill.

Replacements:
16. Stewart Mustard, 17. JP Ward, 18. Jamie Syme, 19. Jamie McNeish, 20. Max Learmonth.

Kick-off 3pm!

Follow the scores live on Twitter.