Monday, 15 December 2014

U15 girls beat Carrick

If there was any proof needed that rugby as a sport for everyone is on the up-and-up in the county of Ayrshire, the under-15s girls teams from Ayr and Carrick met at Millbrae on Monday night.

The home side came away with a fine 44-25 win against their tough opponents from Maybole.

As well as the under-15s, Ayr Ladies have an under-18s and senior teams and are always looking for new recruits of all abilities and experience.  Visit the Ayr Ladies page on our website for more information.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

New TVs in the clubhouse

We've had two new televisions installed in the clubhouse at Millbrae and all televised sporting fixtures will be screened, so if you can't watch your favourite teams and athletes at home, come along to the club and watch in our relaxed, friendly bar.

The clubhouse is open from 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Don't forget that our lovely function room is available to hire out for free for any parties or gatherings.  Call the clubhouse on 01292 441 944 to find out more!



Ayr 28 Stirling County 22

Another slow start from Ayr almost got them into trouble but they managed to make a good comeback to overcome a determined Stirling County in the BT Premiership at Millbrae on a wintery afternoon.

The crowd had barely settled into their seats when County were awarded a penalty, drove from a line-out and sent second row Ruaridh Leishman over for a try, which was converted by full-back Jeff Hope.  0-7.

There was some crafty work at the line-out by Ayr and a good early jinking run from man-of-the-match David Armstrong, and it wasn't long before the visitors infringed at the scrum, giving Ross Curle a kickable penalty, which he duly took.  3-7.

County were proving very slippery in the damp and cold conditions and Ayr couldn't contain them.  The home side's penalty count didn't help either, and Stirling were charging for the line again, centre Danny Gilmour going over for try number two.  Hope again converted.  3-14.

Curle had another chance at goal but his second attempt flew away to the side of the post.

Ayr settled for a while, with second row Rob McAlpine, flanker Callum Templeton and prop George Hunter leading the attack.  Returning full-back Grant Anderson was superb under the high ball but the game began to lose its shape for a few minutes, with errors from both sides.

The scrums held well considering the muddy pitch and Ayr's number eight Blair Macpherson made the most of it to launch himself into attack, but he was well wrapped up by County and unable to get the ball away to winger Robbie Fergusson. 

It was fired out of the ensuing ruck and kicked on, with flanker Will Bordill taking it brilliantly in Stirling's half and charging on.  From there, it was moved through the hands and chipped on for winger Craig Gossman to chase but the opposition defenders took it into touch.

The resulting line-out led to Ayr's most promising-looking attack where they pressed for the try for several minutes, but again that solid Stirling defence prevented them from crossing.  The visitors ended up off-side though and Curle booted the penalty.  6-14.

County had one thing on their mind in the first half and that was to score tries and Gilmour was almost over again when he shot through the Ayr defence and sprinted fifty metres.  Anderson was hot on his heels though and dragged him down a metre from the line. 

It was a nail-biting period for the crowd as County refused to capitulate, despite the excellent defensive efforts of Fergusson, Curle and Gossman.  Again, Ayr didn't help themselves by giving away penalties and it got worse when second row Scott Sutherland found himself in the sin bin for repeated infringements.

The man-advantage allowed Stirling hooker Reyner Kennedy to dive over for their third try, which went unconverted.  6-19.

Despite being a player down, Ayr kept their heads up and pushed play right into County's half and a fantastic charge down from Templeton as the visitors tried to clear got Ayr a scrum.  Centre and captain Dean Kelbrick became a makeshift flanker to add some heft and the ball was fired out to Fergusson who skipped through a gap to get a much-needed try.  Curle converted.  13-19.

Another knock-on from Stirling put a stop to a good period of attack from the visitors, and yet again Macpherson was great from the back of the scrum.  That allowed Curle, Hunter, prop D'arcy Rae, hooker Fergus Scott and Bordill to go roaming but County turned it over. 

The two sides traded line-outs but Ayr gave Stirling the upper hand just before half-time with a knock-on.  County's scrum got nowhere, though, after an enormous shove from the Ayr forwards.

More knocks-on marked the start of the second half to bring groans from both sets of supporters, but they were soon laughing in disbelief at Gossman's unique tackling style which saw him jump into the arms of a Stirling attacker, legs flailing, before finally dragging him down.

The errors and infringements continued from both sides, with Stirling giving Curle another chance in front of the posts, which he took to close the gap.  16-19.

The visitors' discipline let them down and not long after they got a ticking off for taking Sutherland out of the air, flanker Shaun McDonald was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Gossman. 

From the line-out, Hunter, replacement prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa and Curle pressed for the line.  They were twice held up and when the ball did go out wide, it was knocked on by Gossman.

With both teams tiring, or perhaps numbing in the plummeting temperature, the handling errors were ever more prevalent and the kicks increased.  A beautiful take from Armstrong let stand-off Danny McCluskey sprint from his own half for a thrilling try, converted by Curle.  23-19.

McCluskey had a good second half, proving himself just as deadly in defence as attack and he was quick to put a stop to anything by Stirling.

A good take at the line-out by Sutherland let the man who threw it, Dougie Hall, score Ayr's third try after a determined drive for the line.  Curle couldn't convert this time.  28-19.

County wouldn't lie down and roll over and they were soon ripping the ball from Hall's hands and making off into Ayr's half.  It came to nothing though and they gave away another penalty. 

The fans and the players thought Anderson had raced away for the bonus-point fourth try but the referee called him back for a forward pass.  Ayr took the scrum against the head and went for the line and yet again the referee and his assistants deemed a forward pass had been thrown.

The visitors had one last dash into Ayr's half, determined to close the gap and get a bonus point of their own.  They couldn't get a try, largely thanks to the defensive efforts of Templeton, Fergusson and Anderson, but they had a penalty and Hope took the three points.  28-22.

That brought the game to a close.  Ayr remain in second place in the BT Premiership table.  There's going to be a tussle for the top spots when the league resumes in January.

Final score: Ayr 28 Stirling County 22.


- Elena Hogarth.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Ayr v Stirling County preview

Everyone will be hoping that the festive good cheer at Millbrae won't just be confined to the club's Christmas party on Saturday night as Ayr take on Stirling County in the final match of 2014.

The BT Premiership has only six remaining rounds, and with Heriot's having supplanted Ayr at the top of the table after the latter's loss to Hawick last weekend and County trying to dislodge Gala from fourth place, there really is all to play for.

"Last week was very disappointing for us with regards to how we started the game," says Ayr head coach Calum Forrester.  "We were slow to get going and Hawick took their chances well.  We cannot afford to do the same again this week against a strong Stirling, who are now within touching distance of the top four and a play-off spot."

Ayr will be boosted by the return of full-back Grant Anderson after several weeks on the sidelines through injury, meaning Craig Gossman moves back to the wing. 

Glasgow Warriors have released hooker Dougie Hall and prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa, who bolster an already strong bench.

The Cairdeas Quaich, provided by County's main sponsor United Auctions to mark the friendship between the two clubs, is again up for grabs, and the men in pink and black will be eager to retain the trophy and get the Christmas break off to a good start.


Ayr:
15. Grant Anderson; 14. Craig Gossman, 13. Ross Curle, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Robbie Fergusson; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. D'arcy Rae; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Callum Templeton, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Blair Macpherson.

Replacements from:
Dougie Hall, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Andrew Dunlop, Graham Fisken, Kerr Gossman, Cameron Taylor.

Stirling County:
15. Jeff Hope; 14. Matt Lamb, 13. Cammy Hughes, 12. Danny Gilmour, 11. Rory Hughes; 10. Fraser Lyle, 9. Ali Price; 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. Reyner Kennedy, 3. Gerry Mountford; 4. Ruaridh Leishman, 5. Euan Dewar; 6. Struan Robertson, 7. Shaun McDonald, 8. Lewis Wynne.

Replacements:
TBA.


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

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Nine Ayr boys in Glasgow U18 squad

Glasgow under-18s travel to Meadowmill Sports Centre in Tranent to take on their Borders counterparts tonight and nine players from Ayr have been included in the squad.

Second row Ross Hay, scrum-half Sam Graham, stand-off Paddy Dewhirst, centre Gregor Paxton, winger Mark Conlan and full-back Johnny McCorkindale start, whilst Ruairidh Sayce, Gregor Lynch, and Lewis Young are on the bench.

The match kicks off at 7pm.  Good luck to all!



Monday, 8 December 2014

More Christmas shopping at Millbrae!

Thank you to everyone who came shopping last Wednesday evening at Millbrae.  Feedback was that you would like another one!  So, Sarah will be there again this coming Wednesday 10th December 7pm till 8.30pm.

Strips, shorts, socks, hoodies, half zips, windcheaters, beanies, trackies, fleeces, mugs, calendars, polos and t-shirts are available for purchase.  Some sizes are running low now so if you would like to reserve something, please let Sarah know before Wednesday by either messaging our Facebook page or emailing her (sarahjsharkey@btinternet.com).

Ayr Ladies 41 Morgan 10

There was no doubting the commitment of Ayr Ladies and their opponents Morgan yesterday, not to mention the coaches and supporters of both teams, as the wind howled, the rain fell and hail stones battered down at Millbrae for this BT National Women's League Division 1 match.

How nine tries were scored between the two sides in such appalling conditions is astonishing.  It was the home team who got the first points on the board, with outside centre Daryl Paterson fighting her way through the defence to score.  Full-back Catherine Shennan easily converted.  7-0.

It wasn't long before the ladies in pink and black were off again, this time number eight Lynda Morgan making a break from her own half.  The move was carried on by inside centre Laura Turner, who released stand-off Rachael Mulholland to go in under the posts.  Shennan again converted.  14-0.

Morgan Ladies were undaunted though and even with a slippy ball, managed to demonstrated nice hands to move proceedings into Ayr's half.  They couldn't breach the tough defence though.

Ayr showed the spirit of adventure, kicking from their own half for number eight Morgan to hack on and chase.  The opposition defence gathered but a knock-on resulted in an Ayr scrum.  Morgan the player, not the team, picked up from the base and ran all the way for Ayr's third try.  Shennan couldn't manage the tricky conversion.  19-0.

A great catch from Paterson at the restart put Ayr in a good position but they were penalised for holding on.  A few phases later though and they reclaimed possession and got themselves a scrum, which stayed solid despite the increasingly slippery surface. 

Again, Paterson and Morgan were marauding their way all over the park but the visitors were quick to pounce on any errors.  Ayr didn't help themselves by being caught off-side deep in their own half and in the midst of a hail shower, Morgan Ladies took the opportunity to dive over in the corner for an unconverted try.  19-5.

It was no surprise that both sides racked up knocks-on with the temperature dropping, and the visitors also struggled with their line-out throws as hands numbed in the cold.

Ayr Ladies kept going though, with scrum-half Niamh Durnan, Mulholland, Turner, Paterson and Shennan combining well to move the action close enough to Morgan's line for Mulholland to go over for her second try, which was unconverted.  24-5.

This put a spring in their soggy step and moments later flanker Eilidh Thomson fired on to a ball in her own half and took off, bashing a defender out of the way in the process, to get the last try before half-time.  It was unconverted.  29-5.

Conditions worsened in the second half, but Turner still managed to display some strong running and Paterson put in a series of excellent hand-offs to get into Morgan's half.

The Dundee-side wrestled back possession, although any attacks they attempted were snuffed out by prop Louise McLauchlan, winger Sarah Paterson and replacement forward Amy McGillivray.

Ayr were putting the Morgan scrum under pressure too, the scrummaging tutorial earlier in the week from Scotland international prop Gordon Reid clearly paying off.  The visitors refused to capitulate though and scrambled over for their second unconverted try.  29-10.

Lynda Morgan was on fine form all afternoon and again she sprinted from her own half to get her second, and Ayr's sixth, try.  The conversion attempt was short.  34-10.

Moments later and Turner emulated her speedy team-mate by running more than fifty metres for the final try of the day, which was converted by replacement Jackie O'Neil.  41-10.

Play continued for a few more minutes, but after a consultation with the captains, the referee decided to call the game early and everyone gladly went back to the clubhouse.

Ayr Ladies will be happy to have ended 2014 with a good win in very difficult conditions.

Final score: Ayr Ladies 41  Morgan Ladies 10.


- Elena Hogarth.