Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Lowe back on Scotland 7s duty

Ayr's Gavin Lowe has been recalled to the Scotland Sevens squad for their upcoming tournaments in New Zealand and the United States.

Gavin will be hoping to add to his two caps earlier in the season when he was with the squad for tournaments in South Africa and the UAE.  He last turned out for Ayr at the beginning of January during the 1st XV's BT Cup third round win against Hamilton.

We wish him and the whole squad the best of luck.

Read the full story here.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Ayr players in Club Int warm-up

The Scotland Club XV will have a warm-up game against the Scotland under-20s at BT Murrayfield tomorrow evening and several Ayr players are involved.

Ross Curle, Scott Sutherland and Callum Templeton start, whilst Fergus Scott, Will Bordill and Craig Gossman are amongst the extended list of replacements.

The match kicks off at 7.30pm and is open to the public.  Entry is free.

Read the full story here.

January player of the month poll open!

Online voting for this month's player of the month poll is now open!

The poll includes the men's 1st XV players who have made two or more appearances during January.

Voting closes on Saturday at 12pm, with the results made public soon after.

Vote here.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Ayr U18s 23 Boroughmuir U18s 0

Ayr's under-18 boys put in a dominant display on Saturday to beat their Boroughmuir counterparts and move into the semi-finals of their National Youth Cup.

A good-sized crowd turned up at Millbrae and had plenty to cheer about.  Ayr were straight into action, with a couple of strong scrums and some fine early attacks from openside flanker Gregor Henry and inside centre Sam Graham.  When Boroughmuir did get their hands on the ball, Graham, stand-off Johnny McCorkindale and left wing Callum Cook put in good tackles.

It wasn't long before the home side were pressing for the line, Henry and prop Ruairidh Sayce leading the way, but Boroughmuir managed to hold them up.

Number eight Zander Howie, Graham, outside centre Gregor Paxton and McCorkindale tried again but were unsuccessful.  A couple of line-outs got them in a great position and after a short drive, second row Kyle Wood scurried over for the opening try.  McCorkindale's conversion attempt was short.  5-0.

Boroughmuir pressed on into Ayr's half but Henry and prop Brian Kelly were quick to close them down and when the visitors found themselves offside, the ensuing line-out unleashed hooker Gregor Lynch, who set off on the first of a few barrelling runs.

A heavy downpour sent the replacements hurrying into the stands, but didn't dampen the enthusiasm of Cook, whose speedy break unfortunately came to nothing.  Boroughmuir's backs, too, fancied stretching their legs but couldn't escape the attentions of Graham.

Ayr were solid in the line-out, with second row Ross Hay proving a safe pair of hands.  This allowed Paxton and full-back Mark Conlan to move the action back into Boroughmuir's half, but the visitors snuffed out the threat.

The next opportunity for points came from a Boroughmuir infringement and McCorkindale stepped up to the tee and easily got the penalty.  8-0.

The literal spring in Hay's step wasn't restricted to the line-out, as he leapt into the air to claim the restart and take off on a twenty-five-metre run.  The backs took the ball on and moments later, Ayr were awarded a penalty.  It looked like they would drive from the line-out, but an enormous shove from Boroughmuir forced them away from the try-line.

Boroughmuir tried to run the ball from the their own half, but ended up giving away another penalty in a kickable position and McCorkindale booted it over.  11-0.

The second half began at pace, with the ball bobbling about from a Boroughmuir line-out.  Graham pounced and kicked on but the visitors managed to get to it before any damage could be done.

The visitors made a few more errors but their enthusiasm didn't waver, as exemplified by their dynamic prop who amused the crowd with some moves straight from the dressage paddock.

Ayr right wing Sam Gray and scrum-half Lewis Young were quick to put a stop to any more attacks from Boroughmuir and soon Young, Henry and Hay were trying to bundle their way over the try-line.

With a Boroughmuir player in the sin bin, Ayr took the line-out and Howie emerged as the try-scorer from the pile-up.  McCorkindale couldn't get the tricky conversion.  16-0.

Each side traded possession, with Hay and Sayce leading the attack and Henry and blindside flanker Matt Northcote putting in the tackles.

The game lost its shape a little with several scrums for both teams going nowhere, but Ayr showed patience and before too long Young grabbed the ball from the back of the ruck and dived over for the try.  McCorkindale converted.  23-0.

Ayr didn't slack off with a few minutes remaining, replacement back Billy Thomson looking lively and Henry demonstrating two great hand-offs to slip through the Boroughmuir defence.  But they couldn't get any more points and the referee blew the whistle to bring to an end a satisfying afternoon for Ayr's youngsters.

15. Mark Conlan; 14. Sam Gray, 13. Gregor Paxton, 12. Sam Graham, 11. Callum Cook; 10, Johnny McCorkindale, 9. Lewis Young; 1. Brian Kelly, 2. Gregor Lynch, 3. Ruairidh Sayce; 4. Kyle Wood, 5. Ross Hay; 6. Matt Northcote, 7. Gregor Henry, 8. Zander Howie.

16. Dean Rickard, 17. Kyle McNulty, 18. Stewart Angus, 19. Tony Hall, 20. Callum Ross, 22. Billy Thomson.

- Elena Hogarth.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Ayr Ladies v Cartha Ladies preview

Ayr Ladies welcome Cartha Ladies to Millbrae on Sunday for the second time this season and will be looking to avenge their narrow Sarah Beaney Cup defeat back in November.

Cartha currently sit atop the BT National Women's League Division 1 table, so the ladies in pink and black will need to be on fine form to overcome them.

"So far, Cartha have beaten us twice, away in the league and at home in the cup," says Ayr Ladies assistant coach Sylvain Diez, "so we know their strengths now.  They have a strong pack and their defence is very well organised."

The league has had a month-long break and the ladies are looking forward to getting back to competition.

"We are all very excited about starting 2015 with a home game," continues Diez.  "Our ability to score after more than three or four phases has improved massively and we will have to demonstrate this against Cartha.  If we want to score tries, we must keep the ball and be very clinical."

He concludes: "A victory would see us move to second place in the league and give us a confidence boost for the end of the season."


Kick-off 2pm!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Currie v Ayr preview

Ayr head to Malleny Park tomorrow to take on Currie and try to restore some confidence in their BT Premiership campaign after two disappointing results in recent weeks.

"Our failure to convert our chances and poor discipline have cost us dearly in the last couple of matches," states Ayr head coach Calum Forrester.

"We will need to be at the top of our game tomorrow, as we look to get our season back on track," he continues.  "Currie have been playing well recently and we expect another physical encounter against them this weekend as they look to push into the top four."

It will be a tough match as Currie always play fiercely on home turf, and the men in pink and black will be up against a couple of Glasgow Warriors and internationalists in centre James Downey (capped for Ireland) and lock Tom Ryder (capped for Scotland).

There's a bit of reshuffling in the Ayr squad, with Ross Curle moving from outside centre to stand-off and Murray McConnell taking over at scrum-half from David Armstrong, who moves to the bench.  In the forwards, Will Bordill comes in for Andrew Dunlop at openside flanker.

15. Grant Anderson; 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick (capt), 11. Craig Gossman; 10. Ross Curle, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Fraser Watt; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Callum Templeton, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Graham Fisken.

16. James Malcolm, 17. Stuart Fenwick, 18. Blair Macpherson, 19. David Armstrong, 20. Danny McCluskey.

15. Harvey Elms; 14. Robbie Nairn, 13. Joe Reynolds, 12. James Downey, 11. Ruaridh Smith; 10. James Semple, 9. Richard Sneddon; 1. John Cox, 2. Matt Goodwin, 3. Graeme Carson; 4. Romain Denonain, 5. Tom Ryder; 6. Travis Brooke, 7. Malcolm Peacock, 8. Ross Weston (capt).

16. Alistair Hamilton, 17. Mike Erskine, 18. Jamie Gray, 19. Mike Vernal, 20. Matt McPhillips.

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

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

ScrumReady Workshop at Millbrae

A scrummaging workshop will take place at Millbrae on Wednesday 25th February from 7pm to 9pm.

The workshop is being run by Scottish Rugby Coach Development & Education and is free to attend.

Book your place here.