Monday, 19 December 2011

Ayr v Bristol Match Report

Ayr 16-14 Bristol
Ayr brought some seasonal cheer to Millbrae with a last gasp victory over Bristol in a muddy British and Irish Cup tie on Saturday afternoon. After last week’s narrow loss to Munster, the men in pink and black were determined to end 2011 on a high.
            The first twenty minutes of Ayr’s fourth B&I Cup game were hampered by the slippery conditions. Although it was dry overhead, it was soggy underfoot, and the best efforts of those tending the Millbrae turf were spoiled as the two teams doggedly fought for territory and possession.
            The experienced Bristol side spent much of the first quarter encamped in Ayr’s half, solidly working their way towards the line with a series of driving mauls. But the home team proved tenacious in defence and repelled any Bristol attacks.
            Eleven minutes in saw two yellow cards handed out by the referee. Ayr second row Scott Sutherland and Bristol prop Darren Crompton found themselves in the sin bin for ten minutes. With the forwards down to seven men aside, the scrums became even messier in the increasingly churned-up pitch. 
            Both teams struggled with handling errors, which possibly led to the match’s first points opportunity at twenty-three minutes. Bristol were penalised for holding on just inside their own half. Robbie Fergusson easily slotted over the kick, making it 3-0 to the home side.
            With Sutherland and Crompton back on the park, the scrums continued to dominate the first half. Referee Jason Bessant continually stopped time to talk to the front rows, but to no avail. Bristol wheeled the scrum, giving Ayr an opportunity they couldn’t capitalise on.
            Bristol had all the territory, although possession was evenly matched. After a failed attempt at a cross-field kick, it seemed the men from the West Country would go into the dressing room without any points. The crowd was under the impression that time was up, and it appeared that Ayr’s Calum Forrester had kicked the ball to touch for half-time. But the referee brought them back from yet another scrum in the quagmire of Ayr’s half, which led to a quick try for Bristol’s fullback Sean Marsden. Mark Davies successfully converted, bringing the scoreboard to 3-7 at the break.
            Ayr took to the field with renewed purpose in the second half. Within five minutes, Fergusson had another successful shot at goal to bring the score to 6-7. Besides a scything run from Ayr’s inside centre Mark Stewart, the game continued in much the same vein as the first half. Bristol also had an opportunity at goal, but replacement Jack Gadd was unable to get any distance with his kick. It was gathered by Ayr and scrum-half Murray McConnell pinned his ears back but was closed down by strong defence from Bristol.
            Ayr applied the pressure further, but Bristol’s experience told when their number eight Dan Montagu crossed the line for the visitors’ second try. Gadd’s conversion took the score to 6-14 with twenty minutes to go. 
            The home team didn’t fade though, with the backs showing some good handling and running. Fergusson missed a penalty kick, but Ayr pressed on. A brilliant charge up the wing from Cameron Taylor took Ayr into Bristol’s half. Forwards and backs combined to bundle Mark Stewart over the line for Ayr’s only try of the match. Replacement Sylvain Diez converted with seven minutes to go, making the score 13-14. 
            There was more drama to come, as the referee reached for the red card with three minutes remaining. Already sin-binned, Bristol’s Darren Crompton’s second yellow became a red. With the ball teed up practically on the left touchline, Diez lined up for the penalty kick. The crowd held its breath as the Frenchman bisected the posts to put Ayr in front for the first time in the second half. After a line-out and scrum, Ayr gladly booted the ball onto the stand roof, which was raised by the ecstatic supporters. The final score was Ayr 16 Bristol 14. – ElĂ©na Hogarth


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Munster then Bristol

British and Irish Cup business continues this week as Ayr take on Bristol at Millbrae in the final pool match. Make sure you get down for the game.

Moray Low on the rampage for Ayr against Munster at Tralee.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

McConnell Makes Glasgow Bench

Ayr scrum half Murray McConnell is on the bench for Glasgow Warriors this Sunday when they take on Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Gordon Reid is also on the bench and that other Ayr favourite, Johnnie Beattie, makes a welcome return at No. 8.

Good luck boys. The game is live on BBC Alba.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Pictures from Plymouth!

Courtesy of Dougie Stanley - here are some pictures from last week's big game at Plymouth


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Murray Confirms Ayr Promise in Herald

From today's Herald:

Ayr and Melrose leading by example in British & Irish Cup

15 Nov 2011
NOT everybody would relish the winter trip from Ayr to Plymouth, but Kenny Murray is one of life’s little coiled springs of exuberance when he starts talking about rugby challenges in the British & Irish Cup.
The Millbrae club may have struggled with injuries this season, in addition to losing several of their talismanic performers to retirement or professionalism, but they demonstrated their resilient qualities again at the weekend by transforming a 17-10 deficit into an 18-17 victory over Plymouth Albion, with Glasgow’s Johnnie Beattie powering his path to the try line in the last five minutes of the feisty encounter.
The sight of the barnstorming No.8 in his element was one of the significant pluses of the lengthy trek for Murray, though he appreciates that the Scotland player might have preferred a berth in the Warriors ranks for their Heineken Cup tussle with Bath.
Yet, if there was any sense of injustice festering beneath the surface, Beattie kept it well concealed.
“His attitude, his application and his work ethic were all first-rate and I can’t overstate the influence which he had on our squad. The Plymouth pack were a big unit, they featured at least one lad who had played in the World Cup [for Canada], and they did their best to get physical with John, but he just dusted himself down, kept battling away, and eventually gained his reward,” said Murray.
“Sometimes, these pro guys don’t really want to be here, turning out for clubs, but Johnnie and Jon Welsh both did their best to feel part of the team, they were with us on the journey down, they relaxed with us afterwards, and you won’t hear a bad word about either of them from Ayr’s players, management or supporters.
“To be honest, we would like to have them both back for Saturday’s [home] match against Cross Keys, because that will be another very tough fixture for us, but we recognise that they want to be involved in European action and you can hardly fault them for that.”
With Melrose also orchestrating a heroic fightback to defeat Bedford in the same competition on Sunday, Scotland’s club representatives have definitely punched above their weight, and no organisation has adapted better than the Ayr men, who have also claimed wins over Rotherham, Doncaster and Birmingham-Solihull since the cross-border tournament was launched.
The majority of these clubs boast greater strength in depth than their Caledonian counterparts, and yet, as Murray argues, there isn’t a massive gulf between the best amateur performers and those who earn their living from rugby.
“We found out later that 70% of the Plymouth boys were full-time professionals, and the other 30% were on part-time pro contracts, so there is no doubt this event is a step up from what we are used to in the Premiership, but we managed to cope, and so did Melrose. The fact that we both rallied from conceding early points perhaps showed that it took us a little bit of time to get up to speed with these English opponents, but we managed it soon enough,” said Murray.

“I was a bit frustrated when we fell behind, but we were playing into a strong wind in the first half and when we cut the deficit to 17-5 before the interval, I fancied our chances. We’ve a lot of youngsters in the ranks, but they can only learn quicker from these sort of experiences.
“Now we have to prepare for Cross Keys, who beat Moseley by 40 points, so we have no illusions about their threat. But that’s one of the things I love about this event; the fact that you are constantly coming up against new clubs and travelling to places you would never normally visit. You never know what will happen from one week to the next. It’s terrific.”
There’s no need to look any further than Ayr and Melrose, who defeated strong English opponents in the British & Irish Cup over the course of the weekend. Hawick also notched up their maiden victory of the season against Selkirk.
The British & Irish Cup is a tremendous innovation [of which Scotland has three participants]. But the vast majority of the country’s clubs now have to wait until January to resume action. Is this really the best means of promoting the grassroots game?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Robbie Makes the Herald...

Fergusson shines in Ayr’ famous victory over Plymouth

14 Nov 2011
MARK STEWART, the Ayr captain, praised the display of teenager Robbie Fergusson following his side’s 18-17 British and Irish Cup victory over Plymouth Albion.
It was arguably the most impressive competitive win by any Scottish club against a professional side – particularly away from home.
Perhaps more notable was the confidence and composure shown by Fergusson, though. The 18-year-old even scored the penalty which clinched the win for his side.
“You have to hand it to young Robbie,” said Stewart. “It was just tremendous to see how he handled the situation. For someone that age to slot a kick like that in the circumstances was exceptional.
“It has been pretty up and down for us in Premier 1 so far but this could be the turning point in our season. To win like that on the road against an English Championship side is a great start to our campaign and hopefully we can build on that and try to get at least as far as we did last season.
“The lads who came into the side from other clubs did a fantastic job and along with the Ayr players who have experienced this level before, we didn’t let our heads go down when we went behind and pulled out a great second-half performance. Our defence and discipline was outstanding and we denied them any points after half-time.”
The picture had looked bleak as the visitors were 17-5 down at the interval. Albion made a strong start with Jack Nowell scoring a try which was duly converted by Mark Lee. He then added a penalty before converting Rupert Freestone’s try. However, Hayden Wisnuski, the Ayr hooker, was able to claw back five precious points.
Then came the fight back. Fergusson sparked it off with a penalty – before scoring the decisive points following a try from Johnnie Beattie. The Glasgow Warriors No.8 was omitted from his club’s squad to face Bath, but it was his younger colleague who stole the attention.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Premier A Fixtures Published

The fixture list for the top 8 teams in Premier 1 was published today as follows:


Sat 14 January 2012 (2.00pm)
Sat 3 March 2012 (3.00pm)
Aberdeen Grammar Rugby v Gala
Boroughmuir v Ayr
Currie v Boroughmuir
Dundee HSFP v Gala
Melrose v Dundee HSFP
Currie v Aberdeen Grammar Rugby
Ayr v Stirling County
Melrose v Stirling County

Sat 28 January 2012 (2.00pm)
Sat 17 March 2012 (3.00pm)
Dundee HSFP v Stirling County
Currie v Ayr *
Gala v Currie
Gala v Melrose   *
Boroughmuir v Melrose
Boroughmuir v Dundee HSFP *
Ayr v Aberdeen Grammar Rugby
Aberdeen Grammar Rugby v Stirling County  

Sat 11 February 2012 (3.00pm)
Sat 24 March 2012 (3.00pm)
Melrose v Ayr
Ayr v Gala
Stirling County v Currie
Dundee HSFP v Currie  
Gala v Boroughmuir
Stirling County v Boroughmuir
Aberdeen Grammar Rugby  v Dundee HSFP
Melrose v Aberdeen Grammar Rugby

Sat 18 February 2012 (3.00pm)

Ayr v Dundee HSFP

Currie v Melrose

Stirling County v Gala

Boroughmuir v Aberdeen Grammar Rugby

* Fixtures reversed to even up matches

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Colin White in Today's Scotsman

The excitement and challenge of the British and Irish Cup starts this weekend for Ayr when we visit Plymouth Albion RFC at Brickfields Recreation Ground.

Colin White our 1st XV forward and Ayr Rugby Academy Head Coach is featured in today's Scotsman.

Click here to go to the Scotsman article.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Ayr British and Irish Cup Launch

This season's British and Irish Cup campaign gets underway with our first game at Plymouth Albion RFC on Saturday 12th November kick-off 3.00pm.

Colin White took part in the Murrayfield launch.

Go here to find out what he said.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Ayr's Victorious U17 Warriors

Pictured above some of Ayr's victorious Warriors, fresh from beating their Edinburgh/Borders rivals in the U17s National Selection Fixtures at Murrayfield on Wednesday night.

Left to right: Angus Johnston, Ben Johnston (Marr College,) Ruaridh Bottomley, Ewan Bulger, Gavin Lowe. Missing from the photograph are Alan Miller and try-scoring Cameron Mc Cormick who also played.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Gordy and Pat Beat the Ospreys with Glasgow

Gordon Reid and Pat McArthur played their part in Glasgow Warriors' magnificent win against the Ospreys at Firhill tonight in the Rabo ProDirect 12 League by 28 points to 17.

Ayr supporters will be interested to know that Stuart Hogg, Ryan Wilson and Ed Kalman also put in great performances.

Who knows which Warriors' players might get a run for us in the forthcoming British and Irish Cup matches.

Go here for details of the B&I Cup Player Draft.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Ayr at Maximum Potential

Maximum Potential is at the specialist end of the strength and conditioning market. In fact it is an elite Sports Conditioning Centre which offers bespoke performance programmes for the serious athlete. Specialising in functional movement the Maximum Potential staff will analyse, test and meet your requirements to make you a better athlete. This is a new and exciting venture and Ayr Rugby Club is delighted to be making use of the facilities tonight, in particular the indoor 3G surface.

Click here to go to the Maximum Potential website.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Abigail Scores!

Readers may well be interested in the headline, which serves to mark the man-of-the-match performance from scrum-half AJ McFarlane. You will see from the photographs that he took great pleasure in scoring against Boroughmuir on Saturday in what was a dominant display with Ayr winning 33-17.

Ayr Players in Glasgow U17s

Cameron McCormick, Adam McDonald, Euan Bulger, Alan Miller, Ruaridh Bottomley, Gavin Lowe and Angus Johnston all featured in this years Glasgow U17s squad at Murrayfield against Caledonia.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Gordy, Pat and Hoggy in Glasgow Warriors Cardiff Win

Gordon Reid, Pat McArthur and Stuart Hogg helped Glasgow Warriors to a stunning win in Cardiff against the Blues 13 - 34.

Well done lads.

Go here for the story.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Ayr Receives Cashback Funding

Ayr RFC partners Scottish Rugby and Sportscotland in securing an excellent facilities funding package through the Cashback for Communities scheme.

The £48,000 project will see the creation of new changing facilities, toilets and showers at Millbrae as well as a signifcant upgrading of training lights.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Ayr Rugby Academy Launched

Ayr Rugby Club is delighted to announce the launch of its Rugby Academy. The club recognises its status within rugby as well as having a hugely successful and busy youth section. The establishing of a Rugby Academy is the next step in the continued growth of the club and enhances the development of individual players and teams from U14s right up to adult players.

The academy will mirror the work of the current SRU system and focus on six main strands in developing the players; technical, tactical, mental, physical, nutrition and team functioning.

A management board will supervise the  work of the academy comprising; the club President, Director of Rugby, Youth Convenor and 1st XV coaches. The Ayr Rugby Academy will be led by its Head Coach, Colin White (pictured below) who is a qualified PE teacher and former professional rugby player with Glasgow Warriors and in Italy. Colin has played age grade rugby for Scotland at U18, U19 and U21 levels as well as a couple of seasons for Scotland Sevens in the IRB World series events.

The club has plans to refurbish and develop the facilities at Millbrae which will support the work of the Academy.

A range of players have been nominated and selected to join and are now completing their applications. More details later.

"This is an important development for the club," says President Billy McHarg. " We see this as a logical step for our club and for future academy provision in Scotland. The club invests heavily in rugby across all ages and we recognise the need to offer as much as we can to our players. Colin is an ideal appointment given his experiences and qualifications."

Players will benefit from flexible, individual programmes including important, relevant strength and conditioning advice. It is expected that between 25-35 players will take up the offer of a place with the youngest players aged 13 years and the oldest likely to be playing in the 1st XV at 22.

Whilst the work of the new Ayr Rugby Academy is just beginning there will be an official launch shortly when the first group of players is confirmed. Watch this space.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Climo Wins Ranfurly Shield with Taranaki

Frazier Climo starred in Taranaki's win over Southland on Wednesday night to claim the Ranfurly Shield. So important is the win in the province that everyone is pitching in to have the stadium ready for an expected crowd of 20,000 to see Taranaki defend the Shield against Hawkes Bay this Sunday.

Go here for news article on the win and watch the video - see if you can spot Crackles!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

MacArthur, Hogg and Reid in Warriors Team for Sale

Pat MacArthur and Stuart Hogg start for Warriors tomorrow night against Sale while Gordon Reid is on the bench. Ayr favourite MacArthur takes the hooker spot whilst our latest recruit Stuart Hogg is at full back following his excellent performance against Newcastle. Gordy provides prop cover and is released for the weekend to Ayr for the opening RBS Premier 1 clash at Millbrae with Edinburgh Accies.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Bennett Plays for Clermont Auvergne Against Llanelli

Mark starred for ASM Clermont Auvergne in their victory over Llanelli, coming off the bench and making a big impact on the game.

Mark pictured here playing against Brive last week.

Having just arrived at the French side's academy he is clearly making a good impression already with this outing for the top team alongside the likes of Floch, Vermeulen, Brock James and Jason White.

Well done Mark keep up the good work.

Go here for match report.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Ayr Welcomes Draft Pro Players

Ayr RFC is delighted to welcome the following Warriors players to the club following the recent pro player draft:

The first two need no introduction:

Gordon Reid                                                                       Pat McArthur

Nor these two:

Ed Kalman                                                                           Ryan Wilson

Ryan Grant                                                                          

Michael Cusack

Federico Aramburu

Gordy Reid Arrives As Glasgow Warrior

It's finally happened, despite a year's ribbing from the Ayr boys last season when Gordon Reid was on a training contract, last night he turned up at Millbrae as a fully fledged Glasgow Warrior.

Of course we still get him in the pro player draft!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Robbie Fergusson for Scotland

Ayr's teenage star Robbie Fergusson has been selected for Scotland's 12 man squad for the Youth Commonwealth Games to be held on the Isle of Man between the 6th and 13th September 2011.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Stuart Hogg Joins Ayr

Hawick and Scotland Under 20s start Stuart Hogg has joined Ayr for the forthcoming season.

Picture courtesy of Scottish Rugby

Stuart is looking for a more permanent move to Glasgow as an Elite Development Player with the Warriors hence the move from Hawick, which has been responsible for developing one of the finest talents in Scottish Rugby. He has been an integral part of the Scotland Under 20s programme during the 2011 Six Nations and U20s World Cup tournaments as well as having appeared for the Warriors in the Magners League. Hogg is an exciting talent and will be a great addition to our squad for the Premier 1 and British and Irish Cup competitions, of course he may also be a regular starter with Glasgow Warriors.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

London Scottish Ready for Ayr

Our friends at London Scottish are getting ready for the big pre-season clash at the Athletic Ground, Richmond on Friday 19th August.

Go here for details.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Climo Makes Taranaki ITM Squad

Former Ayr star Frazier Climo has been selected for the Tenderlink Taranaki ITM Cup Squad it was announced on Wednesday. Crackles returned early from Millbrae last season in an effort to make the squad and his hard work and efforts have been rewarded.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Ayr RFC Summer Camps

Ayr Summer Kids Camp 2011

This summer Ayr Rugby Club will be holding Summer Youth Day Camps for boys and girls aged 5 - 14. The camps will be run by Mark Stewart and Robbie Colhoun and will include a combination of learning skills and fun games.

Week 1 Mon 11th - Fri 15th July
Week 2 Mon 18th - Fri 22nd July
Week 3 Mon 1st - Fri 5th Aug
Week 4 Mon 8th - Fri 12th Aug

10am - 2pm Daily
Early Drop off/Late pick up available

Ayr Rugby Club

£10 per day

For more details contact Mark Stewart 07513061314
Robbie Colhoun 07523716779

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Ben Johnston Best Player 2011

Ayr's young star and No.8 Ben Johnston was selected as the Best Player for 2011 in the Under 16s Age Group at the Glasgow Thistles' Rugby Training Project in Perpignan, France. 

Friday, 20 May 2011

Gordon Reid Signs for Glasgow Warriors

Millbrae favourite Gordon Reid has signed a two year contract with Glasgow Warriors following another highly successful season with Ayr.

For the full story go here.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Ayr Win Glasgow City Sevens

Stunning Win at Dumbreck
Ayr had two teams at the NCS Glasgow City Sevens this afternoon. In the main adult competition Ayr were beaten by Glasgow Hawks in the quarter-final stages after the competition had been rejigged.

The big Ayr cheers were reserved however for the Under 15s side who qualified for the final and won in an excellent display against Cartha QP RFC on the main pitch. With some high quality tries and excellent defence the future of the club is in good hands as this squad comes through the ranks.

Well done lads.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Mark Bennett Moving to Clermont Auvergne

Ayr centre Mark Bennett is moving to France this summer to join French champions Clermont Auvergne.

Scottish Rugby confirmed the move to the French club's academy in a press release this morning. Mark, who has lit up the Premier 1 scene this season, is a product of the excellent youth provision at Cumnock RFC and latterly here at Millbrae. He has played through the representative ranks too in the Pathway and Glasgow District programme and for Scotland Under 20s in this year's 6 Nations campaign. He played for Glasgow Warriors against Leinster in Dublin last week. Mark is a member of the Elite Development Programme attached to Glasgow Warriors.

Ayr supporters will be sad to see him go but wish him well. His last accolade was to pick up the Man of the Match Award in our dramatic Cup win against Melrose at Murrayfield. He's pictured below going in for his try.

Although unable to pick up a full-time professional contract in Scotland, this is an exciting move for the talented youngster and we will be keeping a very close eye on his progress and future achievements. Mark and his family have become a real part of the fabric at Millbrae and they will always be welcome here.

We hope the French players can keep up with him!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Ayr's Big Season of Representative Rugby

Ayr RFC is justifiably considered to be the top club in the country, Melrose may contest this of course, but the Alloway club has another Cup win in the bag, will feature again in the British and Irish Cup, has a league winning 2nd XV and a full programme of rugby throughout the club with thriving mini and midi sections.

You just can't ignore, however, Ayr's representative season for 2010/11 it is unrivalled:

Glasgow Under 16s:
(l-r) Andrew Mill, Ben Johnston, Angus Johnston, Ewan Bulger, Gavin Lowe, Ruaraidh Bottomley

Glasgow Under 17s:  above Danny McCluskey, supporting the ball carrier; below Robbie Mackie propping against West of Scotland in the Cup semi-final.

Glasgow and Scotland Under 18s: below Mark Bennett, Murray Beckwith and Robbie Fergusson. Mark also represented his country in the Scotland Under 20s 6 Nations campaign and played for Glasgow Warriors against Leinster in the Magners League.

Scotland Club International Team: below Damien Kelly and Ross Curle, Gordon Reid, Robbie Colhoun and Andrew Dunlop. Gordon Reid also trained with and played for Glasgow Warriors during the season.

Paul Burke (below) trained and played with Glasgow Warriors.

Glasgow Under 17s Head Coach and Scotland Club International Assistant Coach - Peter Laverie

Well done to everyone involved and if you want to be part of Ayr's success story too, then you'll be most welcome.