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.