Sunday, 29 December 2013

Champions train in the wildest conditions!

Ayr U16s and U18s (both recently-crowned National League Champions) joined the 2nd and 1st XV players in the festive training session yesterday on the old racecourse.  The only thing which wasn't festive was the weather and the players braved the elements, all of them, as they were put through their paces.  Good effort everyone and there was a sizeable crowd watching the madness too.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Vote for December player of the month

The player of the month poll for December 2013 is now open, so get voting to give your favourite player a belated Christmas present!

Ayr first XV have played three matches this month and all players listed on the poll have featured in at least one, if not all, of them.  December started with a rousing win over Ulster Ravens in the British and Irish Cup, but the second leg in Belfast brought Ayr back down to earth.  The men in pink and black bounced back with a five-try victory over Aberdeen GSFP to end a brilliant year for the club.

The poll is open for the next five days.  You can only vote once.  The winner will be announced on Hogmanay.

Vote here.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Ayr 32 Aberdeen Grammar 14

Ayr scored five tries to Aberdeen Grammar's two at a dreich Millbrae on Saturday to give a little Christmas cheer to their faithful fans who had braved the wind and rain to cheer on the men in pink and black.

The weather had calmed down somewhat as the match kicked off and both sides seemed to fancy a bit of fast-paced rugby.  But it was the visitors who sensibly kept the ball in the forwards and at eight minutes, a powerful drive from a line-out resulted in number eight Tom Preece going over for a try.  Stand-off Sam Knudson kicked the conversion.  0-7.

Ayr pressed on with strong runs from lock Callum Templeton and flanker Graham Fisken, but Grammar put in some very tough tackles to prevent them making much ground.

It wasn't until fourteen minutes that Ayr managed to get into a good attacking position and, after a deft take at the line-out from flanker Andrew Dunlop, number eight Peter McCallum barrelled over for the home side's first try.  Stand-off Ross Curle added the extras.  7-7.

It was another good performance from Ayr scrum-half Murray McConnell, who, as well as marshalling his men, made some excellent kicks for touch.  Three minutes after McCallum's try, McConnell got his troops back into Grammar's half and the forwards began a slow drive to the line.  It was prop George Hunter who trundled over for Ayr's second try.  Curle missed the wide conversion.  12-7.

The rain started lashing down but that didn't quell Ayr's ambition, or Grammar's.  Knudson was itching to get away but the home defence was on to him, despite the surface now getting very slippery.  Grammar's defenders returned the favour when Ayr captain Grant Anderson made a lovely break.

It looked at this stage that the visitors could catch up with Ayr but a few aimless kicks and handling errors let them down and they couldn't contain McCallum and Hunter, who continued to be on lively form.

At twenty-seven minutes, outside centre Robbie Fergusson ignored the ensuing quagmire and chipped up the wing for himself and winger Richard Dalgleish to chase.  Fergusson flew straight past the Grammar defenders, neatly gathered and dived over for a try.  Again, the angle was too wide for Curle to convert.  17-7.

A minute later and Fergusson tried the same trick but the ball bobbled into touch.  No matter, as Hunter quickly got the ball from a line-out and once again forced his way over for a try.  Curle got the conversion this time.  24-7.

Grammar weren't disheartened, however, and put Ayr under enormous pressure at the scrum.  Their line-out functioned better than it had done in the first quarter, but despite having two in Ayr's 22, they couldn't get near the line. 

The next score was courtesy of the referee, who awarded Aberdeen a penalty try at thirty-six minutes after Ayr's repeated infringements at the scrum.  Knudson got the conversion.  24-14.

However, the visitors couldn't push on, giving away a penalty in a kickable position for being off-side.  It was a tricky angle, but Curle managed it.  27-14.

With six tries in the first half, the crowd was expecting more of the same in the second, but the game dipped as both sides slid about in the mud. 

Knocks-on, slips and pointless kicks did nothing to help either team and although Ayr had plenty of territory, they couldn't get anywhere near Grammar's tryline. 

It wasn't until sixty-eight minutes that replacement scrum-half Peter Jericevich burrowed his way over for the final try of the match.  Curle missed the conversion.  32-14.

Aberdeen Grammar gave it one last shot with inside centre Harry Duthie almost breaking through.  Their efforts were boosted when Ayr were reduced to fourteen men after inside centre Dean Kelbrick was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle.  A scrum on Ayr's five-metre line was promising but a huge shove from the hosts caused Grammar to knock-on.

Again, the visitors applied pressure but the likes of Fisken and replacement prop Nick Cox put in some crunching tackles and Ayr managed a turn-over, Templeton's long legs allowing him to gallop off for the last piece of exciting play in the match.

Final score: Ayr 32 Aberdeen Grammar 14.  Man of the match: George Hunter.

- Elena Hogarth.

Finn signs with Glasgow Warriors

Ayr's talented young stand-off Finn Russell has signed a two-year deal with Glasgow Warriors after coming up through the Elite Development Programme.  As well as impressing for Ayr, Finn has also caught the eye playing for Lincoln University in New Zealand over the summer when on the McPhail Scholarship.

A huge congratulations to Finn!  Read the full story here.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Youngsters at U16s training camp

The age-grades are reaping the rewards of a successful season, with Ayr players Michael Manning, Gregor Paxton and Aaron Tait being named in the Scotland under-16s training camp.  The trio will spend the day at Lochinch Rugby Club in Glasgow next Sunday training with forty other talented youngsters from across the country.

Read the full story here.

Also, on Friday night, Ayr's Jack Preston and Lewis Anderson played for Glasgow Warriors under-18s in their 12-3 victory over their Edinburgh counterparts, with Anderson captaining the side.

2nds face Aberdeen

With the disappointment of last week's cancelled game against Gala behind us, it is back to business this week as Aberdeen head to Millbrae for a 2pm kick off.

A result last week would have gone some way to see the team push for the top spot in the league had we been successful.

Anyone of the top four - Hawks, Ayr, Gala and Edinburgh Accies - could still secure this tight league dependant on results going the right way for them.  The team this week sees little change to last week with Denford Mutamangira and Stuart Fenwick stepping into the front row and captain Colin Dunn making a welcome return at number eight.

So before taking in the 1st XV big match, get onto the touchline and support the future of the club.  Hopefully Santa gives us all an early Christmas present.

Finally, on a personal note it was with some sadness the team learnt recently of the death of Keith Hunter's (Nuggers) mother, a lovely lady who always had a smile.  great supporter of the team when I last visited Ayr and coached the 2XV, she was always to be found on the touchline in all weathers supporting Keith and the lads.  We all extend our deepest sympathy to Keith and his father at this sad time.

- Jim Henderson, 2nd XV coach

Ayr v Aberdeen Grammar preview

Ayr welcome Aberdeen Grammar to Millbrae for the last match of 2013.  It's certainly been a year to remember and the team will want to make this final match just as memorable for their faithful fans after an up-and-down few months.

"Our players will be desperate to get into the action in what will be our twenty-first game in a row since pre-season began," says Ayr head coach Peter Laverie.  "One of our goals is always a top-three finish and with difficult ties for those above us still to be played, who knows what might yet happen in this very competitive league."

Laverie knows the opposition will be out to spoil the festive cheer in Alloway.

"Aberdeen travel down for this all-important fixture looking for valuable league points so they will be up for it, to be sure.  Tomorrow will be a hard-fought affair and we will have to concentrate and work hard to ensure a victory."

There are some changes to the squad this week, with Finn Russell on the bench for Glasgow Warriors in their match against Treviso tonight.  His place at stand-off is taken by the mercurial Ross Curle, with Murray McConnell at scrum-half.  Dean Kelbrick returns at inside centre.

In the forwards, Scott Sutherland is in the second row alongside Callum Templeton after overcoming an injury and Graham Fisken links up with Andrew Dunlop and Peter McCallum to form a speedy back row.

Young front row player James Malcolm is named on the bench following several months out with a broken wrist.


15. Grant Anderson (capt.), 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick, 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Ross Curle, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. D'arcy Rae; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Graham Fisken, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Peter McCallum.


16. James Malcolm, 17. Nick Cox, 18. Graham Williamson, 19. Peter Jericevich, 20. Craig Gossman.

Kick-off 3pm.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Ayr RFC!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Ayr duo in U20s camp

Two Ayr players have been named in the Scotland under-20s squad that will take part in a training camp in January.

Props James Malcolm and D'arcy Rae join thirty-four other young Scots, including former Ayr player Gavin Lowe, as they begin their preparations for the under-20s Six Nations and the IRB Junior World Championship.

Read the full story here.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Eight Ayr players in Club International squad

The squad for Scotland's upcoming Club International fixtures was announced today, with eight Ayr players included.

Props Nick Cox and George Hunter, hooker Fergus Scott, second row Callum Templeton, scrum-half Peter Jericevich, stand-off Finn Russell, centre Dean Kelbrick and winger Craig Gossman are the pink and black representatives in a group that includes players from nine RBS Premiership sides.

Gossman lit up Scotland's victory over their Irish club counterparts at Millbrae last season.  Fingers crossed he and his Ayr team-mates get the chance to do the same this year.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Ulster Ravens v Ayr preview

It was a fantastic win for Ayr last week against Ulster Ravens at Millbrae, and the men in pink and black will be hoping to put in another big performance in their return leg at Deramore on Friday night. 

Although Ayr head coach Peter Laverie is looking forward to his players taking on the Ravens again, he's well aware of the threat the Ulstermen pose.

"We are under no illusion about the task ahead.  Ulster will be desperate to make amends in front of their home crowd and keep their British and Irish Cup qualification hopes alive, so nothing short of our best efforts will do."

He adds: "This competition is great for the players; they really get to challenge themselves and it raises standards for everyone involved.  We have our goals: a good performance is essential before the return to league business next week and of course to give our own loyal support something to cheer about."

There are some significant changes in the backs this week, with players moving position.  Finn Russell starts at inside centre to make way for his Glasgow Warriors team-mate Scott Wight at stand-off, meaning Ross Curle moves to the wing.

In the forwards, the young front row of George Hunter, Fergus Scott and D'arcy Rae continues after a solid showing last week.  Graham Williamson comes into the second row in place of the injured Scott Sutherland.  Glasgow Warriors' James Eddie is once more part of a dynamic back row.

It's a strong bench yet again, with the fleet-of-foot Finlay Gillies covering hooker.  Gordon Reid missed last Saturday's game after getting stuck at Bristol airport with Glasgow Warriors, but is a replacement prop this week alongside a returning Denford Mutamangira.  Electric winger Craig Gossman is also back from injury, taking his place amongst the substitutes with his brother Kerr.


15. Grant Anderson (capt.), 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Finn Russell, 11. Ross Curle; 10. Scott Wight, 9. Peter Jericevich; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. D'arcy Rae; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Graham Williamson; 6. James Eddie, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Peter McCallum.


16. Finlay Gillies, 17. Gordon Reid, 18. Denford Mutamangira, 19. Benn Cogley, 20. Murray McConnell, 21. Kerr Gossman, 22. Craig Gossman.

Kick-off 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Grant Anderson in today's Herald

Ayr captain Grant Anderson talks the B&I Cup, the league and the road to Murrayfield with Neil Drysdale in the sports section of today's Herald.

Read the article here.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Support the 2nds on Saturday

Ayr's 2nd XV have a crunch match against their Gala counterparts on Saturday at Millbrae, kicking off at 2pm.  A hard-fought 23-19 win over Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place at the weekend has put them in a good position in the league.

After a first half best forgotten and with Ayr trailing 3-12 to Accies, it looked like any hopes of chasing the league title was slowly slipping from their grasp.

Half-time saw a team talk that had the Stockbridge residents cringing at the language used, with it being more akin to a disturbance associated with an altercation in a Glasgow street on a Friday night.  It did the trick, however, and saw the young charges enter the fray as though their lives depended on it and come away with a victory plus the crucial bonus point.

With the 2nds lying second in the league and chasing Hawks at the top, this week's game at Millbrae against Gala, who are one point behind Ayr, is sure to be another tasty contest.

So if you have done the Christmas shopping or just want to see what the future holds at the club, come along and support the team this weekend in what should be a deciding game.

- Jim Henderson, 2nd XV coach.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

U16s national league champions

Ayr under-16s beat a tough Falkirk side at Sunnyside Park on Sunday to become the national under-16s league champions.  The youngsters were undefeated throughout their campaign.

The trophy was presented by SRU president Donald McLeod. 

It's a tremendous achievement for the young men in pink and black.  Congratulations to all the players and coaches.

Ayr 41 Ulster Ravens 22

It might be the Ulster 'A' side who have the ornithological nickname, but it was Ayr who spread their wings and flew through an exciting eighty minutes of British and Irish Cup action at a muddy Millbrae yesterday.

Coming on the back of three defeats in a row in the RBS Premiership, the home side were looking for a morale-boosting display and from the whistle, it didn't look like they were going to achieve it. 

Ravens quickly gathered the ball and fired it to outside centre Stuart McCloskey, who skipped his way through the Ayr defenders and before anyone knew it, had raced up the wing to score with barely a minute on the clock. James McKinney added the conversion.  0-7.

Ayr refocussed and got the upper hand at the line-out, stealing Ravens ball, and held their own at the scrum.  Winger Richard Dalgleish displayed some fancy footwork early on and scrum-half Murray McConnell showed great strength to fend off tackles from Ulster academy players Jonny Murphy and Kyle McCall and bash his way out of his own half.

Centres Ross Curle and Robbie Fergusson combined to move the ball quickly up the park, finding flanker James Eddie who almost reached the tryline, dragging two Ravens tacklers along behind him before they could bring him down.  They kept the attack going and moved the ball left to find stand-off Finn Russell who dived over for their opening try, which he also converted.  7-7.

Peter McCallum showed just why he had been voted Ayr's player of the month for November, his catch from the restart just one example of his all-round skill.  It allowed Russell to release Scotland 7s cap Byron McGuigan to launch his first proper attack, which eventually came to nothing when he ran out of space on the wing.

Russell and McGuigan were involved a few minutes later when, along with Curle and Fergusson, they got the ball to within centimetres of the Ravens line.  The visitors' strong defence held out for a few phases, but flanker Andrew Dunlop burrowed his way over for Ayr's second try.  Russell's conversion was wide.  12-7.

McGuigan and Fergusson were putting in some big hits, as well as confounding Ravens with their mazy running.  Prop George Hunter put in a good shift with some much needed turnovers and solid tackles and Scott Sutherland was yet again Mr Reliable in the line-out before he limped off to be replaced by Graham Williamson.

Ayr's confidence, typified by some cheeky interplay between Russell and Fergusson, seemed to rattle Ravens, but the presence of Grand Slam winner Paddy Wallace, captaining the side at outside centre, steadied the visitors. 

Man-of-the-match McConnell was spotting holes in Ravens' defence and providing his attackers with swift ball, but Fergusson, along with full-back and captain Grant Anderson, couldn't find a way through, as Wallace and McCloskey closed the gaps.

It was Ravens' infringement at the scrum that gave Ayr their next chance for points and Russell kicked a penalty with five minutes to go in the first half.  15-7.

A few minutes later and Ravens replied with a penalty by McKinney.  15-10.

A charge-down by Ayr hooker Fergus Scott further frustrated the Northern Irish side and they must have breathed a sigh of relief when half-time came.

The Ulster men returned to the now churned-up turf with a spring in their step in the second half and a fumble on his own tryline from Fergusson almost let Ravens' replacement back David Busby touch down for a score, but Ayr's young centre managed to shove him off the pitch.

Ravens' full-back Ricky Andrew was leading the charge and only a tough tackle from Glasgow Warriors' hooker Finlay Gillies, making his first appearance for Ayr as a substitute, stopped him doing any real damage.

However, the Ravens' tails were up and they displayed great patience and fortitude to get flanker Conor Joyce over for a try at forty-seven minutes.  McKinney missed the conversion.  15-15.

It was at this point that Ravens could have pulled away, but Ayr wouldn't let them.  Gillies surprised everyone by deftly kicking on and when the visitors sent it back, the ball went straight into the arms of his fellow Warrior Scott Wight, who had come off the bench for Ayr a few minutes before.  He moved it out wide to reach the hands of Curle, who motored in behind the posts for a try.  Russell got the extras.  22-15.

Five minutes later, Wight and Curle were causing trouble for Ravens again, pushing play right up to the five-metre line.  Hunter somehow emerged from the huge muddy pile of bodies to go over for his first try of the season and Ayr's fourth of the game.  Russell's conversion just floated over the crossbar.  29-15.

By now, the Millbrae crowd was reaching its rowdy peak and as the fans got fired up, so did the players, perhaps a bit too much.  Although they secured another turnover, they knocked on a couple of times, as did Ravens. 

With the visitors getting a scrum on their own five-metre line, Ayr saw the perfect opportunity to mess it up and it was terrier-like McConnell who snapped at the ankles of number eight Adrian Hamilton to get the ball.  A few moments later and Curle had got it to touch down out wide for his second try.  Russell's conversion was short.  34-15.

Ravens weren't done yet, however.  Winger Peter Nelson combined with full-back Andrew to allow replacement Adam Liddell to go over for a try.  McKinney got the conversion.  34-22.

Ayr decided that attack was the best form of defence and although the vistors were pressing for more points, Wight, McGuigan, Scott, replacement scrum-half Peter Jericevich and winger Kerr Gossman, who came off the bench for Dalgleish, were keen to stretch their legs.

When they did have to defend, they were dogged, not allowing Ravens to leave their own half.  Stuart Fenwick, on for prop D'arcy Rae, led the way with an excellent turnover.  A scrum for each side followed, but it was a line-out that allowed Ayr to have the final say.  A good catch from Eddie set up a strong drive and Hunter went over for his second and Ayr's sixth try.  Russell converted.  41-22.

Time was up and after applauding their opponents into the clubhouse, the men in pink and black returned to the field for a post-match huddle to mull over a spirited team performance.

Final score: Ayr 41 Ulster Ravens 22.

- Elena Hogarth.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Ireland's Paddy Wallace to captain Ulster Ravens

Paddy Wallace will be returning to the field with the Ulster Ravens against Ayr in the third game of this season’s British and Irish Cup.  This will be the first match that Paddy has played in nine months due to a knee injury that he sustained against Glasgow Warriors in the RaboDirect PRO12 in February, resulting in him missing the rest of last season. 

Paddy you maybe thought you would never be back in an Ulster jersey after your injury?
PW: It’s really nice to be involved again in a match week, albeit with the A team, and I’m excited about getting back and playing again.  You obviously doubt whether you would get back to this point and there’s doubt on whether your knee would hold up after the serious injury that I had or whether I could play rugby at a professional level again.  Training has been going very well for the last few weeks and I’m just excited about getting into match training week as a player again.

How difficult have the last nine months been?
PW: It is frustrating when you get the injury and you know your timelines but you get on with it and get the head down and work hard. You know what’s ahead and you know all the work that needs done. What I did was set myself short term attainable goals, and every time you make those goals you feel that you’re achieving something and you can move onto the next one rather than looking at nine months down the road as it seems too long looking at it from that perspective.

Have you ever played at Ayr before?
PW: I’ve been waiting to play there for 15 years!  It’s nice to get a game at a level that I’m hopefully not out of my depth at too early.  Hopefully, I can play my way into the game and just feel comfortable playing rugby again and this may not be a bad level to start at.

You feel that you still have plenty to offer Ulster over the next couple of seasons?
PW: Yes, I would like to think so.  I thought I had been playing some of my better rugby over the last couple of seasons and hopefully I can get back to the level I was at before I got injured.  There’s plenty of competition and plenty of guys that are playing at a level that requires them to be away on international duty so hopefully there will be opportunities for players like myself that can offer a bit of experience and you just have to be ready when you have your number called that you are ready to play at a level.  I have goals still to reach within Ulster and that’s what’s driving me forward to come back from this injury and play.

With thanks to Ulster Rugby Communications Manager Neil Brittain.

Ayr v Ulster Ravens preview

Ayr welcome Ulster Ravens to Millbrae tomorrow for the British and Irish Cup, and the home team will have some Glasgow Warriors boosting the ranks.
It's been a tough few weeks in the RBS Premiership for the men in pink and black, but the B&I Cup is a different challenge for the players to get their teeth into, and Ayr head coach Peter Laverie is appreciative of that.
"The benefits from games like these are: testing yourself against full-time opposition, raising your skill standards and developing a higher physical intensity, as well as game speed," he says.  "It also gives the team a real thrill to have a crack at some of the big teams."
It's sure to be an exciting day all round, with a big home crowd, 150 people at the Farmers' Day pre-match lunch and the cameras from Sky Sports catching it all, as well as Ireland international Paddy Wallace expected to take to the field for Ulster Ravens as part of his comeback from a long-term knee injury.
"It's all great for the club game and what an incentive to perform for our players. Hopefully the weather will be kind enough to have an open game of entertaining rugby," Laverie concludes.
With the B&I Cup allowing two more players in the replacements, and the inclusion of the Warriors, there are some notable changes to this week's line-up.  Namibian-born Scotland 7s cap Byron McGuigan starts on the left wing, with Richard Dalgleish on the right.
In the forwards, flanker James Eddie is also released by Glasgow Warriors to make another welcome start in pink and black this season.  Ayr's November player of the month Peter McCallum moves to number eight, meaning Callum Templeton partners Scott Sutherland in the second row.
Former Millbrae man, and firm Ayr favourite, Gordon Reid gets his first chance to play for his old club this season, as he takes his place on a very strong bench with fellow Warriors Finlay Gillies and Scott Wight.

15. Grant Anderson (capt.), 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Ross Curle, 12. Robbie Fergusson, 11. Byron McGuigan; 10. Finn Russell, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. D'arcy Rae; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. James Eddie, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Peter McCallum.
16. Finlay Gillies, 17. Gordon Reid, 18. Nick Cox, 19. Graham Williamson, 20. Peter Jericevich, 21. Scott Wight, 22. Kerr Gossman.
Please note the earlier kick-off of 2.30pm.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Vote for your November player of the month

It's time to vote for your Ayr first XV player of month.  November has been a difficult month on the pitch with results not going the way anyone wanted, but there's no doubt the players give their all and you can pick your favourite man in pink and black from those who have featured in the match day squad for the last five games.

The poll closes on Thursday morning, so get voting!

Vote here.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Ayr 5 Heriot's 17

It was a subdued Millbrae crowd who watched a tame Ayr side go down to Heriot's on a cold, dull afternoon yesterday. 

The visitors had managed to pip Ayr to the post by one point when they had played at Goldenacre earlier in the season and another close game was expected.  But Heriot's stamped their authority on the match from the get-go and Ayr could do nothing to get into it.

The opening proceedings were fairly even between the two sides, with each having possession and looking to launch attacks through the backs.  But it was Heriot's who had the spring in their step and inside centre Cameron Ferguson broke through the Ayr defence to release winger Max Nimmo for a try under the posts at eight minutes.  Scrum-half Graham Wilson converted.  0-7.

Ayr hooker Fergus Scott was in a lively mood all afternoon and he tidied up a scrappy line-out to burst through the Heriot's defenders and start the home side's first properly threatening attack.  The ball was quickly moved through the backs until it found full-back and captain Grant Anderson, but he was bundled into touch.

With Ayr's Peter Jericevich making his first start of the season at stand-off, there were effectively two scrum-halves on the pitch and this certainly speeded up the passing, but Heriot's defenders were all over the backs and Ayr could barely breach the 22.
Heriot's Nimmo and his fellow winger Liam Steele were rock solid in defence, as well as itching for any opportunity to break, Steele chipping on but finding no way through.  Another kick from Heriot's was charged down by Ayr winger Kerr Gossman and nicely collected by second row Scott Sutherland, who passed to inside centre Robbie Fergusson, but again, they got nowhere.
The game descended into the dreaded aerial ping-pong, as both teams seemed unsure what to do with the ball and aimlessly kicked it back and forth. 
When Heriot's finally decided to keep the ball in hand, they were penalised for holding on and Ayr outside centre Ross Curle made a lovely kick for touch, giving the Millbrae men an excellent position in which to attack from the line-out.  Prop Nick Cox made for the line only for the referee to adjudge that he had been held up.
It all went wrong for Ayr after that, with a handling error from Anderson on his own line allowing Nimmo to pounce on the loose ball for his second try at thirty minutes.  Wilson got the conversion from out wide.  0-14.
Ayr tried to get keep their heads, although Jericevich seemed to have his squeezed by a Heriot's defender in a high tackle.  But Ayr had the penalty reversed when flanker Andrew Dunlop saw red and tipped a Heriot's man off the pitch, causing referee David Changleng to bring out the yellow card with a few minutes to go in the first half.
Ayr can be commended for not leaking any points when down to fourteen men, with winger Craig Gossman once again putting in tackles with belie his stature.
Things were looking up in the second half for Ayr with Finn Russell coming on at stand-off and his presence seemed to steady the ship, defensively at least, as he closed down more than one Heriot's attack.

Ayr number eight Graham Fisken and Dunlop, when he returned from the sin bin, made breaks but they were unsupported and Heriot's turned over.

Wilson had his first kickable penalty at fifty minutes but the ball sailed wide of the posts. 

Ayr were getting shoved about in the scrum but were still managing to get the ball away to the backs.  It was just the last ten metres to the tryline that the Gossman brothers couldn't make.  It was through no fault of their own but thanks to the Heriot's defenders who were swarming all over them.

With the crowd roaring that the visitors were off-side on several occasions, it was the home team who were penalised for it at fifty-nine minutes and Wilson got the ball over the crossbar this time.  0-17.

The men in pink and black weren't about to end the match scoreless as the final fifteen minutes loomed.  Anderson used his trademark strong running to evade the Heriot's defence and cross for a much-needed try.  Russell couldn't make the wide conversion.  5-17.

The Millbrae faithful always believe, but it became quite clear that their players weren't going to be able to mount a comeback.  Despite attacks from Curle and Fergusson and a cross-field kick from Russell for Craig Gossman to catch - which he did, only for him to be pushed into touch - Ayr could get no more points.

Final score: Ayr 5 Heriot's 17.

- Elena Hogarth.