Friday, 28 February 2014

Ayr v Edinburgh Accies preview

After a tough Cup loss to Glasgow Hawks last week in Pollok Park, Ayr will be glad to get back to Millbrae on Saturday, where they host Edinburgh Accies in the RBS Premiership.  With almost two hundred extra female fans expected for Ladies' Day, as well as the regular faithful followers, it will be a great atmosphere.

Ayr head coach Peter Laverie is looking forward to returning to league business and welcoming the Raeburn Place side.

"Accies like to play quick rugby and move the ball sharply from the breakdown.  We will have to be ready for this as well as looking to play our brand of rugby.  It should be an exciting game."

The squad has a familiar feel to it, with Grant Anderson once again leading the side from full-back.  Andrew Dunlop returns to the back row, meaning Callum Templeton moves back to the second row.

George Hunter is unavailable, so Zimbabwean international Denford Mutamangira starts in the front row after last Saturday's try-scoring cameo appearance.  New dad Stuart Fenwick takes the other prop berth.

As part of the policy of squad rotation, Peter Jericevich starts at scrum-half, with Murray McConnell moving on to a very versatile bench.


15. Grant Anderson (capt.), 14. Craig Gossman, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick, 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Ross Curle, 9. Peter Jericevich; 1. Denford Mutamangira, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Stuart Fenwick; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Graham Fisken, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Peter McCallum.


16. David Young, 17. Nick Cox, 18. Craig Brown, 19. Murray McConnell, 20. Danny McCluskey.

Kick-off 3pm.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Ayr boys turning out for Glasgow U16s

Ayr under-16s have been rewarded for their excellent season by having five players selected to represent their district.

Gregor Paxton, Aaron Tait, Michael Manning, Ryan Dunlop and Mark Conlan will be pulling on the Glsagow Warriors shirt tonight for their under-16s team against Caledonia under-16s.

Good luck to them all!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ayr 24 Glasgow Hawks 28

It was a disappointing day for Ayr at a sunny Lochinch in Pollok Park as they couldn't pull off another great escape in the RBS Cup and were beaten by Glasgow Hawks in their rescheduled quarter-final.

It was a bit of a stop-start first quarter as both teams possibly got to grips with playing on the artificial pitch at Police Scotland's recreation ground, but Hawks, always desperate to get one over on their great rivals, settled down the quicker of the two and went for Ayr's try-line.  Luckily for Ayr, the long limbs of flanker Callum Templeton were able to mess things up.
Both sides struggled with kicking from hand as the kickers seemed unsure of the pitch's length and more than once the ball went bouncing over the back line.
Ayr's backs finally got into gear with some deft interplay between stand-off Ross Curle and inside centre Dean Kelbrick, which seemed in inspire the forwards as, minutes later, they were making for Hawks' try-line.  However, a try wasn't given, but a huge shove from Ayr in the proceeding scrum saw the ball bobbling over the line only to be touched down by a Hawks hand.

 Hawks were nipping and sniping all over the place, especially scrum-half Paddy Boyer, but Ayr held firm and a break from diminutive winger Craig Gossman allowed full-back Grant Anderson to go over for the first try.  Curle converted from a difficult angle.  7-0.

Ayr's tails were up and flanker Graham Fisken flew on to a lovely floated pass and swirved his way through the Hawks defence to gallop up the park and get his team into a good position for scrum-half Murray McConnell to dart over next to the posts for another try, which Curle summarily converted.  14-0.
Hawks weren't ruffled though and some steady work from former Ayr youngster Gavin Lowe and a few barrelling runs from outside centre Jack Steele got them back into the match.  Steele went for a penalty kick just as the wind started to pick up but that didn't hinder his boot.  14-3.
Ayr were still the more creative, however, with Kelbrick and his centre partner Robbie Fergusson linking up nicely, Anderson on his usual marauding form and both Craig and Kerr Gossman showing a clean pair of heels.  But Hawks' defence held out and Steele added another penalty before half-time.  14-6.
It wasn't long after the resumption of play that Hawks showed just how good they can be, with hooker Finlay Gillies diving over for a well-deserved try.  Steele's conversion attempt wobbled away to the side of the posts.  14-11.

 Kicks were still going too long and Ayr didn't help their cause with a few handling errors creeping in.  Frustrations must have been getting the better of the players as a minor scuffle broke out but was quickly forgotten with Templeton tumbling his way out of tackles and looking for a break. 
It was Hawks who had the bit between their teeth though, and they launched some impressive attacks, eventually leading to their second try, this time scored by Angus Hamilton.  Lowe converted.  14-18.
Curle had the chance to take Ayr within one point with a penalty attempt, but with the wind swirling (Anderson was needed to hold the ball on the tee), he missed. 
Ayr stuck in, with Kerr Gossman ripping the ball out of Lowe's hands and Fergusson zig-zagging his way into the opposition half and moments later Curle had another chance at goal, which he managed.  17-18.
He soon had another shot after Ayr number eight Peter McCallum was taken out of the air by Gillies, landing flat on his back with a horrible thump on the astroturf, whose abrasive surface had already ripped open knees and bruised faces.  Gillies was allowed to stay on the field, but McCallum had to go off.  Curle couldn't slot the penalty.

 Hawks then pulled away with a try and conversion from Lowe, quickly followed by another penalty.  17-28.
Ayr don't do giving up and moments later, replacement prop Denford Mutamangira blasted his way through the flailing tackles of Hawks and shot up the wing to score a terrific try in the corner.  Curle slotted the conversion.  24-28
However, Hawks had their talons in the match and simply refused to let the double opportunity of making it to the RBS Cup semi-finals and beating Ayr pass them by.  They held on until they could boot the ball off the pitch at the final whistle and then gleefully celebrated a hard-fought win.
Final score: Ayr 24 Glasgow Hawks 28.
- Elena Hogarth.
All photos courtesy of Alan Watson.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Finn to start for the Warriors

Finn Russell will start at stand-off for Glasgow Warriors on Sunday in their RaboDirect Pro12 match against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

The 21-year-old impressed when he came on as a substitute during Glasgow's away win over the Cardiff Blues.  This is his second start for the Warriors but his first at 10.

Good luck to Finn and all of the Warriors!

Read the full story here.

An invite from Cartha QP

Our friends at Cartha QP RFC have extended an invite to their clubhouse at Dumbreck after the game tomorrow for any members or supporters who wish to watch the Scotland game (they have TV and big screen) which is on straight after our match against Hawks. 

Food and drinks are also available in the Cartha clubhouse.  At 3.00pm Cartha will then play Falkirk in a crucial league match at Dumbreck or if the wetaher beats them, then back along at Lochinch.

Ayr v Glasgow Hawks RBS Cup quarter-final preview - take two!

After weeks of bad weather and postponed matches, Ayr will finally take to solid ground at Lochinch on Saturday morning to battle Glasgow Hawks for a place in the RBS Cup semi-finals.

The match originally intended to take place at Millbrae tonight was to have been the rescheduled RBS Premiership tie against Hawks (now scheduled for 15th March), but the Cup competition takes priority and the quarter-final must be decided.

Had the game been once again cancelled, it would have been decided by a cut of cards under new regulations, a scenario neither side would have wanted.  But Lochinch, the recreation ground of Police Scotland in Pollok Park on the southside of Glasgow, has a 3G pitch, which means the fixture will definitely be played, no matter the weather. 

Both teams will no doubt be on their best behaviour at the sporting home of the national police force but that won't nullify the edge to this match between such close rivals.

"There are some good battles across the sides because the players know each other well and we will have to play at our best to progress to the next round," says Ayr head coach Peter Laverie.  "This will be a tight and keenly-fought affair and the players will enjoy the opportunity to express themselves on the Lochinch surface, which will make for a very good game."

Laverie sees another highlight of playing at Lochinch.

"The after-match food is an old school pie and beans.  Kenny Murray may well be regretting his move to Warriors."

There are a couple of Ayr's second XV players who have made the step up to the firsts this week in the form of Craig Brown, who starts at lock, and Stewart Walker, who is amongst the replacements.  With Andrew Dunlop unavailable, Callum Templeton moves into the back row.

There is yet again a strong bench, featuring David Young, who can play at hooker or in the back row, returning fan favourite Denford Mutamangira, lively scrum-half Peter Jericevich and young back Danny McCluskey, as well as Walker.


15. Grant Anderson, 14. Craig Gossman, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick, 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Ross Curle, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Nick Cox; 4. Craig Brown, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Callum Templeton, 7. Graham Fisken, 8. Peter McCallum.


16. David Young, 17. Denford Mutamangira, 18. Stewart Walker, 19. Peter Jericevich, 20. Danny McCluskey.

Please note the earlier kick-off of 11.30am.  We'll do our best to update Twitter and Facebook with the scores.

You can find the location of Lochinch here and we hope to see as many of you there as possible to cheer on the team.  It's free entry!


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ayr Ladies youngsters in action for Scotland this weekend

Ayr Ladies' teen sensation Emily Irving has been given the chance to make her senior debut for Scotland this Sunday after being named on the bench for their match against Italy.

The talented young back has been knocking on the door for a while after some blistering performances for Ayr.

Emily's team-mates Lisa Jayne Croniken and Megan Thomson will hopefully be pulling on the dark blue of Scotland this weekend too as they have been named in the under-20s squad for their match against the British Army at Peffermill.

Very best of luck to them all!

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Gordy signs new long-term deal with Warriors

Former Millbrae man Gordon Reid has signed a new three-year contract with Glasgow Warriors.

The twenty-six-year-old joined Warriors in 2011 after some great performances for Ayr and will remain with the professional side until at least May 2017.

Read the full story here.

D'arcy and James on bench for Scotland U20s

Ayr's young front row tyros D'arcy Rae and James Malcolm fly out to northern Italy today with the Scotland under-20s squad for their third Six Nations match. 

The Ayr duo have been named on the bench for the game against Italy on Friday evening and along with their team-mates will be looking for their first victory in this year's competition.

Good luck to all!

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Lewis Anderson in Scotland U18s clash

Ayr youngster Lewis Anderson has been named amongst the forwards of the Scotland under-18s squad ahead of a trial match against Scottish Districts under-18s XV to be played on Sunday at Hamilton Bulls RFC.

The national under-18s coach Eddie Pollock will use the clash to assess the young players before their international matches commence on Sunday 9th March against England.

Well done and good luck to Lewis!

Read the full story here.

Millbrae hosts charity fire-walkers

The club will host twenty-four fire-walkers this Sunday 23rd February who are putting themselves through pain to raise funds for the Ayrshire Hospice. 

The afternoon kicks off with the participants arriving at 4pm to psych themselves up and to numb their feet...! The fire walk itself will start around 6.30pm.

Please get along and support this worthy cause.  There will be full bar facilities, light snacks, tea and coffee are available.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Quarter-final to be played at Lochinch

After several changes due to the weather, the RBS Cup quarter-final against Glasgow Hawks will now take place on Saturday 22nd February at 11.30am on the 3G pitch at Lochinch, the home of the Police Rugby Club in Pollok Park on the southside of Glasgow.

You can find the location here.

This is to ensure that the match gets played as soon as possible, or under new regulations, it will be decided by a cut of cards.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Ayr v Hawks RBS Cup Quarter-Final preview

After a few weeks without a game due to adverse weather conditions, Ayr will be back on the pitch at Millbrae tomorrow to face west coast rivals Glasgow Hawks in the quarter-finals of the RBS Cup.

Whether facing off in the cup or the league, the two sides always have intense matches.  Their last encounter was back in September in the league, with Ayr recording a five-try 32-26 victory at Old Anniesland.  But Hawks will no doubt fancy their chances after coming through the pool stages of the competition and securing the RBS West Regional Cup, which they lost to Ayr last season in a fiery contest.

"I'm sure the players will be up for it," says Ayr head coach Peter Laverie.  "There are always interesting battles between these teams since everyone knows each other very well."

Despite Ayr's recent winning record against Hawks, Laverie knows that anything can happen in this competition.

"The Cup provides a very different challenge because it is a one-off game and so maximum concentration is needed for the eighty minutes (or longer) to prevail."

Laverie, naturally, has every faith in his team and Ayr's sixteenth man - the fans.  "We have a strong squad ready to go with a very capable bench and as ever the Millbrae crowd to cheer us on."

All seven players who were involved in the Scotland Club XV match against Ireland last week are back in Ayr's match day squad.  Ross Curle starts at stand-off as Finn Russell is on duty with Glasgow Warriors.

A very strong bench features the return of Stuart Fenwick and a fit-again Denford Mutamangira.


15. Grant Anderson, 14. Craig Gossman, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick, 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Ross Curle, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Nick Cox; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Graham Fisken, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Peter McCallum.


16. Stuart Fenwick, 17. Denford Mutamangira, 18. Graham Williamson, 19. Peter Jericevich, 20. Danny McCluskey.

Kick-off 2.30pm.  Live scores will be available via Twitter.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Big Weekend for 12 Ayr Players

Twelve Ayr players will feature in important rugby matches this weekend.  An unrivalled seven start in the Scotland Club International XV against their Irish counterparts on Friday evening at Cork Constitution RFC.  George Hunter, Fergus Scott, Nick Cox and Callum Templeton appear up front while Peter Jericevich, Dean Kelbrick and Craig Gossman are in the back line.

At the same time D'arcy Rae and James Malcolm will be facing the Auld Enemy for Scotland U20s at Galashiels in the Six Nations Championship.  D'arcy starts in the front row while James is on the bench.

On Sunday, Glasgow Warriors face Connacht at Scotstoun in the RaboDirect Pro12, with Finn Russell and Murray McConnell on the bench.  Robbie Fergusson, who has been training with Warriors recently, is the 24th man.

"It's a tremendous achievement for the club," says head coach Peter Laverie.  "More important though is the experience the players will get from their involvement in the various squads and the challenges presented by these fixtures.  I'm pleased for them but it also demonstrates the importance of the close links among clubs, pro teams and representative squads."

Monday, 3 February 2014

Seven Ayr players in Club Int squad for Ireland match

The Scotland Club XV will face their Irish counterparts at Cork Constitution RFC on Friday night, with five Ayr players named in the starting line-up and a further two on the bench.

Dean Kelbrick, Craig Gossman and Peter Jericevich start at inside centre, left wing and scrum-half respectively, with George Hunter in the front row and Callum Templeton in the second row.  Prop Nick Cox and hooker Fergus Scott are amongst the substitutes.

Read the full story here.

Support the U16s and U18s on Cup Finals Day

The under-16s and under-18s have their Cup Finals Day on Sunday 16th February at Lasswade RFC, where they face Currie and Jed respectively.

It's a great achievement for both teams and it would be great if as many supporters as possible could make the trip to cheer them on.  Buses will be put on for supporters, so please let Gordon Kotze or Angus Bunten know if you would like to go by no later than Wednesday 12th February.

See our Facebook page and the under-18s' own dedicated Facebook page for more details.