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.

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