Tuesday, 31 March 2015

End of season dinner on Friday 1st May

Ayr RFC's end of season awards dinner will take place on Friday 1st May in the Princess Royal Suite of Ayr Racecourse.

After the success of last year's function, which saw 170 guests enjoy dinner and cheer on the season's award winners, we're hoping for another big turnout!

The black tie event kicks off at 7pm with a Ginger Grouse drinks reception, followed by a three-course dinner and the awards presentations.  A live band will then round off the evening's festivities.

Tickets are £30 per person and tables of 8-12 guests can be booked.  Please contact our bar steward Colin at the clubhouse or on 01292 441944 to book your ticket before Friday 24th April.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

March 2015 POTM poll open!

This month's player of the month poll is now open!

There have only been two matches for the men's 1st XV in March and every player who took to the field in those games has been included.

The poll will close on Thursday at midday and the winner will be named shortly afterwards.

Vote here.

Melrose Sevens draw made

The world famous Melrose Sevens are just weeks away and the draw has been made.

Ayr will face Stewart's Melville on Saturday 11th April at the Greenyards in the preliminary round and if successful will face Germany in the first round.

We'll bring you more information as we get it!

Melrose 13 Ayr 14

There was all to play for as Melrose welcomed Ayr to the Greenyards for the final BT Premiership fixture of the season on a blustery Saturday afternoon.

As well as the Bill McLaren Shield being up for grabs, there was the small matter of securing a home tie in next week's play-off semi-final to decide.

There was a real buzz about the famous ground as Melrose's youngsters paraded their season's silverware in front of the appreciative crowd before kick-off and then their tiniest players accompanied the starting fifteen on to the field as the main event was about to begin.

The home team very quickly gave their fans something to cheer about as they took a line-out after Ayr gave away an early penalty and rumbled all the way to the visitors' five-metre line, pink and black defenders bouncing off barrelling prop Nick Beavon as he searched for the try-line.  As play moved out to the backs, outside centre Austin Lockington slipped out of tackles, but a pass went sailing out of play instead of into the hands of wing Bruce Colvine.

It was something of a false dawn as Melrose conceded a penalty and allowed Ayr to drive from the ensuing line-out.  Captain Dean Kelbrick broke through the tackles to unleash his centre partner Robbie Fergusson who flew over for the try.  Full-back Grant Anderson struck the conversion marvellously in the wind.  0-7.

Melrose looked to replicate the feat when they had a line-out from a penalty but Ayr's forwards put on an almighty shove to prevent the maul getting anywhere.  Melrose knocked on and then infringed at the scrum, giving Ayr the line-out but the throw wasn't straight in the continual gusts.  Melrose again struggled at the scrum.  Ayr's scrum-half David Armstrong took the quick one and wing Cammy Taylor sped away but play broke up and they were brought back when Melrose strayed offside.

A few line-outs and a scrum for Ayr gave them a good platform to attack and number eight Blair Macpherson, Armstrong and Taylor pressed into Melrose's half.  Anderson, second row Scott Sutherland and flanker Will Bordill were strong but the hosts were pinged for not rolling away.  Anderson stepped up to the tee but the penalty attempt was wide.

Melrose got stuck into some good attacking play, with scrum-half Murdo McAndrew's kick for his backs to chase the best of their efforts, but it went just too far for anyone to ground.

It was a tough day for the front rows, with Ayr's Fraser Watt an early casualty - he was replaced by Stuart Fenwick - and his Melrose counterpart Ewan McQuillin also leaving the field to make way for Nicky Little.  Ayr were penalised at the scrum for not binding and Melrose stand-off Richard Mill had their first chance of points but pushed the kick wide.

Melrose got their hands on the ball and charged to the five-metre line before Ayr's wing Richard Dalgleish appeared from nowhere to drag down the attacker.  Stand-off Danny McCluskey also put in some hefty tackles before Ayr secured a turnover but it was deemed illegal and Melrose took the kick for the corner.

Some doughty defence from Ayr, led by prop George Hunter, snuffed out any attacking hopes the home team had but they soon got on the scoreboard with a penalty by Mill.  3-7.

Another penalty for Melrose followed and they took the line-out only for Ayr to steal the ball.  Macpherson, Anderson and Sutherland showed great hands to release McCluskey, who sprinted over for the try.  Anderson coped well with the wind and got the conversion.  3-14.

As half-time called, it was the left wings who tried to get things moving, with Ayr's Taylor and Melrose's Tito Mua each displaying some fancy footwork but the Greenyards side's handling again let them down and another pass was flung off the pitch.

The second half began with more messing about at the scrum and with Hunter substituted by Glasgow Warriors back-row James Eddie, they became uncontested as no other front row specialists were available for Ayr.

Melrose were soon trundling to Ayr's try-line and second row James Head claimed the score.  Colvine missed the conversion.  8-14.

Ayr turned over possession and Fergusson and flanker Andrew Dunlop spun their way out of tackles but they were later penalised for holding on.

The action slowed after the quick start to the half but Melrose captain Fraser Thomson tried to liven things up.  He couldn't get past the attentions of Anderson, McCluskey and hooker Fergus Scott.  Tempers frayed and a small scuffle broke out but it was quickly smoothed over.

Melrose dug in, desperate for another try, but Glasgow Warriors' Dougie Hall led the defence for Ayr alongside second row Rob McAlpine, Taylor, Bordill and Armstrong.  They held out for as long as they could, but the blasting runs from inside centre Andrew Nagle, Mua and Thomson meant a try was inevitable.  It was replacement back row Hugh Blake who finally scored it but it went unconverted as the wind persisted.  13-14.

The home team were determined to wreak havoc and almost did when Colvine sprinted off up the wing.  The Ayr defenders just managed to bundle him into touch.

McCluskey left the field after an industrious afternoon to be replaced by Murray McConnell, with Armstrong moving to stand-off.

As the tension heightened, things got sloppy from both sides, but Nagle had the crowd cheering as he made an exciting break.  He was tracked down by Kelbrick who, along with Taylor and Macpherson, managed to quell the threat under Bordill did some poaching and turned over.

There was a momentary pause as bodies appeared to be strewn all over the pitch and players from both sides needed some attention from the medical teams after such sustained periods of intensity.

A line-out for Ayr let Dunlop burst forth with McConnell in support but a few phases later and Ayr were on the wrong side of the law as McAlpine found himself in the sin bin.  The travelling support held its breath as Mill's penalty attempt went wide.

Anderson then had a chance to stretch Ayr's one-point lead after Melrose were penalised for crossing but his kick hit the left post.

The final ten minutes seemed to last for ever.  McConnell twice saved Ayr's bacon with excellent tackles, the second a terrific tap that brought McAndrew crashing to the ground.  Armstrong put in a thumping hit too, and dislodged the ball from Melrose hands, picked up and passed to Bordill, who found Anderson.  Unfortunately, the move led to nothing.

Sutherland had shown his all-round skill all day and the cherry on the cake for him was a brilliantly unexpected interception.  He homed in on the ball almost in slow motion and then raced off as fast as those long legs could take him.  Hall was in support but Melrose swarmed round him and he couldn't get the pass away.

It looked at last like Ayr fans could relax as Anderson had another chance for three points with mere minutes remaining but he couldn't manage the kick.

With Head yellow-carded, it was all over for the home team and they ended their afternoon in disappointment as their twenty-two drop-out sailed straight off the pitch to bring the game to an end.

Ayr and Melrose will meet again next Saturday at Millbrae in what is sure to be another intense encounter as they fight it out for a place in the play-off final.

Final score: Melrose 13 Ayr 14.

15. Fraser Thomson (c); 14. Bruce Colvine, 13. Austin Lockington, 12. Andrew Nagle, 11. Tito Mua; 10. Richard Mill, 9. Murdo McAndrew; 1. Nick Beavon, 2. Richard Ferguson, 3. Ewan McQuillin; 4. James Head, 5. Lewis Carmichael; 6. Neil Irvine-Hess, 7. Grant Runciman, 8. Graeme Dodds.

16. Todd Pearce, 17. Nicky Litte, 18. Ruaridh Knott, 19. Hugh Blake, 20. Tom Galbraith.

15. Grant Anderson; 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick (c), 11. Cammy Taylor; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Fraser Watt; 4. Rob McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Andrew Dunlop, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Blair Macpherson.

16. Dougie Hall, 17. Stuart Fenwick, 18. James Eddie, 19. Murray McConnell, 20. Kerr Gossman.

- Eléna Hogarth

Friday, 27 March 2015

Lismore v Ayr Ladies - BT Plate semi-final preview

Ayr Ladies travel to Edinburgh to take on Lismore in the semi-final of the BT Plate on Sunday, and despite being a league above their hosts, they won't be counting their chickens before they've hatched.

The ladies in pink and black haven't had a competitive match since their defeat to Aberdeenshire Quines in the BT Women's National League Division 1 three weeks ago but as always, they've been working hard on the training pitch.

"The number of players coming to Millbrae every Monday night shows that the players are really keen to take on Lismore on Sunday," says Ayr Ladies assistant coach Sylvain Diez.  "Lismore play in National 2 but it would be daft to think that we should reach the final due to this.  By experience as a player and a coach, I know it's always easier to play as an underdog."

He continues: "Compared to our last game, we need to win those races to the breakdown, play with more structure and stick to the game plan if we want to keep possession and put the opposition under pressure.  Our support will have to be quick and effective if we want to reach the BT Plate final."

Although the squad hasn't been confirmed, several key players will return to action including captain Gemma Swankie, scrum-half Niamh Durnan, full-back Catherine Shennan and recent Scotland Women under-20s cap Lisa Croniken, who scored two tries in her recent outing in the dark blue shirt.


Kick-off 2pm!

Ayr U18s 22 Dumfries Saints U18s 17

A good crowd turned up to Millbrae last night to cheer on Ayr U18s and their counterparts from Dumfries Saints as they battled it out under the floodlights for the West Regional Cup.

The visitors enjoyed the better start and were soon camped out in Ayr's half.  Their scrum-half and number eight headed for the line and after Ayr gave away a penalty, they took the line-out and from there scored the opening try.  It was unconverted.  0-5.

Dumfries had another good period of possession but Ayr managed to turn it over and a cheeky between-the-legs pass from outside centre Gregor Paxton unleashed the backs.  Unfortunately, it came to nothing and a later line-out for Ayr saw them penalised for obstruction.  This handed back the advantage to their opponents and Dumfries' strong forwards shifted the action out of their own half.

The visitors were penalised for hands in the ruck and a solid line-out from Ayr allowed full-back Johnny McCorkindale to slice his way through the defenders.  Second row Kyle Wood took the ball on and flew over the line for Ayr's first try.  It was converted by stand-off Paddy Dewhirst.  7-5.

The two teams exchanged scrums and line-outs and Ayr's second row Ross Hay was on fine poaching form at the latter.  Scrum-half Michael Manning and winger Zac Howard were on lively form, as was McCorkindale who motored all the way to the try-line.  It was a wide conversion, but Dewhirst struck it perfectly and it curled in.  14-5.

Hay, Wood, Paxton, prop Ruairidh Sayce and hooker Gregor Lynch moved play into Dumfries' twenty-two and blindside flanker Matt Northcote headed for the line but the ball went loose.  It wasn't long to wait for Ayr's next points-scoring opportunity as Dumfries were penalised for tackling a player without the ball.  Dewhirst kicked the penalty.  17-5.

Dumfries rallied and barged their way right up to Ayr's five-metre line.  Their cause was helped by a yellow card for McCorkindale and they soon dived over in the corner for an unconverted try.  17-10.

The visitors continued their good play at the start of the second half but a knock-on brought their marauding to a premature end.  Ayr's inside centre Sam Graham stretched his legs and Lynch and prop Kyle McNulty displayed great handling before the backs moved the play side-to-side.

Good running from Dewhirst and number eight Zander Howie, as well as Dumfries' backs, was dampened by the weather.  A huge gust of wind blew Dumfries' line-out throw off-course and a later kick for touch from Ayr was almost blown backwards.

Dumfries had possession when the wind and rain died down but Ayr turned it over and openside flanker Gregor Henry handed off a defender superbly to push on to Dumfries' try-line, where Sam Gray was bundled over in the corner.  McCorkindale's conversion attempt was short.  22-10.

A yellow card for Dumfries didn't dampen their resolve to claw their way back into the game, and their openside flanker, left wing and number eight set off on some impressive runs.  Despite some good work from Paxton and winger Mark Conlan, Dumfries pressed on.  Another sin-binning for Ayr, this time Henry, helped Dumfries and they took the opportunity to barrel over for a converted try.  22-17.

The tension was palpable as the minutes ticked down and Dumfries tried their best to break down Ayr's attacking moves and regain possession.  It looked like Ayr would seal the win with thirty seconds remaining when Dumfries gave away a penalty.  McCorkindale stepped up to the tee but the kick was short and Dumfries gathered and tried to run it.  With hearts in mouths, the crowd watched as Ayr managed to turn it over and booted it off the pitch to claim the win and the cup.

Final score: Ayr U18s 22 Dumfries Saints U18s 17.

15. Johnny McCorkindale; 14. Zac Howard, 13. Gregor Paxton, 12. Sam Graham, 11. Mark Conlan; 10. Paddy Dewhirst, 9. Michael Manning; 1. Ruairidh Sayce, 2. Gregor Lynch, 3. Kyle McNulty; 4. Ross Hay, 5. Kyle Wood; 6. Matt Northcote, 7. Gregor Henry, 8. Zander Howie.

16. Brian Kelly, 17. Dean Rickard, 18. Stewart Angus, 19. Billy Thomson, 20. Lewis Young, 21. Callum Cook, 22. Sam Gray.

- Elena Hogarth

Melrose v Ayr preview

Ayr enter the lion's den at the Greenyards tomorrow as they aim to make their last BT Premiership fixture of the season count.

Melrose and their visitors will be fighting it out for second place in the table, with the victor ensuring a home tie in next week's play-off semi-final.  Ayr's head coach Calum Forrester is all too aware that his men will be need to be at their absolute best.

"This is a winner-takes-all affair.  In our previous encounter earlier in the year, we played the best opening twenty minutes of rugby of our season.  We know we will need to raise our game to that level again as Melrose have recorded a number of good victories in recent outings."

He concludes: "We expect this to be a bruising encounter as both sides look to get an edge over the other going into next weekend's semi-final."

No matter the outcome of tomorrow's match, Ayr and Melrose will face each other again next week as second place plays third place, but it's that all important home advantage they will be looking for.  The Bill McLaren Shield is also up for grabs.

In the starting fifteen, Blair Macpherson moves to number eight in place of the injured Graham Fisken and Will Bordill returns to openside flanker after impressing in the Pro12 for Glasgow.  His fellow young Warriors Fergus Scott and George Hunter make up the front row with Fraser Watt.  Cammy Taylor is named on the wing as Craig Gossman is injured.

Ayr's bench is bolstered by three Glasgow Warriors in the shape of Dougie Hall, James Eddie and Murray McConnell.  Scotstoun stalwart Hall will be retiring at the end of the season and after some good performances in the pink and black shirt this year, Ayr fans will be glad to see him turn out once again for the Millbrae men.

Eddie played several games for Ayr last season, including an away match against Melrose in which he scored a blistering try, so the travelling support will be hoping for a repeat performance.  And, of course, long-time Ayr favourite McConnell tearing about the pitch is always a welcome sight.


15. Grant Anderson; 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick (c), 11. Cammy Taylor; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Fraser Watt; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Andrew Dunlop, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Blair Macpherson.


16. Dougie Hall, 17. Stuart Fenwick, 18. James Eddie, 19. Murray McConnell, 20. Kerr Gossman.

Kick-off 3pm!  Follow the scores live in Twitter.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

World Cup trophy coming to Millbrae!

Put Monday 15th June in your diary because that's the day you can see the Webb Ellis Cup at Millbrae.

As part of the build-up to this year's World Cup, the beautiful pineapple-topped trophy will be on a five-day tour of Scotland and its last stop will be Ayr RFC.

We'll bring you more details in due course, but in the meantime, read the full story from the SRU here.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Ayr U18s v Dumfries Saints U18s - West Cup final preview

Ayr's under-18 boys take on their counterparts from Dumfries Saints on Thursday evening at Millbrae, with the hopes of claiming the West Regional Cup.

This is the U18s' final fifteen-a-side fixture of the season and after a resounding 39-10 win against GHA in the semi-final, they will be hoping to finish the year on a high.

It was a slightly closer result for the Saints in their semi-final as they overcame Hamilton 36-26, so a highly competitive encounter is expected.

Don't miss this chance to see the best young players in the west of Scotland - and the future of Scottish rugby - in action!


15. Johnny McCorkindale; 14. Zac Howard, 13. Gregor Paxton, 12. Sam Graham, 11. Mark Conlan; 10. Paddy Dewhirst, 9. Michael Manning; 1. Ruairidh Sayce, 2. Gregor Lynch, 3. Kyle McNulty; 4. Ross Hay, 5. Kyle Wood; 6. Matt Northcote, 7. Gregor Henry, 8. Zander Howie.


16. Brian Kelly, 17. Dean Rickard, 18. Stewart Angus, 19. Billy Thomson, 20. Lewis Young, 21. Callum Cook, 22. Sam Gray.

Kick-off 7.30pm!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Finn wins prestigious award

Former Millbrae man Finn Russell has been named Young Player of the Year by Friends of Scottish Rugby.

The twenty-two-year-old stand-off follows in the footsteps of Jonny Gray, Richie Gray and David Denton in receiving the reward.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Watsonians v Ayr Ladies preview

Ayr Ladies hit the road once again for their final BT Women's National League Division 1 match of the season.  They take on Watsonians in a fixture rearranged from January.

After a disappointing defeat to Aberdeenshire Quines last week, the ladies in pink and black will be hoping to bounce back before their BT Plate semi-final against Lismore at the end of March.

Watsonians are currently two points behind third-placed Ayr in the table but have two games in hand, and after Ayr beat them 31-24 at Millbrae in September, a highly competitive match is anticipated.

15. Ann-Marie Connelly; 14. Daryl Paterson, 13. Laura Turner, 12. Lisa Croniken, 11. Jackie O'Neil; 10. Catherine Shennan, 9. Niamh Durnan; 1. Louise McLauchlan, 2. Megan Thomson, 3. Lindsay Dick; 4. Zoe Montgomerie, 5. Ashleigh Nelson; 6. Eilidh Thomson, 7. Laura Somerville, 8. Lynda Morgan.

16. Gemma Swankie, 17. Stacy Wight, 18. Sarah Paterson, 19. Lisa Martin.

Kick-off 2pm.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Calum coaching Scotland U19s

Ayr head coach Calum Forrester has been handed the reigns of Scotland under-19s and will be preparing them for two games against Japan over the next few days.

They will play firstly on Sunday at Stewart's Melville, kicking off at 3pm, and then again at Boroughmuir on Wednesday at 7pm.

Ayr's scrum-half Jack Preston is in the squad for both matches.

We wish Jack, Calum and his charges the best of luck!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Gaw and Davidson retain Scotland U16 places

Ayr youngsters Calum Gaw and Matt Davidson have kept their places in the Scotland under-16 squad after a trial day at Lochinch on Sunday.

The original squad of forty-six has now been trimmed to twenty-eight, with backs Calum and Matt named in the abbreviated list.

The Scotland under-16s will play Newcastle at BT Murrayfield on Sunday 22nd March before getting ready to take part in the Wellington Festival.

Good luck to all!

Read the full story here.

Scott and Rae sign pro deals with Warriors

Hooker Fergus Scott and prop D'arcy Rae have signed professional deals with Glasgow Warriors, starting from next season.

Both have been academy players with the Scotstoun side but have now secured the chance to be fully fledged professionals.  Fergus has signed a one-year contract, whilst D'arcy, who is still on loan to Benetton Treviso, has a two-year deal.

Read the full story here.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Currie 10 Ayr 3

Anyone who had seen the forecast of heavy overnight and early morning rain and thirty-three mile an hour winds for Balerno would have known that Ayr's BT Premiership match with Currie wasn't going to be pretty for either side.  Unfortunately, it was more ugly for the visitors than the home team.

Ayr had the first chance to get points on the board after hooker Stuart Fenwick was tackled without the ball.  Full-back Grant Anderson stepped up to the tee with scrum-half David Armstrong on hand to steady the ball, but the swirling breeze pulled the kick away from the posts.

Line-outs for both sides didn't move the game on as kicks for the corner were short in the wind.  Currie made the first foray with ball in hand, breaking up the wing, but were in touch.  A few infringements from Ayr let Currie creep into their half and despite some good defence from flankers Andrew Dunlop and Blair Macpherson, stand-off Danny McCluskey and number eight Graham Fisken, Currie winger Ruaridh Smith sailed through a gap for a try.  Joe Reynolds couldn't convert in the wind.  5-0.

The pitch looked like it was churning up but Smith was enjoying a run around, as was flanker Travis Brooke.  He looked to be away until Armstrong put in a flying tackle.  McCluskey, captain Dean Kelbrick and prop Fraser Watt were also working hard to nullify the threat of Currie's lively attackers.

A brief period of knocks-on, scrums, penalties and line-outs for both sides followed, culminating in Anderson having another attempt at goal which he couldn't manage.  A few minutes later and he was lining up the ball, again with Armstrong steadying it in the wind, and this time it went over the crossbar.  5-3.

Currie patiently worked their way into Ayr's half and drove from a line-out to the try-line, where captain Ross Weston grounded for their second try.  Reynolds' conversion attempt was almost blown backwards.  10-3.

Although there were no further scores for the rest of the match, it wasn't entirely uneventful.  After Currie's try it looked like Ayr would cross the whitewash too when the ball went bobbling over the line, winger Craig Gossman chasing.  But it went too far.

Next, centre Robbie Fergusson had an opportunity from an Armstrong kick, but Currie beat him to it.

Currie gave away two penalties in quick succession and good work at the line-out from second row Rob McAlpine looked promising only for Ayr to lose possession.

The wind picked up at the start of the second half and Currie's restart flew right off the pitch and almost into the river.  The ensuing scrum let Kelbrick jink his way round the defenders but the ball was knocked on.

An odd passage of play followed, with Ayr stuck in their own half and alternating possession with their hosts.  Neither could do anything with the ball and Currie ended up lobbing it to the spectators on the sidelines.

Young front row player William Black, a late addition to the bench in place of David Young, came on for Watt and got stuck into the defence along with Armstrong, who had moved to stand-off when McCluskey retired.  Murray McConnell took over at scrum-half.

Ayr finally got out of their own half thanks to an exciting break from Armstrong but it came to nothing.  After further line-outs, knocks-on and scrums for each team, Anderson, Fisken and McAlpine all had a go at livening things up but could get nowhere.

Currie turned over and Brooke again was marauding away until Fisken felled him.  Gossman then put in an enormous tackle, drawing disbelieving gasps from the crowd, and injured himself in the process.  He was replaced by Cammy Taylor.

Armstrong popped a lovely pass to Kelbrick after another scrum and the inside centre battled his way through Currie's defenders before finding winger Richard Dalgleish who looked to have produced his trademark stretching dive in the corner for a try only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for a foot in touch.

Ayr tried again, Taylor this time slicing his way through the yellow shirts.  Fenwick handed off a defender superbly but the ball went loose and Currie hacked on.  Luckily, Anderson was there to tidy it up.

The wind was behind even more strange occurrences as a freak gust caught a pass just as it had reached the fingertips of a Currie attacker and took it away from him like some kind of ghostly intervention.

Fenwick found himself in the sin bin and with another young Ayr prop Ben Paterson on, the visitors did well to hold their defence and prevent Currie from scoring a try.  It looked like they had one last chance to get a try themselves when Currie infringed at the ruck but the line-out went awry and Ayr knocked on.

It all got very messy until the clock ticked down and Currie booted the ball off the pitch, on purpose this time, and the referee blew his whistle for full time.

Final score: Currie 10 Ayr 3.

-Elena Hogarth.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Aberdeenshire Quines v Ayr Ladies preview

After a break of more than a month, Ayr Ladies return to action with a BT Women's National League Division 1 away fixture against Aberdeenshire Quines on Sunday, and they will be hoping for a similar result as when they welcomed them to Millbrae in November.

"We beat them 33-12," recalls Ayr Ladies assistant coach Sylvain Diez.  "We scored early in the game, but Aberdeenshire never gave up and only conceded one try in the second half.  We are expecting a physical battle up front and they will surely have a stronger squad for a home game."

Nonetheless, the ladies in pink and black are prepared.

"We did a lot of open play work at training recently and we will look to move the ball away from their strong pack.  Unfortunately, our captain Gemma Swankie and full-back Catherine Shennan will not be available for this game.  However, Lisa Croniken is back from injury.  She will add some power and will be precious in the ruck battle."


Currie v Ayr preview

It's another important match for Ayr as they head to Malleny Park to take on Currie in the penultimate BT Premiership fixture of the season.

Whilst the nail-biting win against Heriot's a fortnight ago secured Ayr's place in the play-off semi-finals, they are still trying to ensure that it will be a home tie, so victory over Currie is a must.  However, the Balerno-based team are also chasing points to push their way into the top four.

"We take a lot of confidence going into this game following our victory over Heriot's but are fully aware how tough Currie are to break down, particularly at home," says Ayr head coach Calum Forrester.  "Currie are one of the form sides in the Premiership following recent results and we expect another bruising encounter this weekend."

There are some enforced changes to the squad, notably Danny McCluskey starting at stand-off in place of the suspended Ross Curle.  Peter McCallum is unavailable, so Blair Macpherson comes in at blindside flanker.

The evergreen Gordon Sykes joins the front row, with Stuart Fenwick moving from prop to hooker, whilst Sykes' spot on the bench is taken by nineteen-year-old Ben Paterson in what is his debut inclusion in the first XV squad.


15. Grant Anderson; 14. Richard Dalgleish, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick (c), 11. Craig Gossman; 10. Danny McCluskey, 9. David Armstrong; 1. Gordon Sykes, 2. Stuart Fenwick, 3. Fraser Watt; 4. Robert McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Blair Macpherson, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Graham Fisken.


16. David Young, 17. Ben Paterson, 18. Ben Johnston, 19. Murray McConnell, 20. Cameron Taylor.


15. Matt McPhillips; 14. Ruaridh Smith, 13. Fidias Efthymiou, 12. Joe Reynolds, 11. Chris Logan; 10. James Semple, 9. Matt O'Neil; 1. John Cox, 2. Matt Goodwin, 3. Graeme Carson; 4. Romain Denonain, 5. Jamie Gray; 6. Travis Brooke, 7. Malcolm Peacock, 8. Ross Weston (c).


16. Marko Mladenovic, 17. Alistair Hamilton, 18. Charlie McLean, 19. Paul Mundell, 20. William Martin.

Kick-off 3pm!  Follow the scores live in Twitter.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Ayr duo in Scotland U16 trial squad

Ayr youngsters Calum Gaw and Matt Davidson have been included in the Scotland under-16 trial squad for a training day on Sunday 8th March at Lochinch.

The young backs are two of forty-six players selected ahead of the Wellington Festival in April, in which Scotland will take on England North, Wales Celts and England South West.

Read the full story here.