Saturday, 30 April 2016

End of season awards

It was a fantastic celebration of the 2015/16 season at Ayr Racecourse on Friday evening as 230 guests enjoyed a sumptuous three-course meal and awards were presented across each section of the club.
Forward of the Year - Olly Mossie
Back of the Year - Ross McCorkindale
Most Improved Player - Jack Burns
Players' Players of the Year - Jack MacDougall and Mitchell Wyllie

Top Try-Scorer - Jamie Roberts
Most Committed Player - Tony Hall
Most Improved Player - William Chan
Players' Player of the Year - Paddy Dewhirst
Player of the Year - Zander Howie

Ayr Ladies U18s
Player of the Year - Alyson Richmond

Ayr Ladies
Young Player of the Year - Kelsey Swift
Most Improved Player - Michelle Nelson
Players' Player of the Year - Rachael Mulholland
Player of the Year - Catherine Shennan

Millbrae RFC
Noted Achievement - Jim Lymburn
Player of the Year - James Armstrong

2nd XV
Young Player of the Year - Gregor Henry
Most Improved Player - Craig Stevenson
Players' Player of the Year - Sam Graham
Player of the Year - Craig Brown

1st XV
Young Player of the Year - Javan Sebastian
Most Improved Player - David Young
Players' Player of the Year - Pete McCallum
Player of the Year - Pete McCallum
There was also tribute paid to back rower Andrew Dunlop, who is retiring after 195 appearances in the pink and black shirt, and director of rugby Jock Craig, who is stepping down from a role he has had for many years and a total of fifty years' service.
We thank Ayr Racecourse's Princess Anne Suite for the wonderful evening, as well as Ginger Grouse and Famous Grouse, and Logan the Jewellers for the trophies and engraving.

See all of George McMillan's photos on our Facebook page.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Javan is April POTM

In the final player of the month poll of the season, prop Javan Sebastian took 56% of the online vote to claim the £50 Slaters Menswear voucher.

The 21-year-old has had a great season with Ayr RFC and has returned home to Wales with not just the POTM accolade but also the club's young player of the year award.

As Javan can't be with us at Ayr Racecourse for the end of season awards dinner, he was presented with a signed shirt in the clubhouse on Saturday evening in front of his team-mates and supporters.

We wish him all the best in his endeavours back in Wales and hope to see him at Millbrae again.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

George to represent the Bahamas

It's going to be an exciting couple of weeks for Ayr prop George Hunter as he heads to the Bahamas to represent them in a match against Mexico on Saturday 7th May.

George's grandfather was born on the islands and the 24-year-old got in touch with the Bahamian Olympic Commission a few months ago to find out if he could play for the country and received confirmation in March that he would be pulling on the jersey for them in a Rugby Americas North Championship tie.

'I'm really excited to be making my international debut for the Bahamas,' says George. 'It's a new experience and I'm looking forward to upholding my grandfather's heritage.'

We wish George and the Bahamas the best of luck.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Ayr 26 Heriot's 29

There was massive disappointment on Saturday at Millbrae as Heriot's beat Ayr in the BT Premiership play-off final.

On the back of their BT Cup win last week, Heriot's were determined to get the double. From the off, they were in a marauding mood and very quickly scored a try through flanker Struan Dewar. Full-back John Semple's conversion attempt hit the post. 0-5.

Ayr's stand-off Frazier Climo tried to get his troops going, with winger Junior Bulumakau, full-back Grant Anderson and centre and captain Ross Curle in support, but the ball went loose, only for Heriot's to fumble it once in their possession.

Ayr reclaimed it and it seemed to go through the hands of every forward, with Climo appearing alongside them to call the shots, but Heriot's were penalised and Ayr took the line-out.

Second row Rob McAlpine secured the ball and Ayr settled into a controlled driving maul until Bulumakau could get away. His beautiful flicked pass found Anderson and he used all of his strength to score in the corner. The angle for the conversion was so wide that Climo was amongst the spectators on the sidelines for his run-up. It was a perfectly judged kick though. 7-5.
Ayr lost Anderson after a Heriot's defender slid into him as he was scoring and accidentally caught him on the head. He was replaced by Haddon McPherson, with winger Craig Gossman moving to full-back.

The hosts began to leak penalties as Heriot's put them under pressure but they couldn't capitalise, knocking on at the line-out. The visitors' scrum, however, was another story, shored up the starting front row of Martin Bouab, Michael Liness and Struan Cessford, and then the hugely influential presence of Edinburgh hooker Neil Cochrane.

A Heriot's kick landed in the bread basket for Ayr scrum-half David Armstrong, who fought his way through the defence to release centre Danny McCluskey. He found Gossman who slipped the tackles and shot off on a spectacular break. Curle was in support and motored over for the score. Another fantastic strike by Climo curled the ball over the crossbar. 14-5.

Curle looked like he would be in for another after energetic work in the loose by flanker Will Bordill, hooker James Malcolm and prop George Hunter, but the speedy centre ran out of space.

Heriot's sturdy number eight Jason Hill was always going to be one of the danger men and when he wasn't bundling up Ayr attackers, he was on the hoof himself, and he would have got away were it not for the attentions of Armstrong.

Hill almost got himself on the score sheet moments later when he flung himself over the line but Ayr him held up. It was winger Charlie Simpson who got the try, flying over in the far corner. Even though he had a bit of trouble grounding, the score was given and Semple's perfect conversion seemed to sail through the air in the slow motion. 14-12.
Heriot's had the final say of the first half when Cochrane bulldozed his way over for an unconverted try. 14-17.

The tension was beginning to tell at the resumption, with both teams making errors, but Ayr seemed to be taking charge, number eight Pete McCallum making his now trademark galloping breaks from the back of the scrum and Malcolm and second row Scott Sutherland getting stuck into attack too.

A lovely inside pass from Armstrong to Bulumakau let the Scotland 7s cap race away with Macpherson and McCluskey in support, but they were well wrapped up by Heriot's.

An overthrow at the line-out by the Goldenacre side let prop Javan Sebastian, on his last appearance for Ayr before returning home to Wales, blast his way up the pitch. Bulumakau, Hunter, McCluskey and Climo took it on but again there was no space for them to do any damage.

They took their chances at a line-out from a penalty and Macpherson used all his bulk to muscle his way over for a try. This time, Climo couldn't convert. 19-17.

Bulumakau had had an industrious afternoon and limped off to be replaced by Richard Dalgleish.
The game ebbed and flowed for a short period, before Curle suddenly emerged with the ball in his hands from a wall of blue and white shirts and streaked away for a pulsating interception try. Climo converted from in front of the posts. 26-17.

Heriot's centre Cameron Ferguson has the dancing feet to match Curle but not the hands and his fine break was spoiled when he dropped the ball. It went backwards and was retrieved by stand-off Gregor McNeish, who might be a bit sure today after being floored by Gossman. He still managed to get the ball away and it was Simpson again who displayed tremendous speed to claim the try. Semple couldn't convert, with McPherson and Dalgleish almost charging down the kick. 26-22.

There was warm applause from the packed stand and touchlines as flanker Andrew Dunlop took to the field for his final appearance for Ayr after nearly ten years at the club. He'll certainly be missed on and off the field.

He got stuck straight into the action with fellow substitute D'arcy Rae, as Heriot's mopped up a misfiring Ayr line-out and moments later got themselves a penalty. It all went downhill for Ayr from there, as several metres away from the line, McCallum was penalised for illegally preventing a possible score, finding himself in the sin bin. The referee did the dreaded trot to the posts, with arm in the air and whistle in mouth to award a penalty try. Semple converted. 26-29.
Just a minute or two left on the wonky Millbrae clock, and it was do or die for Ayr. McCluskey, Gossman and Curle combined well to get into Heriot's half. But those big, wily forwards from the capital somehow turned over.

Ayr couldn't regain possession and Heriot's booted the ball off the pitch to spark wild celebrations as they got their names on the trophy after their exemplary never-say-die attitude took them from third place in the standings to league winners.

For Ayr, they top the league with fourteen wins from eighteen, ten try-bonus points and a points difference of 240. It's still been a great season, with memorable wins and spectacular tries, and they'll be back in four months' time to do it all over again.
- Elena Hogarth.

Photos courtesy of George McMillan.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Ayr v Heriot's - BT Premiership final preview

On the day that marks 400 years since the death of the world's greatest playwright, William Shakespeare, there will be no shortage of drama on Saturday as Ayr face Heriot's in the BT Premiership play-off final at Millbrae.

A huge crowd is expected to watch the culmination of yet another wonderful season of BT Premiership rugby. Third-placed Heriot's will be full of confidence after their BT Cup win last week, but table-toppers Ayr are entirely focussed being crowned champions.

'Our preparation for this match has gone well,' says Ayr head coach Calum Forrester, 'and the players can't wait to get out and play in front of the home fans. Both teams like to play with ball in hand and with a number of the outstanding players in the BT Premiership on show, this Saturday is set to be a great spectacle of Scottish club rugby.'

After the stellar performance against Melrose in the semi-final, all but one keep their place in the starting XV. Hooker David Young misses out after sustaining a farming-related injury, with recent Glasgow Warriors signing James Malcolm taking his place.

Scotland U20s cap Lewis Anderson and Warrior D'arcy Rae are on a dynamic-looking bench alongside back rower Andrew Dunlop, who makes his final appearance in an Ayr squad after ten seasons with the club.

15. Grant Anderson; 14. Junior Bulumakau, 13. Ross Curle (c), 12. Danny McCluskey, 11. Craig Gossman; 10. Frazier Climo, 9. David Armstrong; 1. George Hunter, 2. James Malcolm, 3. Javan Sebastian; 4. Rob McAlpine, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Blair Macpherson, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Pete McCallum.

16. Lewis Anderson, 17. D'arcy Rae, 18. Craig Stevenson, 19. Andrew Dunlop, 20. Archie Russell, 21. Richard Dalgleish, 22. Haddon McPherson.

15. John Semple; 14. Charlie Simpson, 13. Liam Steele, 12. Cameron Ferguson, 11. John Rae; 10. Gregor McNeish, 9. Tom Wilson; 1. Martin Bouab, 2. Michael Liness, 3. Struan Cessford; 4. Russell Nimmo, 5. Jack Turley; 6. Straun Dewar, 7. Jason Hill, 8. Alex Henderson.

16. Neil Cochrane, 17. Murray McCallum, 18. Roan Van Heerden, 19. Jamie Syme, 20. Hugh Fraser, 21. Glenn Bryce, 22. Max Learmonth.

Kick-off 3pm! Follow the scores live on Twitter or watch live on YouTube.

Admission: £10 for adults, £5 for over-60s and U18s free!

Ayr Ladies U15s and U18s get play underway at 12pm and 1pm against their counterparts from Annan RFC. Then, entertainment will be provided by Elite Pro Dance, Ethical Ales will be serving locally-produced ale, lager and IPA, and there will be post-match music and food from 6.30pm in the clubhouse.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Millbrae 17 Aberdeen University 15

It was an intense, absorbing and nerve-wracking match between Millbrae and Aberdeen University as they battled it out at BT Murrayfield to see who would be crowned BT National Bowl champions on Saturday.

Millbrae had the best of the early play, centres James Armstrong and Nigel Howard showing their intention to attack early on. The forwards were on song too, the scrum putting the student team under real pressure. Armstrong stepped up to the tee for the first chance at points but pushed the kick wide.

A young, vivacious squad, Aberdeen were keen on attacking too, and their speedy winger Max Stobbs looked to be streaking away for a try until Millbrae captain Josh Currie hauled him into touch.

There were some tremendous defensive efforts throughout the game from both sides, and the men from Ayrshire had to be on their guard, especially when the university team were being creative near the try-line. A chip into Murrayfield's huge dead ball area looked to be a certain try until the Millbrae defence just got to it and batted it away from an Aberdeen hand.
They wouldn't be denied for long though, and their scrum-half Thomas Forson dashed over from a line-out for an unconverted try. 0-5.

Millbrae had good attacking opportunities after steadily working their way into Aberdeen's half, but they couldn't turn pressure into points, with some loose passes thrown by possibly nervous hands on such a big occasion.

They regained their composure, however, and flanker Alan Drennan led the way in the loose, superbly backed up by prop Ben Paterson, hooker Jim Lymburn and half-backs Max Pickles and David Courtney. 

Possession flipped and flopped between the two sides and there were perhaps nerves all round as a spate of handling errors ensued.

Millbrae managed to pin the students into their own half for a considerable period of time, and again the centre pairing of Armstrong and Howard were making metres. Aberdeen got some breathing space thanks to a penalty but having opted for the line-out, they were out-foxed in the air and later penalised themselves, giving Armstrong another shot at goal. He was wide again.
Millbrae were desperate to get to the try-line, with Howard shooting off, second row Jack Brown in support. Courtney put in a neat little chip for Armstrong and winger Scott Cunningham to chase but Aberdeen got there first.

There was a short delay as Lymburn was helped from the field with a painful-looking shoulder injury. He was replaced by Ruairidh Sayce.

Pickles and Courtney headed for the line but the ball went loose and Aberdeen number eight Graham McKittrick found himself in the sin bin.

The university scrum couldn't cope without him, and under immense pressure on their own five-metre line, they sufficiently infringed to give Millbrae a penalty try. Armstrong's swift conversion brought the first half to an end. 7-5.

It was a shaky start to the second half with Millbrae's kick-off not going ten metres, and they lost speedster Armstrong to injury. But they settled down, with replacement back Gibson Siwo blasting his way through the defence.

The pink and black scrum was still dominant and Pickles broke away for the line with winger Chris Smith in support. They stayed patient and eventually number eight Keith Hunter forced his way over for a try. Replacement Craig Steel took over kicking duty and converted. 14-5.

Back to their full complement of players, Aberdeen put on an exciting display of running rugby fitting to the surroundings. Full-back Jonathan Bain made a beautiful break and a team-mate carried on up the wing, but Millbrae pinned their ears back and tracked him down before any damage could be done.

Another two forays to the line brought no tries for the university team. Millbrae full-back Lee Mayne put in a flying tackle and soon they had turned over in spectacular fashion.

That creativity of Aberdeen University was bound to bring results and a deft chip was collected by Stobbs, who threw himself under the posts for an excellent try. Stand-off William Kelly converted. 14-12.
Paterson and Sayce were throwing themselves about too, both in defence and attack, but Millbrae gave away a penalty and Aberdeen's Patrick Clark booted it over the crossbar to sneak ahead. 14-15.

The tension was palpable, even in that huge stadium, and the pink and black army roared on their team. It looked like they would claw back the lead but Steel's penalty attempt was wide.

Aberdeen seemed to have all the belief now, holding strong at the scrum and launching another attack. But Millbrae were ready to force them off the field.

Just as it appeared Aberdeen were on the up, they let themselves down by trying to trip Pickles as he attempted to tap and go. Marched back ten metres, they brought Steel within range of the posts. It was still a long-range kick, and with just two minutes left on the clock, it might have been Millbrae's last chance. Steel judged it perfectly, the ball seemingly floating through the air and dropping nicely over the crossbar. 17-15.
But moments later, the joy in the crowd turned to despair as Millbrae gave away a penalty in their own half. This was surely the dream over, until Kelly nudged the kick wide.

Play continued with seconds remaining. Aberdeen camped out on Millbrae's five-metre line, desperate for any points at all. But the men in pink and black drove them back until the ball was theirs and they booted it off the park to end the game and start the party.

Final score: Millbrae 17 Aberdeen University 15.

- Elena Hogarth.

Photos by Jim Gemmell.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Millbrae v Aberdeen University - BT Bowl final preview

Millbrae RFC's big day out to BT Murrayfield is nearly here, and they are ready to face Aberdeen University on the main pitch of the national stadium to battle it out for the BT National Bowl.

Currently top of BT West Division 3, the Alloway team take on the university side who are in third place in BT Caledonia Division 3 North, but league standings are nothing to go by when silverware is up for grabs.

The students from the north beat Earlston 22-0 in the semi-final after just pipping Deeside 29-27 to the BT Caledonia Bowl North in January, and will be keen to get their hands on another trophy.

But the men in pink and black are just as eager to bring home the national bowl to add to the BT West Bowl they claimed in February by beating Police Scotland Glasgow 11-0.  They then went on to a 14-3 win against Grangemouth Stags in March to seal their place in tomorrow's big final.  

With an excellent mix of exuberant youth and cool, calm, collected experience in the squad, Millbrae will be confident they can put on a great show for their travelling fans at Murrayfield.

Millbrae RFC:
15. Lee Mayne; 14. Chris Smith, 13. James Armstrong, 12. Nigel Howard, 11. Scott Cunningham; 10. David Courtney, 9. Max Pickles; 1. Ben Paterson, 2. Jim Lymburn, 3. Connor Mackie; 4. Josh Currie, 5. Jack Brown; 6. Alan Drennan, 7. Aiden Boyd, 8. Keith Hunter.

16. Ruairidh Sayce, 17. Alan McConnachie, 18. Alan MacGregor, 19. Gavin White, 20. Craig Steele, 21. Gibson Siwo, 22. Martin Watson.

Kick-off 11am! Follow the scores live via Ayr RFC's Twitter page (you don't have to join Twitter to see the scores!), and there will be updates via Facebook too. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Ayr and Ayr Ladies at Melrose 7s

The Melrose 7s is always a day not to be missed as thousands descend on the picturesque Borders town for the famous tournament, and it will be a special day for Ayr RFC as both men and women in pink and black get to play at the Greenyards for the first time.

The men, who have reached the semi-finals in the past and lost out to eventual runners-up Germany in last year's competition, have a bye into the second round and will face either Howe of Fife or Edinburgh Accies.

While the men compete for the Ladies' Cup, Ayr Ladies will play Melrose Ladies for the Gentlemen's Cup before the men's final after being invited to take part by the hosts. The Millbrae side can't wait to showcase women's rugby in front of such a huge crowd.

Ayr field a youthful squad for the men's competition, with Iain Renwick named captain and Gordon Kotze leading the coaching team.

Look out for coverage on the BBC.

1. Aidan Holland, 2. Gregor Henry, 3. Craig Brown, 4. Craig Stevenson, 5. Graham Hunter, 6. Iain Renwick (c), 7. Paddy Dewhirst, 8. James Pinkerton, 9. Gregor Paxton, 10. Mark Conlan.

Ayr Ladies:
1. Catherine Shennan, 2. Kelsey Swift, 3. Phoebe McDowall, 4. Lynsey Turner, 5. Lauren McBride, 6. Linsey Bunten, 7. Lynda Morgan, 8. Lisa Main, 9. Mairi McDonald, 10. TBC.

Robbie signs with London Scottish

London Scottish announced today that Robbie Fergusson has signed a permanent contract with them after spending most of the season on loan at the English Championship club, and everyone at Ayr RFC is delighted to see his career progressing.

A regular in the Ayr 1st XV since he was a teenager, Robbie was also a coach with Ayr Rugby Academy and Ayr Ladies, so his presence will be missed on and off the pitch at Millbrae.

But we're very proud of his achievements thus far and wish him well for the exciting times ahead.

Read the full story from London Scottish.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Free entry to BT Premiership final for ex-players

Ayr take on Heriot's in the BT Premiership final on Saturday 23rd April at Millbrae, 3pm, and all ex-players will be able to watch the match for free.

By registering at by Tuesday 19th April, 5pm, former Ayr players will be sent a free ticket for the big game. Email your name and address and the ticket will be posted to you.

A huge crowd is expected as Ayr, after topping the table, aim to be crowned BT Premiership champions.

Pre-match lunches will also be available before the game for £25 per person. This includes a three-course meal and entry to the match. The lunch will begin at 12.45pm at the clubhouse. Please email to book your place.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Harry Fairbairn BMW teams up with Ayr RFC

Ayr RFC is very excited to announce Harry Fairbairn BMW as a new club sponsor.

The team from the Irvine branch were welcomed to Millbrae on Saturday for Ayr's win against Melrose in the BT Premiership semi-final and brought along two vehicles to display, and they certainly brightened up a dreich day in Alloway!
The club is indebted to its loyal supporters and over the years has built up good relationships with local companies looking to be part of the team at Ayr RFC and spread the word about their business across the county and further afield.

There are many different kinds of sponsorship opportunities for small, medium and large organisations, as well as individuals keen to support the club. Take a look at the various options and drop us a line at, and you too could be part of the winning team at Ayr RFC.

Photo courtesy of George McMillan.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Ayr 48 Melrose 10

Ayr marched into the BT Premiership final with a resounding victory over Melrose at a drizzly Millbrae on Saturday, thrilling their home crowd with five tries.

It was a tentative start from the Alloway side as they tried to attack on the less-than-firm surface and ended up losing possession, despite jinking runs from stand-off Frazier Climo and centre Ross Curle. Winger Craig Gossman was almost away, but a black and yellow defender just caught him by the shirt.

Ayr's forwards were getting stuck into the tackles, with second row Scott Sutherland leading the way, backed up by the front row of George Hunter, David Young and Javan Sebastian. Number eight Pete McCallum and flanker Will Bordill were swarming too, Melrose too busy keeping an eye on them and not on the ball.

The first scrum was solid, Ayr managing well on the slippery turf, and although they launched themselves into attack, the ball somehow landed on the sidelines.
Ayr stayed calm though, and a quick line-out by scrum-half David Armstrong let loose winger Junior Bulumakau, with Hunter and centre Danny McCluskey in support.

The home team were doing well at the regular line-out too, stealing Melrose's before securing their own from a penalty. This time, when they got near the line, there was no chucking it out. A slow trundle would reap rewards, and it was second row Rob McAlpine who scored the opening try. Climo converted. 7-0.

Climo quickly extended the lead with a long-range penalty. It hit the post and bobbled over the crossbar. 10-0.

Melrose seemed slightly off kilter, slicing kicks and making handling errors, but stand-off Tom Galbraith was dangerous all day and he galloped away, shrugging off defenders until Climo brought him down.

Melrose had the chance of points with a penalty but centre Joe Helps' kick was unsuccessful.

They forced their way into Ayr's half and two further penalties gave them successive line-outs in Ayr's twenty-two but they lost possession and Ayr cleared. From that, they had another line-out, but as they made for the try-line, there was a knock-on.
Ayr were getting a good shove on at Melrose's scrum and after making their way out of their own half, Climo landed another penalty. 13-0.

Melrose had a decent period of possession but sturdy work in defence by McCluskey, Bulumakau and particularly Gossman meant it came to nothing.

Ayr's diminutive left winger put in one of his trademark crunching tackles on a player twice his size, causing a knock-on. From the scrum, McCallum set off with Young in support before Curle kicked. Melrose tried to return the favour, but Climo was on them in a flash, charging down and hacking on. It looked like the ball was going too far, but he reached it just in time to touch down for a terrific try. He couldn't convert his own score, the ball bouncing off the upright. 18-0.

His next kick was successful, another penalty just before half-time. 21-0.

Melrose got on the scoreboard shortly after the resumption, replacement Richard Mill getting a penalty. 21-3.
It's a fool who counts Melrose out, especially with a final at stake, and Ayr weren't content to defend their lead and run the risk of letting them creep back in. Attack, they seemed to decide, was the best form of defence.

Another Melrose knock-on gave them a scrum in their own half, and Armstrong, McCluskey, Climo and Curle went from side to side, trying to find a way through the black and yellow wall. They needed a line-out, from a penalty, to launch another trundling drive, and this time it was Bordill who went over for the try, with Climo converting. 28-3.

If Ayr were gaining confidence in the increasingly dreich conditions - flick passes from Sutherland an indicator of their growing buoyancy - then Melrose were losing theirs, bumping into each other.

It was a physical encounter, as always, and both teams used their benches, Andrew Dunlop on for a hobbling McAlpine and leaping into action straightaway. Armstrong had a lively day too, bursting through the Melrose defence to pass neatly to Bulumakau. The Scotland 7s player found McCallum, who practically wrapped himself round the post protector to get the try. Climo converted. 38-3.
It wasn't all plain sailing for the men in pink and black as they gave away penalties in their own half and Melrose gladly took advantage, replacement Ruaridh Knott bundling over for a try converted by Mill. 38-10.

McCluskey made way for Archie Russell, who quickly threw himself into defence as Melrose were keen on another score. It was Ayr who got the points though, Climo adding a penalty. 41-10.

Haddon McPherson replaced Bulumakau, after the latter had chased an Armstrong chip but just couldn't get to it, and prop Gordon Sykes emerged from retirement - again - to come on for Sebastian, with Richard Dalgleish taking Gossman's place.

Ayr were lurking in the corner, sniffing out a score but had to wait as Melrose replacement Ewan McQuillan was sin-binned for a professional foul.
The Millbrae men were determined to get another try, flanker Blair Macpherson doing his usual blasting runs with full-back Grant Anderson ever yelling encouragement. But they couldn't get out of their own half.

Melrose got their hands on the ball and were firing it left to right when Curle suddenly found himself clutching it. A split second is all the Ayr captain needs and he was off like a rocket. There were Melrose defenders in place but they didn't stand a chance. He was going to score a try and he was going to enjoy it, as did the crowd, who got on their feet to applaud not just him but the whole squad for such a vigorous performance. It was a very wide angled conversion, but man of the match Climo managed it with ease. 48-10.

The last of Ayr's substitutes trotted on, Stuart Fenwick for Young and Craig Stevenson for Sutherland. There was further traffic to the sidelines as McCallum found himself on the receiving end of a yellow card.

Melrose had one final foray into Ayr's half but another knock-on did for them. The referee blew the whistle for full-time and to send Ayr into the BT Premiership final against Heriot's at Millbrae on Saturday 23rd April.

Final score: Ayr 48 Melrose 10.

- Elena Hogarth.

Photos courtesy of George McMillan.