Friday, 16 November 2018

Preview: Currie Chieftains v Ayr RFC

There might not be much happening at Millbrae this weekend but there is still plenty pink and black action taking place the length and breadth of the country with the 1XV, 2XV and Ladies all taking to the field away from home. 
With a packed-out BT Murrayfield the backdrop Ayr 1XV will look to continue with their current vein of form when they face Currie Chieftains at Malleny. The Chieftains occupy the fourth and final play-off spot and with the season now in its second half know every point is crucial. Just the singular point separates them from fifth-placed Watsonians.
The two sides have already clashed in this years competition with Peter Murchie's men the deserved winners in round two, winning 30-17.
There is just a handful of changes to the side that found victory two weeks ago against Edinburgh Accies at Millbrae. 
In the backs Harry Warr earns his first start of the season at nine. Dewhirst, Anderson, Smith, Rowe and Climo all retain their spots.
Robbie Smith returns to the front-row with Alex McGuire dropped to the bench. Gregor Henry starts at 7 after a short spell with the 2XV.
On the bench club captain Peter McCallum returns after a long lay-off through injury and Jamie Bova comes up from the 2XV.
Wolf van Dijk and Amir Rademaker are both unavailable due to international duty for Holland - we wish them the best of luck when they take on Poland on Saturday.
The game kicks-off at 14.30 on Saturday.
It's Friday Night Lights on the west coast tonight when the 2XV travel to neighbours Marr. Away from Fullarton, the 2s will do battle under the floodlights of Marr Collage's 4G pitch. The game kicks-off at 7pm and Gordon Kotze's men will look to emulate the fine form that saw them emphatic 77-19 winners over Marr back in September. 
There is no rest come Sunday as Ayr Ladies set their sights on League glory on the final day of the season away to Oban Lorne. Oban currently sit atop the table with Ayr trailing by four. This means that a bonus point victory would bring the Tennents National 1 trophy back to Millbrae for the second time in three seasons. If Oban pick up a bonus point Ayr will need to win by more than 20 points to snatch it on points difference. 
The ladies game kicks-off at 14.00 and like the other two fixtures you can follow the action every step of the way on Twitter @OfficialAyrRFC.

1XV: G. Anderson, P. Dewhirst, O. Smith, D. McCluskey, K. Rowe, F. Climo, H. Warr; R. Sayce, R. Smith, S. Longwell, D. Corbenici, A. North, T. Spinks, G. Henry, B. Macpherson (C).
Subs: A. McGuire, C. Miller, P. McCallum, S. Lyle, J. Bova.
2XV: J. Baird, F. Bark, H. Lynch, Z. Howard, E. Hamilton, J. Rennie, C. Black; B. Paterson, S. Collier, C. Stillie, R. Arthur, L. Scott, K. Borland, S. Rae, C. Reece.
Subs: D. Bryce, D. Young, L. Richardson, M. Manning, S. Graham, S. Dunlop.

Ladies squad still TBC.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Ayr 29-3 Edinburgh Accies

Peter Murchie’s men got back on track on Saturday with an emphatic 29-3 victory over league newbies Edinburgh Accies. With last weekend’s agonising home defeat to Watsonians still fresh in the minds of the Millbrae faithful Ayr managed to bounce back with youthful exuberance, showcasing the strength and depth of their ranks. 

The younger pack were hungrier than their counterparts and very quickly managed to wrap the visitors in a choke hold, of which they couldn’t wriggle out of.

Forward superiority was evident within the first few phases of the game. A scrum after just eight minutes resulted in a penalty to the home side allowing Climo to launch the ball into touch. From the line-out a monstrous rolling maul marched Ayr from the 22 metre-line to the try-line, but Accies managed to get themselves between the ball and the ground to force the scrum-five. 

Three scrum-penalties later and all eyes were on the ref but after Accies’ formal warning Blair Macpherson managed to launch himself from the back of the scrum and score- no card needed. Climo’s conversion slipped just wide.

It didn’t take long until they were back in again. For as much fun as the forwards were having the backs looked equally as dominant when allowed the chance to play. Youngsters Ollie Smith and Paddy Dewhirst linked up superbly before the later fed veteran Grant Anderson, who ran through untouched. Climo brought the scoring to 12-0.

Ayr had dispelled any murmurings that last week’s shock defeat was anything more than just that. With the game starting to open up Ayr were able to stretch their wings and get creative. Frazier Climo pulled off his trademark gliding run through a barrage of bodies- none of whom were able to grab him. The fly-half found support in the form of Steven Longwell, who’s getting into a habit of being on Climo’s inside channel. We might just see the tight-head in a 12 jersey yet as he charged towards the line, pulling off a show ‘n’ go to dupe the covering defender. Just as he looked to have been brought down he threw an audacious offload over his head to keep the play alive. A few phases later he scampered over but once again the ref deemed the ball held-up.

The scrum remained dominant however, and a penalty-try moments later added to the home side’s lead.

Accies managed to grab their only points of the afternoon soon after, with Richard Mill slotting a routine penalty kick.

With the first half dwindling away Ayr pushed for the bonus. Ayr product Ruairidh Sayce, who has been enjoying a heroic run of games with the 1XV, latched onto the back of a rolling maul and bundled over to get his first senior try for the club. The score ignited an uproar of applause in the main stand as the ball boy-turned-star reaped the reward of his hard graft on the training paddock. 

Half-time: Ayr 24-3 Edinburgh Accies.

With the bonus point wrapped up and Ayr out of the sight the second half welcomed a change in pace. Alex McGuire dotted down for his first in pink and black minutes after the restart to land the knock-out blow to the visitors. From then on Accies did tremendously well to defend their line but couldn’t muster any threat going forward. Ayr saw out the game to secure all five points and assert their control at the top of the table.

Full-time: Ayr 29-3 Edinburgh Accies.

For tireless work around the park and playing his part in the pack’s domination display, David Corbenici was named Slaters Menswear POTM.

The  2XV also returned to winning ways,  seeing off Hamilton 2s 70-12. Prop Ben Paterson was named Man-of-the-Match. 

Monday, 10 September 2018

Ayr 30-17 Currie Chieftains

Ayr made it two-from-two on Saturday when they downed Currie Chieftains 30-17 in front of a bumper crowd at Millbrae on Ladies Day.

Currie were out for revenge after Ayr snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in last year's BT Premiership semi-final- battling back from 21-3 down to win 21-23. They threatened from the first whistle to the last but it was Ayr's physicality that held out in a war of attrition.

Ayr kicked-off proceedings with a dream start much to the delight of the home crowd. Glasgow Warrior Paddy Kelly was able to shrug off his opposing number after just three minutes and charge to the line with no regard for the scrambling defence. Climo added the extras to make it 7-0.

Chieftains weren't deterred by this and managed to retaliate with a score of their own moments later. The bruising Thomas Gordon latched onto a faulty line-out and drove close to the line. On the following phase Fraser Watt managed to burrow over from close range. The conversion levelled the scoring.

Chieftains took the lead just briefly in the contest. A Gregor Hunter penalty on the 33rd minute saw the visitors on the front foot but a Kyle Rowe try on the stroke of half time ended their seven and only minutes in front. Armstrong spotted space and darted clear before feeding Kyle Rowe on an inside line.

Half-Time: Ayr 14-10 Currie Chieftains.

Ayr started the second half in the same vein as the first, this time scoring after four minutes. David Corbenici, in his first run-out at Millbrae, carved through an illusive defence and in for the score. The conversion slipped just wide giving Ayr a 22-10 lead.

The visitors had been enjoying the lions share of possession throughout all of the fixture but Ayr were able to absorb the pressure and make good use of limited possession. Powerful carries from Tommy Spinks and Blair Macpherson were puncturing Chieftains' line and creating space for the backs to flourish.

Currie still looked dangerous with ball in hand but were hit with a sucker punch on the hour mark. After looking almost certain to score and scrape back the deficit Ayr countered and soon Paddy Kelly was in for his second. Grant Anderson darted clear up the touchline and found the supporting Kelly on his inside shoulder. With twenty to play Currie now trailed by 17 points, the largest margin of the game.

A Currie try from the restart gave the travelling fans something to cheer about and almost forced a grandstand finale but a Frazier Climo penalty chalked off any hope of a losing bonus point.

Full-time: Ayr 30-17 Currie Chieftains.

In a game that was won upfront and at scrum time prop Steven Longwell was named Slaters Menswear man of the match.

It was also a successful day at the office for Ayr's 2xv who routed Marr 77-19. Scott Lyle was named man of the match after grabbing four tries and putting in an expert display from the boot.

Photos: George McMillian

Friday, 31 August 2018

PREVIEW: 2018/19 Opening Weekend

Alas, after a long off-season competitive rugby is upon us once more.

The 1XV kick off their 2018/19 season tomorrow with an away trip to Edinburgh Accies. Newly promoted Accies will be out to prove a point in front of a home crowd at Raeburn Place and have promised Premiership fans to expect a fast and expansive style of play.

Ayr will take confidence from a very strong preseason where they dusted off GHA, Marr and Hull Ionians- scoring 159 points in the process.

Danny McCluskey captains the side with Pete McCallum sidelined through injury. Millbrae new-boys Ollie Smith and Kyle Rowe start at 13 and 14 with some familiar faces completing the rest of the back line.

In the pack Ruairidh Sayce picks up his first start for the 1XV as a reward for some very strong preseason performances. Lee Scott makes his Ayr return after a few seasons riddled with injury and is joined in the engine room by Forsoc Scottish Rugby Academy Stage Three player Marshall Sykes. David Corbenici earns his competitive debut at six with Spinks and Macpherson completing the back-row.

On the bench former Millbrae-boy James Malcolm is released from Warriors for the weekend and Dutch Internationalist Amir Rademaker could make his debut if brought on. 

The 2XV are also in action tomorrow away to Hamilton in the National 1 reserve league. A youthful side, they will benefit from the experience of Craig Gossman who leads from full-back. New boys Alfie North, Alan Ferrie and Wolf Van Dijk start at 4, 5 and 7, respectively. 

If you can't make the trip to Edinburgh or Hamilton and don't fancy fighting the crowds at the Air Show Millbrae host Uddingston at Millbrae in what looks to be a close encounter.

On Sunday action continues when Ayr Ladies look to get back-to-back league wins as they travel to Howe of Fife. 

1XV: G. Anderson, K. Rowe, O. Smith, D. McCluskey (C), J. Bova, S. Lyle, D. Armstrong; R. Sayce, R. Smith, S. Longwell, L. Scott, M. Sykes, D. Corbenici, T. Spinks, B. Macpherson.

Subs: J. Malcolm, E. McLaren, G. Henry, A. Rademaker, P. Dewhirst.

2XV: C. Gossman, F. Bark, H. Lynch, J. Rennie, C. Black, H. Warr, L. Young; B. Paterson, S. Collier, C. Miller, A. North, A. Ferrie, C. Brown, W. Van Dijk, C. Reece.

Subs: L. Pentleton, L. Richardson, S. King. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Lewis Anderson Leaves for Hong Kong

Lewis Anderson has signed with Hong Kong Scottish ahead of the 2018/19 season and will depart Millbrae.

The Ayrshire boy who honed his craft at Marr RFC earned his 50th appearance in the pink and black in the BT Premiership Final against Melrose in May.

Lewis was also an integral cog in the 2016/17 BT Premiership winning side. 

All at Ayr RFC wish him the best of luck in Hong Kong. 

Photo: George McMillian 

Sunday, 19 August 2018

PRESEASON: Marr 7-76 Ayr

It was 'Derby Day' on Saturday when Ayr 1s, 2s and U18s travelled to Fullarton Park to take on neighbours Marr Rugby.

The 18s got the action underway at midday. On the main pitch Ayr A were humbled by a rampant Marr A side who cruised to a 24-0 victory in front of a home crowd. On the back pitches Ayr 18s found redemption when their Bs battled back from a 22-7 half time deficit to seal a 22-27 victory with seconds to spare.

At 14.00 it was the turn of the 2nd XV. Ayr centre Zac Howard broke clear to touch down within the opening minute to set the tone of the match- from then on, it became light work for the Millbrae men. Further tries from Harry Warr, Finn Bark, Craig Miller, Wolf Van Dijk, Logan Richardson, Grant Hutton, Harry Lynch and James Baird contributed to a 7-59 beating of Marr's newly-promoted reserves.

The main event got underway at 15.30 and although just a 'friendly' the people of Ayrshire came out in their droves to show their allegiance.-A sea of purple and gold was interrupted by a bold baby pink.

Ayr's intensity was on full display straight from the opening kick-off. Multiple bullish carries within the opening minutes put them inside Marr's 22 before speedster Ollie Smith darted in from out wide. The tricky touchline conversion skewed just wide of the posts.

On the ten minute mark Ayr doubled the score when Scott Lyle charged down a clearance kick. He managed to reclaim the ball and use his attacking prowess to glide through the scrambling defence.

Ayr's third came minutes later. Millbrae new boy David Corbenici punched through the line before feeding the supporting Ruairidh Sayce. The front rower looked for the try line before offloading to David Armstrong who breezed in under the posts. Lyle converted to make it 0-17 in just thirteen minutes.

Marr were able to grab one back when their number eight bundled over from a rolling maul.

As the game moved into it's second quarter Scott Lyle managed to break into the home sides 22. He found Craig Gossman outside him who pinned his ears back and dotted down in the corner. Gossman wasn't done yet however and just ten minutes later doubled his tally with another blitzing run up the touchline.

Just before half time Marshall Sykes- who's ball carrying was at the heart of all that went right in the first half- was rewarded with a try of his own. Craig Gossman danced along the touchline to get Ayr within arms length of the line before the second rower powered over.

HT: Marr 7-36 Ayr

With a comfortable lead at the break you would suspect Ayr may begin to slow down, but as the second 40 began they somehow found another gear. Fluid attack from Ayr found Grant Anderson out wide who strode home within the first thirty seconds of the restart.

On the 48th minute Frazier Climo, who had a try controversially chalked off in the first half, showed his illusiveness as he ghosted through three tackles and ran in from halfway. He converted his own try to make it 7-50.

The sustained pressure on Marr was proving to much and on 56 minutes a weak clearance fell into the hands of a striding Grant Anderson. He fooled his opposing number with a crafty show 'n' go before feeding Paddy Dewhirst on his outside. The youngster sprinted in to add to the already emphatic lead.

The next try came from another Ayr newbie. Gloucester Academy product Alfie North showed his power by carrying over the line, without regard to the three straggling tacklers trying to pull him down.

As the game descended into its' closing stages Ayr showed no sign in letting up. A crafty half-break from Harry Warr once more put Marr on the back foot. Warr was brought down but a offload out the back door fell in the hands of Kyle Rowe who showed no signs of being caught. Jack Rennie converted.

The final score of the day came from Jamie Bova. Ayr impressively swung the ball from side-to-side, keeping it alive in the face of what was stiff defence from a Marr side playing for pride. It eventually landed in the hands of Bova who managed to drive through a recovering tackle and into the corner.

FT: Marr 7-76 Ayr.

After the final whistle head coach Pete Murchie was delighted with his team's performance, stating: "We started off with real intent and got into our attacking shape really well. Our contact was also really sharp- we were pretty brutal at the breakdown...

"A pleasing thing for me was all of our players who came off the bench and our young players who made a real impact. There was a number of guys playing their first game of the season and for the club who played really well.

"There is a lot of people putting their hands up for selection".

Next week the first XV are back in preseason action when they travel down south to take on Hull Ioanians. As always you can follow the action every step of the way on Twitter @OfficialAyrRFC.

Monday, 9 July 2018

MacArthur Headlines Ayr Signings

Current Ayr Assistant Coach Pat McArthur is to dust off the boots for one more year and play for the pink and black in a player/coach role this season. 

Pat, who was instrumental in the club's first ever league triumph in 2009 has since enjoyed a wonderful professional career with both Warriors and Scotland but will return to Millbrae after announcing his retirement from the professional game at the end of last season. 

The front rower turned out for the Warriors 165 times making him their third most experienced player of all time. He was also instrumental in their successful Guinness PRO12 campaign in 2014/15.

Also joining this summer is David Corbenici. The Aussie-born Scottish-qualified back rower joins from GHA.

The the back-row is also bolstered by Alfie North who joins from Gloucester Academy. The blind-side flanker is equally as devastating in the engine room and will give the Ayr pack much needed versatility.

Ayr RFC will also benefit from BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage Three player Ollie Smith. A product of Ayr's youth system, Ollie rejoins after playing at Strathallan School. Although primary a centre, he can slot into any of the back three positions. 

This makes it six new signings so far this summer for Ayr RFC, with winger Kyle Rowe and BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage Three player Marshall Sykes announced last month.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Rugby Force Day 2018

Ayr RFC is calling upon all members, fans, players and more to give back to their club on Saturday 28 July for Rugby Force Day 2018.

The day gives those involved in the club the opportunity to give back through tidying, painting and all round maintenance duties at Millbrae- in an attempt to make our home one to be proud of.

Kicking off at 12.30, the day will also provide an opportunity for those in all different avenues of the club to mingle with each other whilst getting Millbrae primed for the start of the 2018/19 Tennents' Premiership.

Once the work is done stick around for a well earned BBQ and bask in the rewards of a days hard graft.

Ayr RFC has always prided itself in giving to the community but on Saturday 28th, the club asks for the community to show their support of the club.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

McAlpine and Davidson Move On

Second-rower Rob McAlpine and utility back Matt Davidson will leave the club this summer.

Rob, who has been Ayr's marquee line-out technician since joining in 2014, has been relocated to London for work. The 6"7' lock has been an influential cog in the pack over the last few seasons and was paramount in the BT Premiership triumph in 2017.

Matt, who is a product of Ayr's mini and youth sections, joins London Scottish. The youngster returned to Millbrae last year after schooling at Merchiston Castle and became a dependable option for the 1st XV at both centre and wing. His great club form was mimicked at age-grade level where he performed for Scotland U-19s.

We wish both players the best of luck in their future endeavours.

Rob and Matt join Scott Sutherland, George Hunter, Robin Hislop and George Stokes on the 2018 leavers list.

Photos: George McMillian

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ayr sign U20s Duo

Ayr RFC can confirm that Scotland U20's stars Kyle Rowe and Marshall Sykes will be joining for the 2018/19 season.

Fresh off the U20s World Championships which finished on Sunday, both Rowe and Sykes have already played alongside some of their new teammates, with Stafford McDowall, Robbie Smith and Paddy Dewhirst all involved in the Scotland camp.

Rowe, 20, is a tricky winger who always has an eye for the line. He joins from current BT Premiership side Glasgow Hawks.

Slightly younger, Sykes is an 18-year-old second row whose breakout onto the 20s Championship showed just what an incredible prospect he is. Only just finishing his sixth form year in school down in England, Sykes joins from St Joseph's College.

Club president Billy McHarg is "Delighted" that both will be joining Ayr this summer and after excellent performances with the 20s knows the future looks bright for Ayr RFC.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Ayr Trio Finish Tenth at World Championships

Ayr youngsters Stafford McDowall, Robbie Smith and Paddy Dewhirst all played pivotal roles in Scotland U-20s' World Championship campaign which saw them finish tenth after a narrow defeat to Georgia in their final game.

McDowall, who captained the squad, led from the front throughout with Dewhirst and Smith both contributing tries to the tournament.

In a tournament which will feel disappointing for a squad with such an array of talent, the notable highlight will be their convincing 29-45 victory over Ireland. All three Ayr players started in the contest.

Club President, Billy McHarg, illustrated his delight with the the trio's contribution to the squad with: "Ayr's future looks bright based on the excellent performances of all three players involved in the U-20s World Championship".

Monday, 11 June 2018

Ayr RFC pay respects to Ken Blair

Lifelong Ayr RFC member and supporter Ken Blair sadly passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 3rd.

A notable figure around Millbrae, Ken could be seen- and heard- every match day regardless of the weather and will be sorely missed by the club. A talented musician, Ken recently wowed the crowds just weeks ago at the Land O'Burns Weekender when he performed on the outdoor stage.

Ken's wife, Alison, has extended an invitation to all at the club to attend his funeral and celebrate his life this Wednesday (13/06/18) at Ayr Crematorium, 15.30pm.

Alison has also asked us to wear the famous colours of the club that he loved so dearly.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

AGM tonight at Millbrae

The 2018 Annual General Meeting will take place tonight (Tuesday 5th) at Millbrae, scheduled to start at 19.30pm.

The club would like to invite as many members as possible to attend and have their say in the club.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Weekender '18 a Roaring Success

After months of intricate planning the 2018 Land O'Burns Weekender has finally passed and once again proved to be a roaring success. Emulating the buzz of it's maiden year twelve months ago, the weekender fused together beach rugby, a beer festival, creative cuisines, family entertainment and world-class live music into an unforgettable two-day event.

Kicking-off early on the Friday (25/05/18) the action got underway at 5pm with the U-13s tournament taking place. It proved to be a showcase of tomorrow's superstars and in the end the home side, Ayr, came out on top.

The minis' tournament was by followed by the trade touch competition which pitted some of Ayrshire's local businesses against each other out on our man-made beach. Competing was: Courtney Plant, Donnini Apartments, Coorie Nook, Marine Fitness and Shady Tour. After some fiercely competitive group stages it was Coorie Nook who prevailed, dusting off Courtney Plant in the final. Donnini Apartments try-bonus gifted them third,completeing the podium.

Music from the talent DJ Stefan Janik pitch side generated an forgettable festival atmosphere whilst 'Just Like Eddie' wowed spectators on the Designer Studios Stage. The action was followed by the Friday's main event at nine with Jonny Lee Memphis as the iconic Elvis Presley.

The festivities continued into the Saturday where our beach rugby tournament ran in tandem with the Land O'Burns Beer Festival from midday-20:00. A real exhibition of some of the countries finest rugby talents, Newton Stewart snatched up the gold in the mens tournament whilst Hillhead Jordanhill made it back-to-back weekender victories. After the beer festival came to a close at eight local band the Marauders took us into the early hours of the night.

From all at Ayr RFC we thank the hard work from volunteers and sponsors a like who made this festival the best one yet. Lastly, thank you to all who came down this weekend, it was a fine example of the local community getting behind a great cause and we are sure there was some fun had along the way- same time next year?

Land O'Burns Weekender Committee

Jim Lymburn, Jim McKay, Louise McKenzie, Brian Williamson, Stewart Kerr, Callum Kerr, Gavin White, George McMillian, Billy McHarg, Stuart Fenwick, Jim Preston, Lisa Main, Andrew Dunlop, Amy McGillivary

Photos: Karen Crawford 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Ayr Youngsters Selected for U20 Championship

Bryan Redpath has announced his first ever Scotland U20s squad ahead of their World Championship starting at the end of this month in France.

Amongst the few that have been selected are four Ayr Players; Euan McLaren, Robbie Smith, Stafford McDowall and Paddy Dewhirst.

Smith, McDowall and Dewhirst were all involved in the recent U20s Six Nations and will look to replicate the heroic performance that saw them fell England when they arrive on the world stage in a few weeks.

Smith and McDowall both lead from the front in the Six Nations, with them being named captain and vice, respectively.

Prop McLaren missed out on a chance at the Six Nations due to injury but has been called straight back into the squad now fit.

We would all like to congratulate the four youngsters in an incredible achievement, and know they will do both Ayr RFC and their country proud.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Ayr Announced as Super Six Team

Scottish Rugby have announced that Ayr RFC have been successful in their bid for a Super Six spot.

Joining Ayr in the super six league will be Boroughmuir, Heriots, Melrose, Stirling and Watsonians. The sides who failed in their bid were Currie Chieftains, Dundee, Edinburgh Academicals, Gala, Hawick and Glasgow Hawks.

The change in league structure is set to come in for the 2019/20 season.

Speaking exclusively to President Billy McHarg expressed his delight in the announcement with: "I am grateful that all the hard work done on and off the pitch at Ayr RFC has been rewarded with a 'Super Six' franchise.

"The future of the club at the top end of Scottish Rugby has been secured for the next five years".

Callum Kerr
Media Manager

Monday, 30 April 2018

Ayr 2018 Award Winners

Another fantastic season of rugby over the last ten months culminated in the 2018 Awards dinner on Friday night.

Held within the familiar surroundings of Ayr Racecourse rugby excellence was celebrated from all of those who have donned pink, black and green this campaign.

In the U-16 boys Michael Lafferty picked up two awards for his performances and commitment to the team, coming away with Clubman of the Year and Players' Player of the Year. Matthew Fripp was awarded Most Improved with Dylan Wilson named Player of the Year. Wendy Short was also commended for her unwavering commitment to hospitality duties.

The U-18 boys awards followed with Mathew Field and Dale Molenaar winning hardest trainers. Andy Morrison picked up Most Improved and Olly Mossie was celebrated by his teammates, who selected him as Players' Player of the Year. Club Captain Harry Lynch lead by example all campaign and was awarded Player of the Year.

It has been a troublesome season so far for Millbrae but with four games still to play they are starting to build some serious momentum, catapulting themselves to league safety. Lee White picked up their only award of the night- Player of the Year.

In the ladies section Cieron Bell was awarded U-18s Player of the Season. In the senior team Neve Findlay won Young Player of the Year with Robyn Gibson picking up Most Improved. Joanne Jones capped off a scintillating run of form this season with both Players' Player of the Year and Player of the Year.

The penultimate awards of the night were for the Ayr 2nd XV. Stuart Collier was awarded Young Player of the Year with Euan Hamilton picking up Most Improved. Utility front row Ben Paterson was voted Players' Player of the Year by his teammates and Cameron Reece won Player of the Year.

Before the 1st XV awards a special thanks was made to departing players Scott Sutherland and George Hunter, along with Head Coach Calum Forrester. All three men have been paramount in the club's success over the last decade and will be thoroughly missed around Millbrae. Club physio Helen Reid also received a bouquet of flowers, as she leaves the club on maternity leave.

Scott Lyle has had a barnstorming debut year at Ayr and was awarded with Young Player of the Year, with Robbie Smith picking up Most Improved. Tommy Spinks was named Players' Player of the Year and Steven Longwell ended the night with Player of the Year.

Photos: George McMillian 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Weekend Review

The 1st XV season may have drawn to a close but their was still plenty pink, black and green action over the weekend.

On Saturday Millbrae continued their rich vein of form with an impressive 27-31 win over Lenzie RFC. The away victory moves them out of second-bottom and further into relegation safety. They will look to emulate their heroic performance this Saturday when they host Birkmyre. The match kicks off at 15.00 at Millbrae.

On Sunday our ladies battled hard in their last game of the season away to Watsonians but errors cost them dearly. Playing on the back-pitches at BT Murrayfield they struggled to pull out of second gear and fell 97-0. The defeat marked Laura Turner's last game as skipper.

There was also plenty action for our Ayr-Wellington Youth teams on Sunday. Through in Stirling our primary 4s and 7s won the 'Fair Play Award' in their respective year groups and William McHarg won 'best floss dance' in a dancing competition between all at the tournament.

In Dumfries our U-15s cruised to the West of Scotland Cup Final with a 0-55 victory. The final is scheduled for Sunday April 29 where they will face GHA at Millbrae. KO is at 2pm.

Closer to home the U-16s followed in the footsteps of the year below, seeing off Hawks 27-26 to secure a spot in their West of Scotland Cup Final. Coming from behind, the game went down to the wire where a penalty kick stole victory in injury time.  The U-18s face GHA away from home, kicking-off at 2pm.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Tartan Touch Spaces NOW AVAILABLE

Tartan Touch, Scottish Rugby's community-based initiative, kicks-off at Millbrae on Friday May 11 and will run for ten weeks.

The scheme welcomes people of all ages and ability.

You can now book your spots online at eventbrite for both individual sessions and for a season pass. The season pass costs £20 with session set at £3 each.

U-12s go free, however need parents to sign them up online prior to the session.

The initiative which is derived from simple, non-contact rugby started last summer and was a real hit. Aimed at getting more individuals involved with rugby, last years 20 host clubs generated £14,000 and welcomed 1,800 individuals. This year ten more clubs have joined the scheme, including Ayr.

Save £10 and book your season passes here:

To book individual sessions go here:

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Free Bus to Melrose 7s

Melrose's annual sevens event takes place this Saturday at the Greenyards and always proves to be quite the sporting spectacle.

Ayr have a bye from round one and will face the winner of GHA v Gala in round two.

Ayr RFC will be running a FREE bus to the event from Millbrae on Saturday with 20 spaces available. The bus is scheduled for an 11am departure and you can boom your space via Colin at the bar on 01292 441944.

The Ayr squad will be announced tomorrow morning.

Monday, 9 April 2018

BT Premiership Final: Melrose 16-13 Ayr

It wasn't to be for Ayr RFC on Saturday in the BT Premiership Final when they fell 16-13 to a powerful Melrose side.

Booked as a 'war of attrition', the match at times lacked flare and execution, but gut-wrenchingly tense rugby made it box office.

A persistent rain plagued proceedings and soggy conditions underfoot limited running rugby- it was clear from the off this contest would be won up front.

It didn't take long for Ayr to register their intent. Mere minutes into the game a lofting throw from hooker Lewis Anderson- winning his 50th appearance for the club- landed perfectly into the hands of Blair Macpherson. The ball was shipped wide and several phases chipped away at a sturdy Melrose defence but they eventually forced a penalty. Lyle slotted the routine three pointer to take the lead.

Throughout the opening period David Armstrong's game management had Ayr on the front foot. Multiple box kicks continued to test Melrose before Fraser Thompson misjudged his jump and the ball landed in the grateful arms of Craig Gossman. Gossman darted clear but was eventually brought down and isolated. A penalty for holding on in the ground soon followed which Jackson capitalised on. After 12 minutes the scores were tied 3-3.

Melrose started to enjoy more of possession but Ayr didn't give them an inch- monstrous hits from George Stokes could probably be heard from Gala.

Scrummaging has been a strong suit of Ayr this season but it was clear early on that they weren't getting the rough of the green from referee Keith Allen. A scrum-penalty against the head gifted Melrose another chance for three points on 21 minutes and Jackson duly converted.

Melrose's 6-3 lead wasn't to stay for long however and just four minutes later Ayr mustered up their only try of the contest. From the base of a scrum- one of the few where the ball was allowed to be played- David Armstrong sniped in field and hit the stampeding Stafford McDowall with a flat pass. McDowall carved through the defensive line and brought in the full-back before placing a pass into the supporting hands of Rory Hughes. Hughes touched down to the jubilation of an impressive travelling support and Lyle slotted the conversion. Ayr now lead 6-10 at the Greenyards.

Ayr began to exert themselves with a spring in their step and looked comfortable. Melrose tried to retaliate immediately with some forward carries of their own but Tommy Spinks snuffed out the danger- getting over the ball and forcing the penalty for not releasing.

With just five to play in the half Lyle took aim at the posts from about 50 metres out. A mammoth kick in any conditions, the fly-half made no notice of the dreary weather and nailed it. 6-13.

Ayr were in cruise control but just as the half withered away Melrose were gifted an opportunity to stay in contention. Another scrum penalty sent Robin Hislop to the sin bin and Jackson managed to capitalise with another three points in the 40th minute.

Half-time: Melrose 9-13

Ayr had played the better rugby for the first 40 but a lack of discipline haunted them, allowing Melrose to stay within arms length.

The second half was soon upon us and a revamped pack due to the prior yellow card saw Club Stalwart Scott Sutherland take to the field for the final time.

Melrose were unrecognisable in the second half. A faulty line-out which had leaked possession was starting to click and on 47 minutes a resulting driving maul put the home side in touching distance of a score. The maul sucked in Ayr jerseys which allowed them to ship wide and take full advantage of an overlap. Runciman didn't need the extra man and cantered over to take the lead. Jackson added the extras to make it 16-13.

From then on primitive rugby was the order of the day. Possession swung like a pendulum and defence continued to come out on top. Melrose enjoyed long periods of the ball and continually came close to landing the sucker punch but Ayr didn't budge. Heroic last-gasp defending on the try line kept them in the contest and gave the travelling support hope of a late winner.

Throughout the season Ayr and Melrose have went toe-to-toe in meteoric battles and you could contribute the last half hour to knowing the enemy. A series of blows and counter-blows were snuffed out by two sets of 15 players familiar with how each other play- stalemate.

This battle of wits resulted in no more scoring and Melrose held on for BT Premiership glory.

Full-Time: Melrose 16-13 Ayr.

For departing stalwarts George Hunter, Scott Sutherland and head coach Calum Forrester it means no fairytale ending to their illustrious Ayr careers. The three have contributed immensely during their time at the club and from all at Ayr RFC we say thank you.

Callum Kerr
Photo: George McMillian

Friday, 6 April 2018

2018 BT Premiership Final Preview

It wasn't the most glamorous year on the pitch for Ayr RFC but through grit, determination and a steely resolve that has made the club famous, they have found themselves on the verge of league glory once more.

From staring death in the eye two weeks ago at Currie Ayr mustered up one of the biggest 40 minutes in their history to erase an 18-point deficit and tomorrow look to become back-to-back BT Premiership Champions.

Familiar surroundings, Ayr travel to the Greenyards to face table-toppers Melrose in a carbon copy of last years final. Calum Forrester's men will take great confidence in their league triumph there a year ago and also in their victory in January- when they ended Melrose's 12-game winning streak.

Whatever the result it is set to be an emotional day with it being George Hunter, Scott Sutherland and Head Coach Calum Forrester's last game. We thank them all for the passion and success they have brought to the club during their tenor.

Lewis Anderson starts at hooker to win his 50th cap for the club, with Blair Macpherson starting at eight for injured skipper Peter McCallum- Grant Anderson picks up the captaincy.

In the backs Stafford McDowall returns from his spell with Scotland U-20s and replaces the injured Frazier Climo.

Rory Hughes is released by the Glasgow Warriors and starts on the wing.

There is still spaces available in our second supporters bus travelling to the Greenyards, which will be stopping off in Cartha for any fans in Glasgow. Contact the bar on 01292 441944 to book your spot.

SQUAD: G. Anderson (C), R. Hughes, M. Davidson, S. McDowall, C. Gossman, S. Lyle, D. Armstrong; R. Hislop, L. Anderson, S. Longwell, G. Hunter, R. McAlpine, T. Spinks, G. Stokes, B. Macpherson.

SUBS: D. Young, J. Agnew, S. Sutherland, M. Badenhorst, H. Warr, P. Dewhirst, J. Bova.

Photos: George McMillian

Callum Kerr

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Billy McHarg to Stay On

Billy McHarg is to continue in his role as club President after the end of the season.

Although originally announced he would step down due to skepticism over the Super Six, he has agreed to stay on after being asked by his committee.

Speaking exclusively to, McHarg stated: "At first I was unsure of the clubs future but over recently developments in the past couple of months I'm as confident as ever and looking forward to what lies ahead. We have a clear goal and I'm confident in placing the right people around me in order for the club to succeed.

"The development's in the Super Six have been a key factor in my decision".

The announcement comes days before Ayr's BT Premiership Final with Melrose, where they aim to become back-to-back champions.

Tickets for the supporters bus to Melrose are still available via our Bar Manager Colin. Phone 01292 441 944 for more information.

Photo: George McMillian

Callum Kerr
Media Manager

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Voting is NOW OPEN for Feb/March POTM

With International Rugby and the 'Beast from the East' slowing Premiership action down the Slater Menswear Player of the Month award's for February and March have been merged.

The month of February played host to a double-header against Hawick and in March we enjoyed victories over Watsonians and Currie Chieftains.

Scott Lyle is the awards current holder, winning at the end of January.

Voting will close at midnight on Wed 4th of March.

Cast your vote here:

Sunday, 1 April 2018

All Black Duo Millbrae Bound

Peter Murchie and Calum Forrester have confirmed this morning that All Blacks duo Waisake Naholo and Seta Tamanivalu will be training with the club next season.

Former Taranaki-teammates of Ayr Stalwart Frazier Climo, the pair finish up their Northern Tour on November 24 and will train with Ayr briefly to maintain fitness before the start of the Super Rugby season in February. It is clear that friend Climo, along with assistant coach and Kiwi Glen Tippet, were paramount in arranging the partnership.

Glen Tippet expressed his delight of the deal with: "It is a win-win. For us, our players get to learn from some of the best talents in the world and the All Blacks boys develop by learning a different brand of rugby here in Scotland. The Frazier Climo link has been crucial in setting this up and when he returned to Taranaki continued to promote the Scottish game".

Club president Billy McHarg stated: "Ever since Climo came to Ayr Taranaki has been a club we have had interest in. The fact Naholo and Tamanivalu are coming really says a lot about the Scottish game and we feel this will benefit the country and not just Ayr".

Although only training, NZRU have looked into the possibility of Naholo and Tamanivalu receiving game time, as they look to get 'match fit' ahead of the Super Rugby season.

The pair will fly into Glasgow Airport in November before travelling south for their brief spell in Ayrshire.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Supporters Bus to the Greenyards

After a historic victory over Currie Chieftains last week Ayr booked themselves a spot in the BT Premiership Final away to Melrose.

Ayr have been successful in their last two trips to the Greenyards- including last years final where they spoiled the party for the home team.

As the boys aim to do it all again a supporters bus has been booked to paint the Greenyards pink and black- this time it HAS been booked...

We want you in the borders in full voice behind the boys to try help them retain the BT Premiership Trophy.

The bus will leave from Millbrae at 11am and is priced at £12 a head.

Join us at Millbrae afterwards for a Karaoke and Disco- hopefully celebrating another league title.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Chieftains 21-24 Ayr

Ayr’s never-say-die attitude secured a heroic victory on Saturday when they bounced back from an 18-point deficit just before half time against Currie Chieftains. You would be forgiven for thinking Ayr heads might drop when they found themselves down 21-3 with a man in the sinbin but Forrester’s men rallied back to win 21-24 in tremendous fashion. The win means they progress to the BT Premiership Final on April 7 against Melrose at the Greenyards- A replay of last year.

When the ref blew for kick-off it was clear who were the sharper team. More physical and hungrier, Currie fired out of the blocks and were rewarded with the opening score after five minutes. Michael Vernel cut through the line and in for the try, Forbes converted to make it 7-0.

A trait of Ayr's play this season has been impressive scrummaging and Saturday was no different. They managed to get on the scoreboard on the ten minute mark courtesy of Scott Lyle, who made full use of a scrum penalty won by the pack- 7-3.

Throughout the early stages sloppy errors haunted Ayr, with Currie getting numerous opportunities to attack. After 25 minutes the home side started to capitalise on the free possessions and Richie Vernon added to the lead from a rolling maul. Forbes conversion made it 14-3.

The bad soon turned to the ugly for Ayr, and just after the half hour mark a yellow card to Rob McAlpine was quickly followed by a Chieftains try. A man down, trailing by 18, the home side looked impenetrable and Ayr needed to find something spectacular if they wanted to fight back. 

Straight from the restart Ayr looked a different team. Tommy Spinks launched himself into the air and managed to tap the ball backwards to regain possession. From the following phase Ayr won a penalty at the breakdown which Lyle sent into the back of the stands. 

The half was beginning to wither away but for the first time in the contest Ayr had a platform to attack. Carries from Lewis Anderson and George Hunter drove Ayr closer and closer to the line before Steven Longwell powered through the home defence and in for the score. Lyle slotted the conversion to bring an end to the first forty- and narrowed the score to 21-10 in the process.

Ayr started the second half with purpose. The goal was obvious, and the determination admirable. The scrum started to haunt Currie once more. Three penalties in as many minutes resulted in all eyes on the ref, but no penalty try was needed as Robin Hislop bullied his way over for the score. Lyle's lofty conversion made it a four point game.

From the depths of despair only 20 minutes earlier Ayr were no in cruise control. Currie's penalty count was starting to add up and on the 57th minute another resulted in Scott Lyle sending the ball into touch at the five metre line. Lewis Anderson's throw-in was as straight as a dye and he was rewarded moments later when he bundled over from the back of a maul- Lyle converts. Ayr now led 21-24 at Malleny Park.

Currie's day was to get worse. with less than ten minutes to play a tip-tackle on skipper Pete McCallum resulted in Richie Vernon seeing red. 

Ayr looked to add to the lead from the following penalty, Lyle's lofty kick drifted wide but precious seconds were burned in the process.

Possibly one of the most intense finales to a game in recent memory, the ball remained in Currie's hands for over five minutes without any stoppages in play. They tried to barge towards the try line but meteoric defending from a possessed Ayr team constantly pushed them back. The roaring Chieftains fans were only drowned out by the colossal hits of Craig Gossman and George Stokes. Currie's ability to retain possession was sensational but Ayr's discipline was mouth watering. Deep into Injury time the ever-dangerous Charlie Sheil found a half yard of space and broke but Ayr managed to drag him down before he hit top speed. Ayr received a lucky break when a knock-on fell int their hands but the clearance missed touch- Currie charged once more. 

After what felt like hours of Ayr throwing their bodies into the firing line Currie fumbled- bringing an end to an incredible BT Premiership semi-final.

Ayr now defend their league title away to Melrose on April 7.