Wednesday, 28 February 2018

U-18s Youth Cup Final

The 1st XV aren't the only side back in action this weekend with the U-18s at BT Murrayfield on Sunday in the Scottish Youth Cup Final. 

Facing off against Stirling County, the boys know the task which lies ahead and will be keen to right the wrongs of last years final, where County snatched a narrow victory.

A fan bus will be leaving Millbrae at 12 for the 3pm kick-off. Tickets for the bus can be payed and picked up at Millbrae, with pricing £10 for adults and £5 for U-16s. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

With a rich history of turning BT Murrayfield pink and black on cup days we hope to see as many supporters as possible in the capital to cheer on the boys.

Photo: Alan Graham 

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Peter Murchie Announced as Head Coach

Former Scotland and Glasgow Warriors full-back Peter Murchie has agreed to take over as Ayr Head Coach at the end of the season.

A centurion for Warriors, Murchie pulled on the Glasgow jersey 116 times and although being born in Carlisle qualified for Scotland through his father, from Ayr.

After a brief spell in France at the start of the season Murchie was forced to retire on medical grounds.

Murchie will take over the role from his former Warriors team-mate Calum Forrester, who announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season last week.

Speaking exclusively to Murchie said: "I'm looking forward to taking over as Ayr head coach next season. It is a club with a proud and successful history and I'm excited to build on those foundations".

- Callum Kerr

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Six Ayr Players in Scotland Club XV Side

Scotland Club XV Head Coach Rob Chrystie has announced his squad for Friday's encounter with Ireland Club XV and has included six Ayr players.

In the pack Steven Longwell wears the no. 3 jersey with Rob McAlpine in the second row. Blair Macpherson is at blindside flanker and Ayr captain Pete McCallum starts in his familiar number eight jersey.

In the backs Craig Gossman starts on the wing. Scott Lyle has received a late call-up to the squad and is on the bench.

The game kicks-off at Dubarry Park Friday 23 February at 7.30pm

Squad: F. Thompson (C)(Melrose), J. Edmunds (Boroughmuir), R. Curle (Stirling County), R. Nelson (Currie Chieftains), C. Gossman (AYR), C. Jackson (Melrose), C. Shiel (Currie Chieftains); S. Muir (Hawick), R. Anderson (Melrose), S. Longwell (AYR), I. Moody (Melrose), R. McAlpine (AYR), B. Macpherson (AYR), J. Turley (Heriots), P. McCallum (AYR).

Subs: M. Lines (Heriots), N. Beavon (Melrose), S. Cessford (Heriots), R. Leishman (Stirling County), R. Drummond (Watsonians), M. McAndrew (Melrose), S. Lyle (AYR), G.Taylor (Melrose).

Friday, 16 February 2018

Ayr v Hawick BT Premiership Preview

Tomorrow at Millbrae Ayr will have an opportunity to right the wrongs of last Saturday where Hawick ended cup hopes with a 20-13 upset.

The border's side weathered an early barrage from Ayr and were clinical down the stretch. Ayr's scores came through a Lewis Anderson try and eight points courtesy of Scott Lyle. The boys will be well aware of the threats Hawick pose and with the Millbrae faithful behind them will look to cement their place in the league play-offs.

The match is most likely going to be Ayr's last home game of the season and with club stalwarts Scott Sutherland, George Hunter and Head Coach Calum Forrester all departing the boys will look to give them a fond farewell.

Hawick have just as much on the line with them still in danger of relegation. The battle for BT Premiership survival is hotting up and with the guarantee of safety on the line they wont give an inch.  

Calum Forrester has only made one change from the side that fell last week with  Blair Macpherson coming back from injury and slotting into the bench.

The 2nd XV are also at home and without a win in 2018 will be hellbent on getting back to their sparkling best. Both matches kick-off at 3pm and you can follow right action every step of the way on Twitter @OfficialAyrRFC.

Ayr's 1st XV: G. Anderson, Davidson, McCluskey, Climo, Gossman, Lyle, Armstrong; Hislop, L. Anderson, Longwell, Sutherland, McAlpine, Hunter, Spinks, McCallum (C).

Subs: Sayce, Macpherson, Stokes, Warr, Armstrong.

Ayr's 2nd XV: Gray, Hamilton, Graham, Howard, Bova, McCorkindale, Young; Reece, Rae, Brown, Agnew,  Badenhorst, F. Miller, Collier, Prentice.

Subs: Paterson, A. Miller, Howie, Gilmour.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Farewell to Forrester, Sutherland and Hunter

Head coach Calum Forrester, along with players Scott Sutherland and George Hunter, will be moving on at the end of the season.

Forrester has been involved with the club for a decade having first appeared in pink and black through the pro draft with Glasgow Warriors in 2008. After captaining the side for numerous seasons and winning all that was available, he moved to the head coaching role four years ago.

The club has added to its illustrious trophy cabinet with him at the helm, most notably an incredible BT Premiership title last year. His talent was rewarded at the Scottish Rugby Club Awards dinner last year when he won "Coach of the Year' along with Ayr picking up "BT Club of the Season".

Speaking exclusively to he said: "I have been involved with the club for ten years now and have loved it all. This group has achieved a lot and I think the time is right to step down and let a new face take over... I would like to thank everyone at the club including Billy McHarg, the medical staff, the players and the fans for making it such a memorable time in my life".

George Hunter, who recently passed 100 games for the club, has found work in London so will be moving down south at the end of the season. We would like to thank George for his years of service to the club and community.

Scott Sutherland has decided to call time on his playing days. The influential second rower has donned the Pink and Black strip over 200 times, making him one of our most experienced players ever. We wish him all the very best in retirement.

Photo: George McMillian

Callum Kerr.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Calling All Members- Super Six Meeting

Ayr RFC is calling all members to attend a meeting at Millbrae on Wednesday 28th of February. The meeting  will discuss our club's future in regards to the 'Super Six' semi-professional league set to arrive in 2019.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson will also be in attendance to provide clarity, as well as answer your questions and queries.

The meeting starts at 7pm and the club are keen to get as many members as possible in attendance to help shape our future.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

BT Cup: Hawick 20 -13 Ayr

Ayr bowed out of this year’s BT Cup on Saturday with a narrow defeat away to Hawick at the quarter-final stage. Finalists last year, Ayr couldn’t quite get one step closer to BT Finals day despite firing out of the blocks.

Straight from the off their intention showed. Matt Davidson recovered Scott Lyle’s kick-off and darted free up the wing. He would eventually be brought down just short but a lacklustre Hawick gave away an easy penalty, gifting Lyle three points in the opening minutes. The lead was doubled in the same fashion on 12 minutes when Steven Longwell got over the ball and Hawick were penalised for holding on.

After an opening twenty dominated by the Ayrshire men Hawick started to look like the feared outfit Graham has made them. Their potential to score from anywhere was showcased soon after. Just as Ayr looked in pole position to add to their lead a loose ball fell to Hawick hands and kick-started an 80-metre counter attack. After countless offload’s they were eventually brought down but they managed to grab the game’s opening try a few phases later.  Lee Armstrong’s conversion made it 7-6 after half-an-hour.

Just before the intermission James Armstrong replaced Craig Gossman to mark his 1st XV debut. As the team’s prepared for half-time the game took another twist when both side’s captains were sent to the bin.

HT: Hawick 7-6 Ayr.

When play resumed it was clear this was going to be a fiercely competitive match. Hawick looked to extend their lead on the 47th minute with an audacious penalty attempt from their own half. Winger Gary Munro slotted it to increase the home side’s lead to 10-6.

Ayr’s breakthrough came moments after. The ever-dangerous David Armstrong sniped around the side of the ruck and looked poised to score until an incredible covering tackle bundled him into touch. Ayr found the line in the next few phases. A driving maul put them in touching distance allowing Lewis Anderson to touch down. Lyle converted to make it a three-point game.

Ayr were back in front and cruising. Dominant scrummaging allowed them to make territory but Hawick looked dangerous and threated when in possession.

Hawick broke once more and scored the deciding try on the hour mark. Lee Armstrong slotted the conversion to make it 17-13- advantage Hawick.

As the last 20 minutes dwindled away Ayr frantically tried to build an attack but Hawick’s grit on defence gave them nothing.

Gary Munro sealed the victory with another long-range kick with five minutes left on the clock.

FT: Hawick 20-13 Ayr.

It is a quick turnaround for Ayr who have to dust themselves down and welcome Hawick to Millbrae in the league this Saturday. With such a competitive match playing out yesterday it’s set to be a cracker.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Hawick v Ayr BT Cup Preview

It has been two weeks since the men of Millbrae were last in action and the BT Cup Quarter-Finals await them this Saturday.

Hawick are the challengers and with an incredible run of form behind them it will be no mean feat to get one over on the Green Machine at Mansfield Park.

The two sides have already clashed in the BT Premiership this season back in October when Ayr picked up a 19-32 away win. Since then, a change in backroom staff has propelled Hawick up the table- transforming them from relegation contenders to a feared outfit.

Ayr's road to BT Murrayfield started in November. In near monsoon conditions Ayr and Currie Chieftains had to battle the elements just as much as each other. Currie were sharp and lead for most of the game but  a try at the death from Steven Longwell snatched a 26-22 victory.

The starting backs remain unchanged from the BT Premiership clash against Heriots two weeks ago, with the pack having a reshuffle. Rob McAlpine comes back from injury and replaces the injured Blair Macpherson. George Turner moves to blindside flanker with Tommy Spinks moving to seven.

With extra options on the bench for cup matches Forrester has called up a couple of the 2nd XV players who have impressed in recent weeks. James Armstrong and Jonny McCorkindale are wearing the 21 and 22 Jerseys and will make their debut if used.

1st XV squad: G. Anderson, Davidson, McCluskey, Climo, Gossman, Lyle, Armstrong; Hislop, L. Anderson, Longwell, Sutherland, McAlpine, Hunter, Spinks, McCallum (C).

Subs: Sayce, Badenhorst, Agnew, Stokes, Warr, McCorkindale, Armstrong.

The action kicks-off at Mansfield Park at 2.30pm and you can follow the action every step of the way on Twitter @OfficialAyrRFC.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Ayr Chosen as 'Tartan Touch' Hub

Scottish Rugby recently announced the clubs selected as hubs for their 'Tartan Touch' initiative this summer and Ayr RFC is among the list of newcomers.

The community based innitative 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.

With ten new clubs, including Ayr, expanding the programme to 30 it is clear that this social game aimed at both adults and kids is expanding and providing a great opportunity for participants to develop fitness and make friends.

Ayr RFC is delighted to be a part of the programme for 2018.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Smith Leads U20s into Battle

On Tuesday Gregor Townsend selected his match day 23 for Saturday's Nat West Six Nations opener against Wales. Included in the starting lineup were some familiar faces with the likes of Gordon Reid, Finn Russell and Ali Price all involved.

The U20s Scotland squad was also announced, and just like the senior squad, a streak of Pink and Black strengthens the team. Three current Ayr players have been selected with Paddy Dewhirst, Robbie Smith and Stafford McDowall all starting.

Robbie Smith has also been given the nod to captain the side with Ayr teammate Stafford McDowall as his vice.

Captain Smith starts at hooker with his vice McDowall at inside centre. Paddy Dewhirst starts at full-back.

Ayr President Billy McHarg outlined his delight with the news saying: "It is a real honour for Ayr RFC to have three players selected and for Robbie to be captain, we wish them all the best".

The match kicks-off at 8.15pm on Friday Night at Parc Eirias and is live on BBC2 Wales.

Photo- George McMillian

Callum Kerr