Ayr Rugby Football Club

Ayr were able to right the wrongs of last week’s disappointing cup exit with a tremendous 33-19 victory over Hawick- the side who were responsible for ending BT Cup dreams seven days previous.

 

With news breaking though the week that club stalwarts Scott Sutherland, George Hunter and head coach Calum Forrester would be leaving at the end of the season the match played out in front of an emotional Millbrae.

 

The intensity of the crowd transferred onto the home side who fired out of the blocks. Ayr Skipper Pete McCallum lead from the front with multiple bulldozing carries getting them into scoring range. With just four minutes on the clock a breakthrough came with Craig Gossman darting free up the side line. He was brought down just short but Lewis Anderson was able to dot down from close range in the following phase. Scott Lyle’s conversion made it 7-0.

 

 

The next fifteen minutes went in favour of Hawick but mistakes cost them. They dominated possession and managed to get in touching distance of the line on numerous occasions but couldn’t budge an impressive Ayr defence.

 

With ten to play in the half the game looked done and dusted. A David Armstrong try sparked the opening of the flood gates. James Armstrong, making his home debut for Ayr, managed to shrug off his opposite number before darting into the corner for the score. Ayr’s fullback Grant Anderson then added to the lead moments later to secure the bonus point with only 36 minutes played. Scott Lyle’s contribution from the tee made it 26-0 to Ayr.

 

You would be forgiven for thinking Hawick heads might have dropped at this stage but their never-say-die attitude gave them something to take into the dressing room. With the clock dwindling away Dalton Redpath managed to bully his way over the line. Lee Armstrong converted to make it 26-7.

 

The break in play didn’t seem to slow down Redpath either. The influential second-rower continued to pester the home side and doubled his try tally on the 49th minute. Once more Lee Armstrong converted and a game that looked over after half an hour was now fiercely competitive.

 

Ayr knew Hawick weren’t going to lie down and with such a dominating start to the second 40 the home side knew any points they could get would be vital. Both sides seemed content to feed their forwards but at times Ayr showed off their flourishing back line. James Armstrong, hot off his first senior try, was carrying superbly and the powerful boot of Scott Lyle continued to push Hawick back into their own half.

 

With just over an hour played Ayr managed to muster up a moment of magic. Scintillating interplay between Frazier Climo and David Armstrong found a cutting Matt Davidson. Davidson glided through the defence untouched and charged for the line. Hawick were scrambling and the covering Ali Weir managed to bring him down. With men around him, Davidson tried to offload to the supporting winger but the ball strayed forward.

 

Hawick punished the home side for not converting. Sloppy defence gifted them penalties which kick-started a march up the field. Ayr defended valiantly on the line but the troublesome Bruce McNeil proved too much. The number eight fought for every inch and barged onto the line to make it a one possession game. A sigh of relief echoed around Millbrae as Lee Armstrong struck the upright. With ten to play Ayr led 26-19.

 

With the game reaching its business end Scott Sutherland and George Hunter exited the match to a standing ovation. Their last contribution at Millbrae had Ayr in the lead but there was still work to done.

 

The definitive blow came with five to play. Robin Hislop showed he can be light on his feet with a weaving run towards the try line. The ball was fed wide and landed in the hands of Tommy Spinks who was just too powerful to stop. He buried over to take the game away from Hawick and Scott Lyle’s conversion made it 33-19.

 

After a few tough outings in 2018 the second XV bounced back in tremendous fashion against Edinburgh Accies 2XV. Johnny McCorkindale managed the game expertly from Fly Half, picking up MOTM in a 53-8 win.