Ayr Rugby Football Club

On Saturday Ayr sealed a spot in the Scottish Cup semi-final stage with a 34-19 victory over Currie Chieftains. In a battle of the two league front-runners Ayr's set-piece proved the difference, with a flawless line-out and devastating scrum setting the tone. Peter Murchie's men will now travel to the Greeenyards for the semi-final on March 30 to face Melrose. 

 

The tentative nature of the tie showed early on with both sides reluctant to roll the dice. Knock-out action always brings with it an extra edge and neither side wanted to drop points early doors.

After fifteen minutes of back and forth it was Ayr who drew first blood through the ever-present Blair Macpherson. Numerous forward carries inched the home side closer to the try-line before it looked like skipper Pete McCallum wriggled over but sturdy defence managed to halt him just short. Macpherson has built up a reputation for being leathal at short-range and lived up to the billing on the following phase, shrugging off two bodies whilst powering over. Climo's routine conversion made it 7-0.

Chieftains tried to force an immediate response but ended up trailing by more. A kick behind the defence looked dangerous but Kyle Rowe dispelled any doubt with an impressive counter attack. Weaving past a host of tacklers the winger had all of a sudden put ayr in attacking territory before feeding Warr who, in turn, found Paddy Dewhirst. Dewhirst continued in the same vein as his opposite wing, prancing past black jerseys and towards the line only to be brought down just short by scrabbling defence. The ball was then whisked out wide for Danny McCluskey to run clear. The conversion split the uprights. 

With the interval on the horizon Currie were able to spark the reaction they had been looking for. Two tries just minutes apart had them equal on scores, but a skewed conversion attempt meant they trailed by two. 

As the clock ticked into injury time Climo stretched the lead with three from the kicking tee. 

 

Half-Time: Ayr RFC 17-12 Currie Chieftains.

 

Ayr fired out of the blocks in the second half, settling the crowds nerves after a rocky end to the first forty. A miss-pass out wide from Climo landed in the hands of full-back Grant Anderson who sniped clear to make it 22-12, the conversion slipped wide. 

With the physicality taking its toll on the Chieftains' pack the differential at scrum-time proved costly. A heroic shift from Steven Longwell, Robbie Smith and Ruairidh Sayce punished the visitors and allowed Ayr to stay on the front foot and enjoy free territory. 

Ayr's fourth in the fixture came just after an hour and mimicked that of the first. A McCallum run was brought short only for Macpherson to double-up on the following phase. The conversion made it 29-12 and gave Currie a mountain to climb.

The nail in the coffin came with ten to play. Once again Ayr managed to exploit space out wide, resulting in Tommy Spinks charging over to bring the scoring to 34-12.

With the result thoroughly secure Murchie unloaded his bench. Youngster Camie Black made his 1XV in the process, replacing the talismanic Ross Curle who came out of retirement to cover the midfield. 

With a drop in intensity due to the result secure Currie managed to bag a consolation score with a few minutes left on the clock.

Full-Time: Ayr RFC 34-19 Currie Chieftains.

With a brace of tries and an abrasive performance around the pitch, Blair Macpherson was named Slater Menswear Man-of-the-Match.