Ayr Rugby Football Club

Ayr scored six tries in their final pre-season warm-up match at a blustery Bridgehaugh.

Stirling County hosted the men from Millbrae on their 2nd XV pitch as the main stage was being prepped for the visit of Glasgow Warriors and Northampton Saints.

The home team stretched their legs early on but Ayr were sturdy in defence, centre Frazier Climo and hooker Lewis Anderson leading the way. Their former team-mate Ross Curle, decked out in County colours, thought he had made a break until Scott Lyle, playing at full-back, brought him down to earth.

Good kicking from hand by fly-half Paddy Dewhirst got Ayr into an attacking position and they turned County over. Dewhirst, prop George Hunter, Anderson and winger Jamie Bova pressed the line before patient forward play saw captain Pete McCallum barge over for the opening try. Lyle converted. 0-7.
Another followed quickly, as Bova fought through the defenders and flung himself at the line with the opposition clinging on. Lyle added the extras. 0-14.
Backs Danny McCluskey and Matt Davidson and second row Jonathan Agnew had County well wrapped up when they attempted to get out of their own twenty-two, and once again Curle was stopped in his tracks, this time by Dewhirst.

Ayr were just too energetic for the hosts, and Bova raced off for another try, which Lyle again converted. 0-21.
The match was divided into thirds, and after the first break, Ayr continued to maraud their way round the pitch, Lyle, Bova and Davidson giving the hosts a tough time. David Young, Hunter, Seth Rae and Sam Graham were lively with ball in hand too, as was Anderson who twice broke free from tackles to canter up the wing.

Stirling got their first points thanks to a try in the corner which was unconverted. 5-21.
Ayr were soon back on the charge through Scott Sutherland and Euan Hamilton, before flanker Blair Macpherson bashed through the defence. Rae took the ball on and second row Michael Badenhorst hared away to the line, outstripping the defenders and his own team-mates. Lyle stepped up to the tee again and got the conversion. 5-28.

County just couldn't get anything going, and McCallum and Macpherson were barrelling through them at will. Harry Warr and Davidson pushed Ayr further into County's half before McCallum made more metres and Climo cruised over for the try. It was a wide-angled conversion and Lyle couldn't make it. 5-33.
Climo was quickly back in the thick of things with Dewhirst and they fired the ball to Hamilton, who found acres of space on the wing to go over for the sixth try. It was another difficult conversion attempt for Lyle and it went wide. 5-38.
Prop Ben Paterson took off on a gallop in a final flourish from Ayr, but Stirling wrestled back possession for a last hurrah of their own with a converted try in the corner. 12-38.
Ayr now turn their attentions to Melrose, whom they host in the BT Charity Shield at Millbrae this coming Saturday, kicking off at 3pm.

- Elena Hogarth.