Ayr Rugby Football Club

Ayr continued with their winning ways yesterday beating Stirling County 16-25 at Bridgehaugh. Stirling came out of the blocks quickly but as the game moved into the later stages Ayr's steely resolve showed, marking their second win of 2018.

The game went to the script of the home side straight from kick-off with Stirling's first chance coming in the opening minutes. They looked poised for a score when the ball was shipped out wide but a stray pass found Grant Anderson who was able to break clear and end the threat. Not long after, a routine kick from Stirling full-back Jonny Hope put the home side up three.

Stirling added to their lead minutes later, with Hamilton Burr charging down an Ayr clearance kick. From there, he marched under the posts falling onto the ball. Hope's conversion put them 10-0 up after 12 minutes.

Ayr began to assert themselves in the next 10 minutes, with bulldozing runs from Blair Macpherson off the back of the scrum chipping away at a sturdy Stirling defence. Their momentum reaped no reward however and on the 27 minute mark Hope added another three onto Stirling's lead.

Five minutes from half-time Ayr found themselves down 13-0 and in need of a score. They began to build phases deep in Stirling's 22 and finally found the line when Steven Longwell barged over from close range. Lyle's conversation made it 13-7

Hope received another chance to add three more shortly after but wasn't able to connect.

Ayr started the second half with much more intensity with their forward pack bullying Stirling off the ball. After multiple infringements by the home side Ayr decided to go for the posts. Lyle made no mistake, narrowing the gap to 13-10.

Almost immediately Stirling cancelled out the three. Ayr were pinned for entering the ruck from the side and Hope punished the error- they now lead by six.

Lyle was at the heart of everything and on the 58th minute played a crafty grubber intended for Craig Gossman. Gossman couldn't reach it, but Hope could only carry it over his try line resulting in a scrum five. From the scrum Ayr decided to go wide. A twisting run from Climo carved up Stirling's defence. He offloaded to Lyle who blitzed up the touchline and in for Ayr's second try. He couldn't convert, bringing the scores to 16-15.

Ayr took the lead for the first time in the match minutes later. Stirling's lack of discipline at the ruck awarded Ayr with a penalty, Lyle stepped up to put them up two.

From then on Ayr dictated the play- David Armstrong was elementary in Ayr's movement. Their attack began to spark but it was only out-done by incredible defence from the home side.

With three to play Ayr finally got breathing space. A knock-on at half way fell to the boot of Scott Lyle who kicked through. From there it was a footrace for the try line- Lyle won. He added two more from the tee which brought the scoring to 25-16.

Ayr's 2XV were also in action at Bridgehaugh, falling to Stirling 2XV 20-14. Ben Paterson picked up his second MOTM in as many weeks.

Now all eyes move to next weekend's action with near-neighbours Marr coming to town. With Marr hell-bent on avoiding relegation and Ayr in the hunt for a home semi-final it's a match neither side will want to lose.