Ayr Rugby Football Club

Ayr Ladies opened up their 2018/19 league campaign with a comprehensive 59-10 win over Greenock Wanderers at Millbrae.


Lee Steward @ Millbrae

Today could have been an emotional battle as former teammates faced each other for the first time on opposing sides but Ayr kept their heads and looked determined to prove their worth from the off.

Both sides came across confident as they lined up for kick-off but Robynn Gibson quickly powered through the Greenock defence to make a sprint for the try line early on in the match, with Catherine Shennan converting. 7-0.

Greenock then stepped up and made some good tackles to fend off a relentless Ayr attack but they couldn’t stop Joanne Jones from ploughing through to take Ayr further ahead. Unconverted. 12-0.

Ayr's defence was undeniably strong early on and they had the edge over Greenock for most of the match. Helen Thomson and Sonja Liekens took down several Greenock players in quick succession to break their runs and up the phases. Greenock tried to hit numerous times but Ayr put on the pressure and didn’t let up. New signing Nikki Weyers didn’t disappoint at scrum-half, getting stuck in at every one she reached, clearing three Greenock players out at one point.

With Ayr back in control within metres of the try line for sometime, Ayr eventually found themselves over courtesy of centre Laura Turner, Shennan converted. 19-0.

It wasn’t long before Ayr did it again, some strong passing skills found Claire Law who took advantage of some space on the right wing and scored with Shennan converting. 26-0.

Ayr Ladies were definitely on a mission with yet another try from India Birrell just before half time. Shennan easily converted. 33-0 going into half time.

In the second half Greenock looked like they had a plan coming out of their rest but Robynn Gibson had other plans for them, she made it look easy weaving between their defence to make a break and get us over for her second of the match. Shennan converted. 40-0.

With Greenock due a try, their inside centre Cat Cowan got them off the starting block but the kick went wide. Unconverted. 40-5.

It didn’t take long before Robynn Gibson stepped up for the home team and fired another past a loose Greenock defence to get her hat trick. Converted. 47-5.

Ayr were playing numerous players out of their normal positions but the shake up was working and the coaches looked satisfied from the sidelines. An old Ayr side would have pulled back the pressure by this point but today they kept the momentum going and didn’t disappoint.

Erin McSorley in at flanker scored to take the lead further ahead. Unconverted. 52-5.

Robynn Gibson made it four tries in the first match of the new season with a well placed dive under the posts. Converted. 59-5.

Hannah Mutton for Greenock got the visitors to double figures with the last try of the match with just two minutes to go. Unconverted 59-10.

Both teams played well but Ayr edged ahead with a more robust defence, turning over several balls and showcasing some great defensive tackles. It was no surprise that Gibson was announced MOTM with Greenock giving their MOTM to new scrum-half Nikki Weyers for her consistent effort. With continued work on structure, endurance and players settling in to new positions they will no doubt have plenty impact on their games ahead.