Ayr Rugby Football Club

Ayr/Wellington U18s 14-15 Boroughmuir U18s

Angus Hyde @ BT Murrayfield 

 

 

The U-18s travelled to the national stadium on Sunday to take on a formidable Boroughmuir in a nail-biting game of two halves, which saw Ayr/Wellington narrowly missing out on the silverware. 

The boys kicked off the game knocking on the door, pushing into the oppositions five in the opening minutes, however silly mistakes cost them the chance of an early lead and Boroughmuir were able to exit. 

The Edinburgh outfit used this to ignite a polarising first-half performance to push the Ayr defence to its' limits starting with ‘Muir captain Inkster making a darting run through the defence, heading towards the middle of the posts before being brought down with a great covering tackle from Doolan. The pressure was felt by Ayr who were backed right up to the try line, with wave-after-wave being stopped as they started to edge their opposition away from the danger area. 

However, they were unable to prevent Boroughmuir’s opening statement of the match as the Edinburgh side displayed some fantastic rugby. Skipper Inkster pulled out another impressive run with his quick feet and his clever offload undid the Ayr defence with winger Devine shrugging off the tackle and touching down for the lead. The conversion saw the outside of the post, leaving the score 5-0 to Boroughmuir after 15 minutes.

‘Muir continued to press Ayr, with one move being foiled by a handling error which would have spelt danger for the stretched backline of Ayr as the winger had a clear path for the try. Despite a great display of defensive work, the Millbrae side conceded again this time through Jeke Canakaivata. An Ayr offload inside their 22 saw the ball glance off the back of a player and ‘Muir’s plucky eleven made no mistake in intercepting and adding to his teams’ score line, with the conversion going through this time to give a convincing 12-0 lead going ahead. 

Ayr almost made a direct response as they pushed up on the leaders five, with youngster Scott Clelland bursting through to score what the crowd thought was a try, but to the Ayr support’s dismay he was held up, concluding what effectively was an all-Edinburgh first half.

The second forty saw a different sequence of events as Ayr/Wellington’s U18s attempted to recreate the late heroics of the first team at Melrose just 24 hours prior. Tensions were high within the squad and tempers flared as Boroughmuir took the ball towards Ayr’s try line, however despite a dangerous run from Canakaivata again, the game stayed deadlocked in the centre of BT Murrayfield’s pitch.

Ayr’s break finally came courtesy of Dylan Wilson who charged through the middle of the sticks, finishing off a great move following a strong scrum. Ayr came from the middle of the park, showing a sudden superiority in physicality, breaking through Boroughmuir following an audacious around-the- back offload from Conrad Lynch which wouldn’t have looked out of place in Super Rugby, pushing the boys through the phases and eventually over the try line on the 55thminute. Murray Thomson confidently slotted the conversion to make it 12-7. 

In what followed, a different Ayr team seemed to take to the field, as the boys played with an aura of confidence and sense of belief knowing that one more try could win them the Cup. Heads now up after putting important points on the board Ayr regained possession and piled the pressure on Boroughmuir, hungry for a potentially match-winning try. 

Driving towards the left corner of the north side of Murrayfield, Ayr made a breakthrough as substitute Sam Kerr sent Ayr players and fans alike into delirium as he saved his first try this season for the biggest of occasions. A clever set piece routine at the lineout 10 yards from the try line caught Boroughmuir out as Ayr powered through with Kerr finishing off a high pressure move which involved almost every player in the XV. With only two minutes to go, Murray Thomson made no mistake to give Ayr the full seven points and an unprecedented lead.

Boroughmuir made one last attempt to swing the game back to them and steal the win after weathering the Ayr storm for the last 20 minutes. The Edinburgh side managed to force a penalty in perfect shooting position for a kicker to be the hero. With all the pressure on his shoulders, Calum Anderson took the final kick of the game for his team, breaking Ayr hearts as the flags went up.

Ayr/Wellington finished runners up at Murrayfield but they were the champions of an incredible fight back, showing amazing belief and drive to put themselves in a winning position. 

 

Today was not their day but Ayr can take away a fantastic performance in the nation’s most iconic rugby venue in what was a final for the ages.