Ayr Rugby Football Club

Exactly a decade ago, Damien Kelly hoisted Scotland’s premiership league title at Millbrae for the first time in the club’s history. On Saturday, everything seemed to come full-circle when Peter McCallum done the same, this time for the club’s fourth championship. 

 

 

An emphatic 80 minutes of action, which was an ample end to the Tennent’s Premiership as we know it, culminated in Ayr sealing a six-point victory over Heriots and being crowned champions.

 

It was never going to be straight forward, and a slow start resulted in Heriots ten points adrift within as many minutes. A now sheepish crowd could barely watch as the visitors showed all of the firepower which had carried them to the final. 

 

Ayr managed to conjure their first attack after 16 minutes when David Corbenici managed to wriggle through a tackle and charge towards the line. The lock had options either side of him when confronted by Charlie Simpson but opted for route one and powered through contact and in for the score.

 

Five minutes later and Ayr were in again. A lovely inside ball found a charging Kyle Rowe who had a bit of turf in front of him to get into top speed. Once in full flight no one could catch him, storming around his opposite number and dotting down. Climo’s second conversion put the home side four ahead.

 

The lead was short-lived, with the visitors jumping ahead four minutes later courtesy of Craig Robertson. 

 

Ayr had one more score in them before the break and once again it was Kyle Rowe who was at his prolific best. From deep inside his own half the wing broke clear out wide before a sweeping run back inside managed to drift around multiple defenders, before dotting down. The conversion made it 19-15 with six minutes left in the half.

 

Heriots would tighten the scoring with seconds remaining, courtesy of a Ross Jones penalty.

 

Half-time: Ayr RFC 19-18 Heriots.

 

Despite Climo cancelling out Jones’ three immediately after the break, it was Heriots who took the upper-hand. Scotland U20’s star Jack Blain showed his pace to snipe clear after five minutes to snatch the lead back for the visitors.

 

The decisive blow came with fifteen left to play. 

 

Ayr were enjoying a destructive advantage at scrum-time through prop’s Ruairidh Sayce and Steven Longwell. With the set piece winning penalty-after-penalty Climo put them in touching distance of the line. An expert rolling maul ended, poetically, with captain Peter McCallum scoring. 

 

A touchline conversion from Climo, who was as equally integral to the league success ten years ago, was to be the final act.

 

Ayr managed to weather an inevitable storm and secure the 2018/19 Tennent’s Premiership title in front of a rampant Millbrae.

 

Both sides will lock horns once again in just under three weeks at BT Murrayfield in the Scottish Cup Final, on April 27th. With a double in touching distance Ayr will look to paint the national stadium pink and black. Book your tickets here.