BT Premiership

AYR 28


By Elena Hogarth

CHAMPIONS Ayr defeated Boroughmuir in round 10 of the BT Premiership at Millbrae on Saturday, but they didn’t get things all their own way.

It was a rainy day in Alloway and the greasy surface was not conducive to running rugby. Points in the first half were limited to a penalty kicked by Ayr’s Scott Lyle, filling in at fly-half for the injured Frazier Climo.

Lyle (21 was more than a stand-in though. He added man-of-the-match to his recent Ayr RFC player of the month award, with an assured performance.

It was a day for the youngsters, with 20-year-old replacements Ruairidh Sayce (prop) and Sam Graham (winger) making their home BT Premiership debuts from the bench. Both are products of the Ayr youth system, and their graduation into the 1st XV shows just how well player development is going at the club.

Stafford McDowal (19) had an impressive day in attack and defence, and his fellow teenager Harry Warr – the smallest player on the pitch – did well to recover from some off-the-ball attention from the big boys from Boroughmuir - an incident which prompted retaliation from Ayr prop Robin Hislop which promptly landed him in the sin-bin.

Also shown the yellow card were second rows Scott Sutherland and Blair Macpherson, but Ayr coped admirably well without them and managed not to leak any points.

Ayr got the second half off to a flier, after a break by McDowall, with Graham in support, put winger Robbie Nairn over for a try.

Graham added a try of his own, using all his power to motor away from the defenders and score behind the posts.

Replacement hooker David Young rumbled over the line for try number three. Lyle converted two of the tries, and added three penalties.

Ayr looked very much in control with 10 minutes to go, causing mayhem at the visitors’ set-pieces, and Boroughmuir only had three points on the score board thanks to a Greg Cannie penalty.

But the men from Meggetland suddenly woke up. When Ayr should have been claiming their fourth try for the bonus point, they were scrambling the defence. But they didn’t scramble it quick enough, and before they knew it, Euan McKirdy and Jordan Edmunds had each scored for Boroughmuir, with Cannie converting one just before full-time.

Ayr head coach Calum Forrester was a happy man though.

“I thought the players’ attitude after last week's loss to Watsonians was outstanding. Their efforts showed just how well they had trained throughout the week.”

Ayr now have a week off before they play Currie Chieftains in the first round of the BT Cup at Millbrae on Friday, November 17 (kick-off 7.45pm).

Meanwhile, the 2nd XV were just beaten 24-21 by Boroughmuir 2nd XV in BT National Reserve 1. Man-of-the-match Johnny McCorkindale scored two tries, with Michael Badenhorst adding one, and James Armstrong converting all three.