Yesterday Stuart Fenwick’s men battled their way to a first win in 2020, with a dramatic comeback over Cartha Queens Park. Pinned back in their half by a crude wind it looked an improbable feat to work their way into scoring contention in the dying embers of the match - and Cartha looked poised to stretch their 6-8 lead.

Ayr rugby 1st XV in a huddle

Outgunned, outmanned and struggling to cope at the set piece, in the second half Ayr looked beat. They tore apart the script to deny attack-after-attack before mustering one hail Mary drive deep into injury time – and ultimately be rewarded with a penalty try to snatch a 13-8 victory. If battles are of attrition, then this was warfare. When the final whistle bellowed around a soaked Queen Margaret It felt more like surviving the trenches than winning a game of rugby. It was an emotional affair - at times too emotional, with the action often spilling over the side lines in a niggly final quarter. Heart and desire prevailed, with Cartha left scratching their heads that they didn’t hold out.

It has been a tough run of form recently for Ayr and Head Coach Stuart Fenwick was delighted his men managed to get over the line: “It has been really tough for the boys so it means a lot. Regardless of results they have continued to turn up to training and worked hard on rectifying their mistakes. “There has been a lot of times we have managed to get ourselves into positions to win and it has turned around. So it shows we are learning from those loses. “I was actually reasonably calm” he admits recalling the result hanging in the balance at the endgame: “I was sitting back watching it all happen and the boys new what they had to do, they took the options we would have asked from them and they knew the processes. “Our guys kept the head, remained composed, and came away with the winning score”. A late change prior to kick-off welcomed the return of club legend Pat MacArthur, who stepped in for Zander Howie. It wasn’t the weather for wingers but as Zac Howard led his men onto the pitch as captain for the first time he knew his leadership would be called upon. The ‘Millbrae Men’ started with the wind, quite literally, at their back. A trailing gust from Storm Dennis gave them valuable territory, which Ross Mccorkindale converted into three points after fifteen minutes. It was a lead short-lived, with Cartha’s Anthony Nyangweso scoring out wide four minutes later to pull the visitors in front. A second Mccorkindale penalty put Ayr 6-5 in front at half-time. Now fighting against the wind Ayr enjoyed little to no field position in the second half, but Cartha couldn’t capitalise. Despite a wealth of chances the visitors could only muster a penalty kick to hold a narrow lead - being denied at the line multiple times by a spirited Ayr defence. Having managed to escape the barrage, Ayr mounted their charge with seconds left on the clock. A cluster of penalties allowed Mccorkindale to march his men into the 22. A frantic defence cost for Cartha and soon they found themselves with two men in the sin bin for infringements.After a stoppage in play for handbags and a stern telling off from referee John Smith, Ayr mounted one last surge. A handful of carries inched them towards the line before a penalty try was signalled, igniting jubilation for the home side. Full-time: Ayr Club XV 13-8 Cartha Queens Park. Camie Black was named Slater Menswear Man of the Match. Ayr/Millbrae’s tie kicked off earlier in the day and was equally as tight. Cartha’s 2nd XV squeaked it 14-15.