Callum Kerr @ Goldenacre


Ayr 1XV fell victim to their first loss of the season this afternoon at the hands of Heriots Blues, who edged them out in a 27-22 thriller. It was nip and tuck for the full eighty, but a late comeback for Ayr was only enough to salvage a losing bonus point.

It makes it four wins out of five to start their Tennent’s National 1 campaign, which has them sitting pretty at the business end of the league table.


At the final whistle head coach Stuart Fenwick was complimentary of his men, but ultimately frustrated not to leave with the win: “We are disappointed, we have to be disappointed. We had opportunities in the game to score despite not playing where we know we can be at… We made a lot of silly errors and unforced penalties which put us under a lot of pressure.


“The positives are that we created a lot of chances, we just need to be a little more clinical when we get there”.


It was a revamped side from ones that have previously stepped onto the field this season due to numerous factors. David Lymburn made his long-awaited 1XV debut alongside Hamish McIntosh-Floyd and Moe Zimmerman, and Ben Paterson returned to the fold after over two years on the sidelines. The change in personnel wasn’t a factor in the result, insists Fenwick, who praised the efforts of the new faces: “We are not going to make excuses in terms of changes. We had some really good guys that came in and they all played very well. What we have got to look at is how collectively we can shore things up a little bit more instead of looking for individuals to do things”.


Ayr delt the opening blow in the match. From relatively nothing, fly-half Richie Simpson booted the ball high into the air before chasing it. The youngster managed to collect it himself unchallenged before gliding around the remaining defenders and diving clear. The touchline conversion from Jamie Bova didn’t hit the mark.


Twenty minutes into the contest Heriots chalked it all up with a try of their own, but Bova put Ayr back in front moments later with a routine kick from the tee following a high tackle on John Fulton.


The hosts managed to get the lead before halftime, with two tries in quick succession making it 17-8 at the break.


Heriots opened the scoring after the interval with three points, marking the largest lead of the game at 20-8.


Unperturbed, Ayr managed to muster some good fortune out of nothing when Zac Howard latched onto a Heriots’ pass and cantered in unchallenged. Bova split the uprights this time, making it a five-point game.


Heriots proved to be clinical all game when shown a glimmer of the line and made no mistake with ten minutes left to play. A converted try out wide made it 27-15, enviably taking a win out of reach for Ayr.


Despite the task in front of them Ayr continued to charge and found themselves knocking on the door once more. A heroic effort on attack was met with titanic endurance in defence from Heriots, who managed to halt the visitors long enough to seal the win. With the clock in red Ayr did get a reward for their effort – birthday boy Ben Cree marking his 21st with a try. Jamie Bova converted to make it 27-22 and conclude the game.


Full-Time: Heriots Blues 27-22 Ayr Rugby.


There were numerous players who put their hand up for Player of the Match, but head coach Stuart Fenwick had one man on his mind – Craig Brown. The reliable forward started his afternoon at eight and finished in the engine room, throwing himself around in the process. He put in a typical abrasive performance and contributed a healthy amount of tackles in the process.