Callum Kerr @ Millbrae


This afternoon Ayr 1st put in a valiant shift against Heriots Blues at Millbrae but inevitably came up short against the league leaders due to a last-minute score.


It looked like it was Ayr’s game when Richie Simpson dotted down to make it 20-10 on the 70th minute, but Ayr shipped twelve points in the final ten minutes to fall 20-22.  

(Image – Ritchie Simpson’s late score, George McMillan)


“Intensity shouldn’t come at a cost” were the sharp words of head coach Stuart Fenwick at final whistle: “We talked all week about intensity and confrontation and today we done all of that, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of ill-discipline and silly penalties.


“You can’t fault the effort and energy of the side today, and the game was there for the taking – but we were our own worst enemy. Yes, I am happy that our performance put us in a position to win but that’s another loss that was preventable”.


Ayr started the match in fine fettle, with Harry Lynch cruising clear when a fine offload from Ritchie Simpson caught him in open prairie.


Such was the story for much of the afternoon, Ayr followed their score with an error-strewn exit and Heriots opened their try-scoring account moments later.


A second score for Ayr, this time through Robbie McLaren extended the hosts lead to 12-5, but once more a lack of discipline hindered any momentum. Despite the lead a succession of yellow cards – first to Ross McCorkindale and second to Scott Clelland – meant the best Ayr could do was hold out the visitors until the interval.


Half-time: Ayr Rugby 12-5 Heriots Blues


Heriots managed to close the gap early in the second half, with winger Craig Robertson darting over for his second score. They enjoyed the lion’s share of territory from then on but couldn’t quite break down a strong Ayr defence.


Opportunity eventually knocked for the hosts and Jamie Bova made full use of a penalty just inside Heriot’s half. A trademark punt from the tee gave his side some well-needed breathing room and kept the scoreboard ticking as we entered the end game.


Suddenly Ayr looked revitalised. A trio of line breaks within minutes of each other sprung the Millbrae faithful into life. It was capped off by a heroic break down the flank by Simpson, who dove clear to what many thought would be the deciding blow.


Alas the penalty count continued to grow, and as a result Heriots were given crucial territory in the dying embers of the match. Two late scores and one, nerve-tingling conversion deep into injury time, meant they left victors.

Full-time: Ayr Rugby 20-22 Heriots Blues

In an albeit disappointing afternoon, Ayr showed spectators watching on their league credentials, which on another day would have resulted in a win over the table toppers. A handful of individual performances stuck out, but it was Richie Simpson who secured Man of the Match honours. The fly-half produced moments of magic when called upon and conducted his backs throughout the eighty with assured confidence.