Ayr begin title defence with win over Stirling County

Ayr started their defence of the RBS Premiership with a bonus point win at Bridgehaugh today against Stirling County.

Grant AndersonThe score ended 28-16 following tries from winger Cammy Taylor (8 minutes), a brace from full-back Grant Anderson (35 and 64 minutes) and lock Scott Sutherland (47 minutes). All four scores were converted by scrum-half Peter Jericevich.

For the hosts centre Brian Archibald kicked three penalties and converted lock Ruairdh Leishman’s try on 57 minutes.

Ayr were very strong in the scrum and dominated throughout the match, but Stirling County turned the west coasters over a number of times in the ruck. Both sides played some clever runs and exposed decent gaps throughout the game.

Ayr head coach, Peter Laverie, said: “We’re delighted to start the season with a bonus point win, however there is a lot of work still to be done.”

“We need to improve our work rate at the breakdown and link up our passing better. Stirling came into this game with a lot of enthusiasm, they came at us strong and in the first half, particularly we let them play.”

Stirling County opened the scoring early with a penalty on three minutes, kicked by Archibald. However, Ayr quickly responded and Anderson and Taylor linked up well sending the winger in for the first try of the match, with eight minutes gone.

Two penalties followed for Archibald on 11 and 29 minutes and the hosts re-established their lead.

However, Ayr were over the try line again with five minutes left before the break. Anderson found the gap and was in under the posts.

Half-time: Stirling County 9-14 Ayr

On 47 minutes and 57 minutes Ayr and Stirling both crossed each other’s try-lines, Sutherland the first for the visitors and then Leishman for the hosts.

The final score of the match came from full-back Anderson, which secured Ayr their first win and five points on the table.

Also in the RBS Premiership, this weekend, there were wins for Gala (31-14 v Currie), Melrose (30-13 v Heriot’s), Aberdeen Grammar (23-16 v Hawick) and Edinburgh Accies (21-20 v Glasgow Hawks).

Full-time: Stirling County 16-28 Ayr

Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Cammy Taylor, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman; Ross Curle, Peter Jericevich; Denford Mutamangira, Fergus Scott, Nick Cox, Colin White, Scott Sutherland, Graham Fisken, Andrew Dunlop, Calum Forrester (captain).

Replacements: David Young, D'Arcy Rae, Callum Templeton, Sylvain Diez and Gavin Lowe.

Stirling County team: Joff Hope; Matt Lamb, Danny Gilmour, Brian Archibald, Ben Addison; Stuart Edwards, Colin Turnbull; Jamie Bhatti, Alex Moffat (captain), Colin Hutton, Ruaridh Leishman, Matt Larsen, Struan Robertson, Sean McDonald and Jamie Swanson.

Replacements: Bengy Bersanti, Reyner Kennedy, Craig Deacons, Archie Russell and Kris Burney.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy.