Hawks see off Ayr for semi spot

In the depths of Pollok Country Park, Glasgow Hawks battled from behind to secure a place in the RBS Cup semi-finals with a 28-24 victory over Ayr.

With Millbrae waterlogged, Lochinch was the venue with the 3G pitch proving to be the catalyst for an entertaining game of rugby.

Ayr were 14-6 in front at the break but in the second period, Hawks looked a different side and dominated proceedings, crossing the tryline three times.

After the match, Glasgow Hawks coach Jamie Dempsey praised his side for their never say die attitude and said: “I thought the guys gave absolutely everything and to come back from 14-0 down against a team of Ayr’s ability with a top quality second half performance was outstanding.

“We’ve got a young group of players who showed great resilience to get the win and we’ve now got a cup semi-final to look forward to.”

The main talking point of the Glasgow Hawks line-up pre-match was the inclusion of Colin Gregor who made his first appearance for the Old Anniesland side since 2003.

Neither team had been in action since January but it was Ayr who were quick to blow away the cobwebs and made all the early running, taking the lead after 22 minutes through a Grant Anderson try which was converted by Ross Curle.

Three minutes later, Graham Fisken broke through the Hawks defence giving Ayr momentum with Murray McConnell diving under the posts and Curle adding the extras once again.

Once going 14-0 down, Glasgow looked to get themselves back into proceedings and were denied a try after Haddon McPherson touched down following a Jack Steele chip but referee, David Changleng thought the winger had placed a foot in touch.

After 35 minutes, a Jack Steele kick did prove successful when he rifled a penalty between the sticks from long range then, on the stroke of half-time, Steele slotted his second kick of the day, edging Hawks closer on the scoreboard but Ayr led 14-6.

At the break, the Hawks coaching staff rang the changes, making three substitutions, which proved to make a difference.

After persistent driving from the forwards, young hooker, Finn Gillies dived over the line but Jack Steele failed to slot the conversion.

With Hawks three points behind on the scoreboard, the visitors had the momentum and were close to scoring a try when a scything break from Kenny Beattie saw him sensationally run from his own 22, deep into Ayr’s half.

That allowed Hawks to gather momentum and score through Angus Hamilton who slipped through a missed tackle to touch down.

Gavin Lowe then nailed the conversion to put Hawks 18-14 to the good with 22 minutes remaining.

Ayr were not out of it though, and soon took the wind out of Hawks’ sails when Ross Curle slotted a penalty after missing a kick from long range moments earlier.

With 15 minutes remaining, Ayr had a crucial kick at the posts but Ross Curle slammed it wide, allowing Hawks to remain in front.

After 73 minutes, Glasgow Hawks scored what would prove to be a crucial try when Gavin Lowe made a sensational run, driving through a sea of missed tackles and touching down under the posts.

The Warriors EDP then slotted the conversion to put the Hawks further in front.

The game wasn’t over though with robust substitute Denford Mutamangira pinning his ears back and charging for the line before touching down in the corner.

Curle then converted to put the pink-and-blacks within four points of Glasgow’s total but Hawks ran down the clock to secure victory.

Edinburgh Accies v Aberdeen Grammar

Aberdeen Grammar and Edinburgh Accies also battled it out for a place in the RBS Cup semi-finals. 

The match was moved from Raeburn Place, due to a water-logged pitch, and played on Murrayfield's 3G back-pitch. 

The north-east side booked their place in the Cup semi-finals with a 13-8 victory away from home. 

Aberdeen scored two tries from prop Matt Schosser and full-back Stevie Aitken. Stand-off Rob Aloe also scored a penalty in the first-half. 

Just like his opposite number, Accies prop Duncan Morrison crossed the whitewash as scrum-half Alex Black scored the remaining three points through a first-half penalty. 

Ayr: Grant Anderson (c), Craig Gossman, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman, Ross Curle, Murray McConnell, George Hunter, Fergus Scott, Nick Cox; Craig Brown, Scott Sutherland; Callum Templeton, Graham Fisken, Peter McCallum.

Subs used: Peter Jericevich, Denford Mutamangira, McCluskey, Sylvain Diez.

Glasgow Hawks: Colin Gregor, Haddon McPherson, Jack Steele, David Milne, Gavin Lowe, Michael Martin, Paddy Boyer, Steven Findlay, Finlay Gillies, 
Brendan Cullinane,
 Andy Linton (c),
 Angus Hamilton, 
Andy Redmayne,
 Stephen Leckie,
 Andy Kirkland.

Subs used: Tom Steven, John Lohoar, Matuesz Bartoszek, Kenneth Beattie, Neil Herron, Dan Smart.

Referee: David Changleng