Magic 2's v Ayr - September 2nd
Perfect conditions at Meggetland let’s hope for more days like this through the season. Team looked good and relatively confident although one late call off and one team change caused limited disruption.
The game started well with B’muir holding onto ball and attacking then Ayr got turnover, ran hard slipped a tackle in the centres only for the hard-working Calum Mcdevitt to drag the attacker down and force a penalty for holding on. Rory Scott cleared but only as far as the 22m line. The pack won the lineout and fed Gav Welsh who danced through the midfield making yards.
Next Tom Barker got ball and just when Ayr thought they had held him he powered through and made another 15metres, Offloaded to Woodland and then Lee Harrity powered over for a 5-0 and his first senior try. Once he gets in the gym and on the running track the coaches believe he will come on in leaps and bounds and may even compete for a 1st team place.
15 mins into the game and the MOM Aaran Wilson danced up the side line staying on his feet and offloading one handed back inside to McDevitt and onto Oli James to gain more team yards. B’muir were in the ascendancy and looking good. Continuity was excellent but small individual errors made for easy turnovers and Ayr put boot to ball to turn us.
The backs were trying to offload in the tackle as were the forwards and but for a very poor refereeing decision, Lee Harrity could have been in for his second off a great pass from Greg Alexander.
It’s not only Harrity that needs to get on the fitness regime, the ref was breathing heavily and not always up with play if he wants to step up another level.
Our pack was also turning over ball and quick to the breakdown and with 18y old Robbie Alexander hitting some great line we were going forward steadily. We forced Ayr into penalties and Rory put over a three pointer to make it 8-0 with 30 mins gone.
34mins gone and Ayr started battering the middle of the field and a deserved score came from the pack followed by a well worked try on the stroke of halftime. After a silly penalty, kick to 10 m out, two hits in the middle and then released ball to the winger. Good play by them and good handling with a deserved score to go in 12-8 up at the break.
The second-half saw us come out firjng and 18yr old Mcdevitt was all over the Ayr team with breaks, offloads and tackles. 9 minutes in we lost Wildgoose who put in a great shift after a hard days work on the golf course and socialising the day before...!
With 10 minutes gone, the Ayr 2nd rower was yellow carded for persistent fowling (should have been earlier) and we capitalised with a Wilson try great play and support lines again and a try for the Ginge was well deserved.
13-12 to Muir and the game was played mostly in out half. What was required was a boot down the park and after allowing the players to try and think for themselves the coaches had to tell them to do it. An area of work-ons will be decision making and playing in the opposition half but there is plenty time to learn.
Another Ayr yellow at 37mins should have seen us take control but a tough Ayr team never gave in. We kicked downfield, chased then the BOOM came. A double yellow card as Welsh slipped off the ducking attacker and took him high immediately followed by Oli James hitting him with a shoulder and no arms. This time the ref was there to yellow card both players.
Quite a harsh decision by the ref who may still have been there to see it from 2 rucks before but none-the -less he did it and the players never really complained. Fair play to Ayr they kicked for the corner, hit up a few rucks on the middle and then drove over for the score.
19-16 and B’muir still had a chance to get back downfield. Some poor kicking choices with 1-minute left meant ball was given back to Ayr who won a lineout, held ball and kicked out for the victory.
All in all, a good game and a good competition. Great to see 18-year olds Tom Barker, Lee Harrity and Robbie Alexander and Calum Mcdevitt all playing and worthy of starting. Some excellent performance form them as well as the flyer Gav Welsh and Oli James in the back row. Rory Scott is coming back to his dancing prowess and MOM Aaran Wilson was outstanding and only gave away two penalties this week...must be a record for him!!
Coaches relatively happy even though we never won. Thanks to the supporters once again their noise was appreciated
Finally a thanks to Ayr for joining with us as we stood together as rugby people on the main pitch as a mark of respect to, the already much missed, Arthur Ross.
The league has well and truly started!
Report by Hairy Pinkcoat
Can we also note a massive thank you to all the players who turned out for the Bears gaining a 4 try bonus point in a 'narrow' defeat to Stew Mel. It was very much appreciated especially as it was the first outing of the season and some haven't even trained.