Rugby Development Term 1.

The first term focus from the Development team was aimed at the growth of playing numbers in players and team for the local Academies. With Ardrossan and Largs Academy competing in the Ayrshire Tier 4 Conference this meant they were playing games at S1, S2 and U16 age groups with scheduled midweek fixtures each week. Auchenharvie became the new Cashback School of Rugby for the next 3 years and initial uptake has been pretty good with current numbers up at round 20 signed up participants. Ardrossan Schools (Ardrossan, St Matthews and Largs Academy) entered the national competitions combined at U16 and U18 age groups to provide a more competitive platform in this competition while playing as their own School for Conference Rugby.


Ardrossan Academy  – Played 4 Fixtures at T4 Conference (U13/14 and U16) versus Ayr Academy, Garnock Academy, Girvan Academy and Irvine Royal Academy

Largs Academy – Played 4 Fixtures at T4 Conference (U13, U14 & U16) versus Auchinleck Academy, Cumnock Academy, Kyle Academy and Belmont Academy

Auchenharvie Academy – Played first fixture (U13) versus Queen Margaret

St Matthews Academy – No games played.

Arran High School – No games played, arrangements have been made for two games to be played October/November.

Ardrossan Schools – Both U16 and U18 squads are into the National Bowl QF’s awaiting their opponents.

Girls Rugby – Has been slow getting fixtures played, but Largs Academy have 20+ girls regularly training at the School, Arran High producing good numbers for training and Auchenharvie now having 5 girls signed up for SoR. Fixtures are a must for Term 2.


Ardrossan U16s semi final victory



Ardrossan 34-10 Greenock

What a glorious day for a game of Rugby! The sun was shining, the birds singing and the Accies winning! In the semi final of the plate we faced Greenock, a game that had been postponed for a week due to the international fixtures. We had an understrength side with a few key players missing due to injury or sickness but as always the strength of our squad allowed some reshuffling and movement of players to unfamiliar positions. We saw Lewis Duff take a berth in the front row for the first time and perform admirably – as a Mr Anderson observed “Once you go prop you don’t go back!”. We also welcomed back Murray into the squad, slotting into his favoured Dan Carter (without the kicking!) role. The game started off a bit slowly with the lads taking a wee while to find their feet, Greenock certainly looked the more assured side in the first ten minutes. However the lads soon got into gear and started winning the individual and the collective battles, dominating Greenock at the breakdown and using their penalties wisely to gain territory and advantage. The deadlock was broken by Jamie Jack who burst through the Greenock opposition and opened the scoring, Murray converted to give the Accies a 7 point lead. Greenock rallied well and pulled back an unconverted try to make the score tight at 7-5. The lads extended their lead through Harry, fresh from his sick bed, powering straight through the Greenock centre and shrugging off challenges to score, Murray again converted to push the score up to 14-5 to the Advices. The first half ended with the Accies dominating possession, defending robustly and clearly in control. If the first half was about power the second half was more about the technical aspect of our game, with fluid passing moves, nice interplay from the backs and the forwards continuing to providing a platform to let the backs show their flair. The first score of this half came through Murray, working an excellent move and showing his nose for the try line after some lovely interplay. Unfortunately he was unable to convert his own try leaving the score 19-5. Next up was Matt Lee, who had showed the Accies dominance at the lineouts with a number of steals and a strong tackling performance, he now showed his legendary safe hands wide right and squeezed the ball in right in the corner. A TMO worthy try if I have ever seen one! Unable to convert from the tightest of Angles the score was 24-5 to the hooped heroes. Greenock rallied again, unwilling to give up and took the game to the home side with a strong ten minute spell. After some desperate and solid 5 metre defending the lads conceded, although there was a strong call that they had actually held up the try attempt. 24-10 with Greenock looking resurgent. Up stepped Luca! As noted above the Accies had been using their wings far more in this half with Scott Burns and Luca seeing a lot of the ball, stretching Greenock on both wings. This paid off in the last ten minutes with Luca using his lightning pace to glide past tiring Wanderers players at will scoring two in quick succession. Murray’s kicking mojo was gone at this point so no further points to be gained from conversions. Final score 34-10 to Ardrossan. This was undoubtedly the best performance by the team this season, we have had other good results where one or two players shone but today was about a squad of 20, every one of them playing his part, winning their individual battles, supporting their team mates and showing what a good team we are becoming. In short we were excellent! Murray’s game plan, Scott’s work with the forwards, Jacks development of the backs and the level of fitness of the side all clicked into place. I could write all night about the lads individual performances and how well they did! Next we face Whitecraigs in the final and based on todays performance we have every right to be confident! Thanks to Beth, Pauline and Neil for the excellent hospitality, Margaret for her physio and medical support and Neil Armstrong for refereeing. MOTM goes to Lewis Duff for his outstanding debut at prop – solid as a rock! AD ASTRA