Callum Kerr @ Millbrae

The Ayrshire Bulls cruised to a 33-21 victory over Heriot’s Rugby this evening in what was a replay of the 2023 Sprint Final. A rampant opening 40 shot Pat MacArthurs men ahead 33 points to nil and they weathered an improved second half from the visitors to hold out. The contrast in score-line between the half’s was predominately down to the wind shooting down field.

(Photo – George McMillan)


Emotion was swirling around Burns country at kick off with both sides acknowledging the passing of Ayr great Gus McKay. The sombre main stand soon turned to jubilation, as the Bulls ran in a score within the opening ten seconds.


Brad Roderick-Evans’ kick-off wasn’t collected by Heriots, allowing speedster Luca Bardelli to gather and run over for one of his easier scores. The conversion drifted wide in the wind.

Eighteen minutes later Bardelli was in again. From the base of a scrum the ball worked its way to Bobby Beattie who launched a miss-pass to catch Bardelli in full flight – he finished the job. Roderick-Evans’ conversion made it 12-0.


The bulls extended their lead eight minutes later. Heriots had to clear their lines but spilled the ball for Blair Macpherson to dive on over the line.


Two minutes later they ran in another. Ryan Sweeney charged down a heriots box kick and ran up the field. When brought down Lewis McNamara arrived at the breakdown first and trucked over the line. Roderick-Evans converted both to make it 26-0.


On the stroke of half-time Macpherson bagged his second. From the back of a five-metre scrum he picked up and carried through a handful of tackles to dot down. Roderick-Evans duly converted.

Half-time: Ayrshire Bulls 33-0 Heriots Rugby.


Heriot’s needed to score quick after the break and did. An offload off the deck to Liam Richman kept play alive allowing him to dive over. Bruce Houston added the extras.


Fortunes improved again for Heriots, with Craig Miller shown yellow for an illegal clear-out.


Heriot’s had their tails up for the first time and clawed another score back soon after. From a rolling maul Wallace Nelson dove over, with Houston making it 33-14.


After the quietest period of the game Heriot’s got themselves back over with four minutes left to play. Former Millbrae man Matt Davidson cut through the line and looked in but a last-ditch tackle saw him prop the ball up for Euan McAra to finish the job. Richman narrowed the deficit by two more from the tee.


Full-time: Ayrshire Bulls 33-21 Heriot’s Rugby.


After another trademark performance from captain Blair Macpherson – picking up two tries and leading from the front through a tricky second half – he was named FOSROC Player of the Match.