Callum Kerr

It was a monumental day yesterday for the Ayrshire Bulls, who secured an emphatic victory over the Southern Knights at the Greenyards in round four of the FOSROCSuper6 Sprint Series. The Bulls ran in ten tries on their way to a 12-62 win over their old foes.

In what was a re-run of the 2021 final, neither side would have expected half a century to be the difference come final whistle, but pack dominance up front gifted Peter Horne’s back line the perfect platform to flourish. Seven of the ten tries came from the backs, with youngster Jamie Shedden contributing a hat-trick on debut.


At full-time whistle Peter Horne was elated with the performance of his men. The Greenyards has been a happy hunting ground over the past five years for those in pink and black but this result stands alone as the largest margin. Speaking to press, Horne explained how his team were able to step it up from their previous outing: “In terms of our physicality against Heriot’s we talked about taking it up several notches. We really took the game to Knights.


“We were aggressive and brilliant in defence. We just completely outworked them with a performance built on the back of hard work.”


Ryan Sweeney opened the floodgates on the sixth minute. Despite the Knights enjoying most of the possession in the opening exchanges, the Bulls’ first real attack ended with Sweeney charging his way over from close quarters. Christian Townsend added the extras.


The second came three minutes later in their next trip to the Knights half. Christian Townsend looked out of options when scrum-half Cam Jones switched to the blind side, but the young fly half pulled off a crafty sidestep to cut through the line and dot down unscathed. He converted his own score.


Although there seemed an inevitability about the Bulls first two scores, the next one came from obscurity. From just inside the Knights half Tom Jordan decided to two-step his way through the line on his own, palming off the attempted tacklers with ease. With every successful hand-off he propelled himself up the park before diving clear.


The Knights first score followed. A well-worked team try looked like it was game on, but the hosts struggled to build on their efforts.


It took the Bulls four minutes to get back on the score sheet. A second from Tom Jordan, this time from one yard out instead of 45, was converted to bring scoring to 7-26 with the clock still to reach the half-hour mark.


A score for Alex McGuire followed, before Shedden contributed his first of three to conclude the half.


Half-time: Southern Knights 7-38 Ayrshire Bulls


Hopes from the home support that the interval might bring change were quickly diminished just one minute after the restart. A break from Cam Jones from the kick-off launched the Bulls up the park, before Aaron Tait was freed up in acres of space to sprint home before a defender could lay a finger on him.


Next was Shedden’s second, scored in similar style to his first. The winger’s large frame commands space out wide and the straggling defenders failed to force him into touch as he dived clear inches from the corner flag.


High on confidence, the Bulls could do no wrong and gambled on running out from their 22 in the following phase. Lewis McNamara, who was popping up everywhere during the match, sliced through slack defence and galloped free. The covering defender managed to pull him down but not before he fed the hands of speedster Tait, who scorched home for his second.


A yellow card for Andrew Nimmo was small reward for Southern Knights who were now playing for pride and not much else. A score with five to play give little consolation, but poetically it was the Bulls who concluded the scoring. With the clock in red and the Bulls still wanting more, Shedden latched onto an inside offload to canter over to complete his hat-trick and signal the end of the game.


Full-time: Southern Knights 12-62 Ayrshire Bulls


It was an afternoon for try scorers, but it was his work away from the line that secured FOSROC Player of the Match honours for Ryan Sweeney. In just his second game back from injury the flanker put in a power of work around the field and was ever-present in the arm wrestle up front that was dominated by the Bulls. His try to kick-start proceedings was merely the cherry on top.