Callum Kerr

This evening the Ayrshire Bulls inched out Stirling Wolves at Bridgehaugh in an epic encounter. After an hour of rugby which had only 21 points scored, in the final twenty minutes the sides exchanged a further 33. The match built to a fast and frantic finale, in which the Bulls secured a 26-28 win despite trailing for most of the contest.

(Photo – Andy Stirrat was at the heart of everything, and picked up FOSROC Player of the Match honours)


The Bulls had last week’s loss festering in their minds all week and they shot out of the traps with a point to prove. From a Ross Thompson kick-off they regathered possession and spun the ball quickly. Within ten seconds Andy Stirrat had breached the line creating a two-on-one, but his pass to the open Thomas Glendinning drifted from his grasp, catching his finger and knocking forward.

The Wolves weren’t rattled. They managed to escape from a handful of early attacks and counter up the park. With their first venture into the Bulls 22 they capitalized. After a handful of carries Gregor Hiddleston muscled his way over to draw first blood. Marcus Holden’s conversion made it 7-0.


Stirling looked the better of the two for the next twenty minutes but the Bulls made full use of their little time on the ball. Andy Stirrat didn’t convert from his earlier break but made no mistake at second serving. The hard-running centre bumped and bounced his way through a number of tackles to clear the line and canter home. Ross Thompson levelled it all up from the tee.


The Wolves went back ahead ten minutes later. Again they worked their way down the pitch before Mickey Heron dove clear in the corner. Holden’s touchline conversion made the difference seven once more.


Half-time: Stirling Wolves 14-7 Ayrshire Bulls


Neither side kept control for any length of time after the break. Both looked dangerous, but both squandered possession when it mattered. The Bulls looked livelier but Stirling’s work at the breakdown made it tough for them.


After almost twenty minutes of gridlock the heavens opened. Three tries in eight minutes propelled the Bulls into the lead. The first saw Blair Macpherson bulldoze his way over in trademark fashion. Two minutes later Thomas Glendinning got in on the act when a short ball snuck him between two defenders to score. The third was the pick of the bunch. Once again Stirrat pierced the line with a direct run. He drew the final defender before launching a pass out to speedster Luca Bardelli who’d never be caught.

Thompson made the first two conversions, before making way for Brad Rodrick-Evans who made it three in a row. Out of nowhere the Bulls had a 14-28 lead with 13 minutes left on the clock.


Stirling didn’t go away and quickly mustered their own magic to thrust them into contention. Ross McKnight had been a threat all game and when it mattered he provided a brace of tries within six minutes of each other. Marcus Holden missed one and made one, leaving them two points adrift.

The drama set up a grand stand finale and with a scrum deep in the Bulls half it could have went either way, but Pat MacArthur’s men held out to secure their first win of the campaign.

Full-time: Stirling Wolves 26-28 Ayrshire Bulls