There was an oasis of green among the white last Saturday but apart from the Ayr under 18s, no one wanted to play at Millbrae and some of those offered that chance but didn’t take it may pay a price.
Under the SRU cup rules, all efforts must be made to find an alternative ground if the home club’s ground is unplayable, even if this means reversing the fixture, writes Ron Evans.
That made Millbrae very popular and Hamilton offered to play Dalziel there but the Cleland boys declined, Cartha QP suggested to west that might both make the trip down the M77 but that fell on stony ground.
When Ayr offered GHA a reversal of their tie, the offer was declined.
The decision has now been taken that the outstanding ties will not be played but will be decided by a cut of the cards or similar method. But before that, there may be sanctions taken against clubs deemed not to have made the best of attempts to get their ties played.
It looks as though Ayr will have a home semi-final against Hamilton on Saturday, February 2 in the next stage of their quest to defend the cup they won on the way to the Murrayfield final last season.
Having got that out of the way, they can now concentrate on the crucial RBS premiership clash against Heriot’s at Goldenacre on Saturday which begins a four match run which will decide the destination of the title.
Ayr were none too impressive when they took the points against Heriot’s at Millbrae when they had to hang onto a 17-13 lead for almost 20 minutes in a nail biting final quarter.
You know, I seem to use the phrase ‘nail biting’ so often when reporting on match at Millbrae that the club should seriously look at getting sponsorship from one of the many nail bars in the town!
However, the side has toughened up since then with a real focus on the big prize and for Kerr Gossman it will be a welcome return to league duty facing the side against whom he suffered the injury which kept him sidelined until a couple of weeks ago.
Coach Kenny Murray will have a full squad to choose from with the probable exception of prop D’Arcy Rae and centre Robbie Fergusson who were named in the 31 man Scotland U20 squad and they were not the only Ayr players to be called up last week.
Glasgow Warriors hooker and former Millbrae favourite Pat MacArthur was named in Scotland coach Scott Johnston’s squad which assembles in Glasgow this week and Nick Cox, Scott Sutherland, Craig Gossman, Ross Curle, Dean Kelbrick and Murray McConnell were selected for the Club International squad.
The Club International side will play against France away in February then, on Friday, March 8, take on Ireland for the Dalriada Cup on another big night at Millbrae.
Finally, Glasgow Warriors had one of their most memorable wins against Northampton at Scotstoun in the Heineken Cup on Saturday and for a large part of the game, two thirds of the front row consisted of former Ayr players - hooker MacArthur and prop Gordon Reid who played a big part.