Apr 23 2010 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
AYR Rugby Club’s biggest ever army is marching on Murrayfield.
And proud president Billy McHarg pledges they will bring back the Scottish Hydro Premier Cup.
Up to 2000 fans will converge on the capital for the clash against Melrose on Saturday.
And charismatic captain Damien ‘Skippy’ Kelly admits he can’t wait for the whistle to blow at 4pm.
He said: "It's a fantastic day out for the club and a first cup final appearance and I'm dying to get out there. Melrose have been before and won so it's a big challenge.”
The crunch clash will also count for league points as Ayr go all out to hang on their title in face of stiff opposition from Currie.
Kelly added: “It’s our first time in a final so we’re concentrating on it much more as a cup final than a league game which is just an added bonus if we get the points.
“The final means a lot to our supporters who have been selling a lot of tickets and a lot of the shops are carrying pink and black banners. There are a lot of people heading for the final so it’s very exciting.”
Coach Kenny Murray may sport one of the new pink hats being specially made for cup finals day. A thousand hats are on their way and Murray could really set the trend.
He admitted: "There's been a huge interest in this final with local schools coming en masse, shops in the town doing their bit, and a constant stream of calls.”
President McHarg admits Ayr’s success has blown him away.
He revealed: “To win the league last season and now get to the cup final is something I never dreamt of. And we’re still going strong to retain the league.
“I have always thought of us as more a cup final side than a league team.
“We’re favourites but my one fear is that we could freeze. However, the experience of playing in the British and Irish Cup will stand us in good stead. I think adrenaline will carry us through.
“It’s a huge day and for players like Damien, Glen Tippett and Gordon Sykes it could be their one and only chance of winning the cup.”
A fleet of buses will leave Millbrae at 11.30am with more than 100 fans booking breakfasts at the Alloway ground.
As pink and black foot soldiers prepare to descend on Edinburgh, spare a thought for former president Brian McNally.
Early this week, he was stranded in Morocco by the volcanic ash storm and looks set to miss the biggest day in the club’s history.
Tickets and bus packages are available from 01292 283005 during office hours.
En route to Murrayfield, Ayr beat Musselburgh 31-9, Stewart’s-Melville 77-15, Gala 32-0 and Heriot’s 23-14.
Melrose captain Scott Wight says his team are gunning for revenge after losing to Ayr in the league.
He said: “That was probably the one game we’ve been well beaten in this year. Ayr play the right rugby in the right areas of the field but we know what they’ve got to offer so we have to address those problems throughout the week and get that right.”