Cup Final – Ayr v Heriot’s – kick-off 3.30pm on the international pitch
AYR and Heriot’s clash in the final of the Men’s Scottish Cup at Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon [kick-off 3.30pm] in a replay of the Premiership play-off climax three weeks ago. The team from the west came out on top in that previous meeting and boosted by the release of three pro players by Glasgow Warriors they will start this game as favourites.
However, the sting of that defeat at Millbrae on 6th April will spur Heriot’s on, and head coach Phil Smith says his team are chomping at the bit to be let loose on the international pitch at Murrayfield so that they can get their revenge
“If the two groups of players can again play to form this should be a fitting spectacle for Murrayfield,” he said. “The game at Millbrae saw the two best teams in the country throwing everything at it and getting plenty reward for their endeavour, though I am sure the defence analysts would argue differently.
“We have now refocused after giving the players a bit of time off, picking up on a couple of areas of our game that need to improve to give us a chance on Saturday. The carrot of running out at Murrayfield has meant there has been a real enthusiasm in our training and I am really trying to keep a tight rein on the boys so that they don’t blow up early on the international pitch.
“However, Murrayfield is where every team would want to finish their season, I am sure. I just hope we are able to put in a performance fitting of the arena and occasion, to really showcase the club game.”
As has been in the case in every match except one this season, Heriot’s have not had any pro players released by Edinburgh, and the only change to their starting line-up from that previous Ayr encounter is Scotland Under-20s star Rory McMichael coming in for the unfortunate Craig Robertson on the wing.
A key challenge for the capital outfit will be sustaining their scrum for the full 80-minutes, with only veteran Stewart Mustard to come off the bench when the props tire.
Ayr, meanwhile, have stuck with exactly the same starting XV that did the job for them last time, with two changes on the bench in Craig Miller replacing the unwell Euan McLaren and Robbie Nairn being released by Glasgow Warriors instead of Ratu Tagive to cover the outside back positions.
“The league final against Heriot’s was a very good game of rugby with the scoring swinging back and forth for the majority of the match,” said Ayr head coach Peter Murchie. “We were pleased with the way the guys stayed calm after going behind early and had the belief that the opportunities would come. A better start to the game this week, though, is vital.
“We know the challenge that Heriots will pose and we will have to be on the top of our game, with numerous buses making the trip from Millbrae to Murrayfield we want to do our supporters proud.”
Ayr: G Anderson; D McCluskey, P Kelly, S McDowall, K Rowe; F Climo, H Warr; R Sayce, R Smith, S Longwell, D Corbenici, L Morrice, B Macpherson, T Spinks, P McCallum©. Subs: A McGuire, C Miller, A North, C Reece, J Preston, O Smith, R Nairn.
Heriot’s: C Simpson; J Blain, R Jones, R Kay, R McMichael; S Edwards , A Simmers, J Scott. M Liness, S Cessford, C Marshall, A Sinclair , I Wilson©, J McLean, S Dewar. Subs: A Johnstone, S Mustard, R Leishman, M Hughes, J Hill, A Ball, R Carmichael.
Shield Final – Berwick v Greenock Wanderers – kick-off 1.15pm on the international pitch
Both Berwick and Greenock Wanderers have enjoyed highly successful seasons, in East League One and West League One respectively, and The Offside Line found out what has been happening at these clubs as part of our Roving Reporter series, which has been supported by iZettle and the campaign to end cash only rugby bars.
Here are tomorrow’s teams –
Berwick: R Hindhaugh; G Hill, A Skeen, D Hardie, J Dalrymple; J Webster, C Rogerson; D Goodfellow, R Wilson, T Jackson©, S Owens, T McColl, M Emery, J Pick, A Grieve. Subs: L Douglas, E Thompson, A Rosie, A Pearson, P Pringle, A Hardie, S Gilchrist.
Greenock Wanderers: C McCarron; B Cleary, B McGroarty, C Harrison, S Bellew; G Hogg, A McDougall; M Macdonald, D Bolster, A Graham, M Gray, D McIntyre, C Spriddle, D Smith, M Lavelle. Subs: D Paton, H Davies, A Abernathy, L Hoodless, C Robb, A Guthrie, M McLaren.
Bowl Final – Dundee University Medics v Aberdeenshire – kick-off 11am on the international pitch
The Offside Line also caught up with both Dundee University Medics and Aberdeenshire recently as part of our Roving Reporter series, which has been supported by iZettle and the campaign to end cash only rugby bars.
Here are tomorrow’s teams –
Dundee Medics: F Mughal: L Deboys, F Paterson, T Hughes, T Bisset; M Finnerty, M Romano; M Ashfield, Z Slevin, F Kennedy, F Curran, C Grieve, C Sreenan, E Cullen©, C Yates. Subs: C Paulina, E Pflug, R McCall, H Campbell, B Doherty, N Cameron, J Paxton.
Aberdeenshire: J Stephen; T Watson, C Cunningham, J Gray, M MacLugash; P Harrow, M White; S Shrewsbury, J Dooley, S Cook, F Forman©, P Watson, K Penman, A Forman, J Burton. Subs: L Emslie, J Taylor, I Irvine, B Davies, M Lynch, J John, A Wright.