No Ayrs and graces

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CARTHA will face Scottish rugby giants Ayr this weekend, at Millbrae in the West Cup semi final.

However, the Dumbreck side will go into the tie with a makeshift team, given they are suffering from an extended injury list this week.

Front rows Robert Harvey and John Malakoty are both out, as well as Steven Manning, Ross Gilles and Scott McInnes.

Head coach Gary Grant told ExtraSport: “We will put out as strong a team as possible. The SRU has had to cut cards so there has been a bit of a fixture congestion but we will play who we have to play. I am confident the boys will put on a good show.

“Players from the second XV will come in and fill in the gaps. The weather conditions may help us if it’s wet underfoot as it might slow them down

“Our priority is the league, we could do without this and risking getting more injuries, but it would be great to put one over my former coach Kenny Murray, who is now head coach at Ayr.”

The game kicks off at 1.30pm.

Meanwhile, GHA’s cup fate now lies in the hand of the Scottish rugby union.

As a result of a fixture backlog caused by waterlogged and frozen pitches, GHA will have an SRU hearing to find out whether it is Greenock or Glasgow Hawks the club face this weekend.

Last weekend, Cartha defeated West of Scotland 48-6 while GHA made light work of Dumfries, coming out 65-14 victors.

Rangi Jericevich scored three tries, Andrew Gillman and Scott Lang both scored two. While Hefin O’Hare, Andrew Henderson, Alan Auld and Sean Fisher all scored one in the victory.

Victory strengthened GHA’s position at the top of the Championship A division table and it added to probably a unique situation in that the leaders’ total of bonus points exceeds the number of games played. GHA’s 14 matches have produced 10 wins, 16 bonuses, and 56 league points.

GHA head coach Gordon MacPherson was pleased with the performance.

He said: “It was probably one of our better performances. We played a well-balanced, tough game.

“Our forwards set the platform and we scored some really good tries. It was probably one of our most complete performances we have put in.

“We have seen some of the young guys improve, that has been the key. We have improved our defence which was letting us down at the start of the season.

“There are still things to improve upon. No disrespect to Dumfries, but we were just too good for them.

“Once we had weathered the early storm we really turned the screw and were quite ruthless.”

Whitecraigs match against Falkirk was postponed.