Ayrton Brothers Profile

James and Mike Ayrton, besides playing for Cambridge, they work in insurance and brokering. So, if you’re looking for financial advice, or need any legal papers drawing up, these are your guys.

Mike_AyrtonJames_Ayrton

Mike Ayrton (left)            James Ayrton (right)

But, their first love is rugby. Younger brother James, 21, earned his 50th cap in the last-minute home victory over Southend. He has been an important member of the squad for the past few seasons, and was voted Players’ Player of the Season last year, which shows just how much his teammates value his contribution.

Mike, has been with Cambridge for five years now, though has spent most of this season as a spectator because of a knee injury. However, Mike, 23, is now back in training and hopes to add to his 109 caps before this season is finished.

He said: “The injury has been frustrating for me, but I’ll be playing regularly again before long. We’re all looking forward to a promotion charge next season, and I can’t wait to play a part in that.”

Mike has been a constant voice of support from the side-lines, and today, his voice will be booming through the speakers, as he makes the announcements cheering on the Blood and Sand.

“In our last few games, we have proven how good we can be”.

Both brothers came through the Saracens academy, but were both released at the age of 18. They both then signed almost immediately for Cambridge, albeit two years apart, and neither has looked back since.

James said: “We’ve both signed on again for next season and the hopes are high. I’d be surprised if anyone wanted to leave the club now. It’s had its financial difficulties in the past, but it’s a great place to be, and the supporters are the friendliest you’re going to get.”

However, the brothers were quick to praise one man who is leaving Volac Park, head coach Craig Newby. Craig is joining leading Japanese club NEC Green Rockets to become their forwards coach.

They said: “Craig has been a great coach and has helped us to have one of the best defences in the league. Of course we’re sorry to see him go, but we all wish him the best of luck because he’s a really nice guy and a genuinely brilliant coach”.

Reminiscing on this season, James said: “I don’t think it’s been a bad season all-in-all. We started slowly, and it would have been easy to throw the towel in, but the lads are determined and the coaches motivated us well.  In our last few games, we have proven how good we can be, and we see these last few games as another stepping stone going into next year, but we still want to finish as high as possible this season, second is still mathematically possible”.

Clifton are the visitors today, and they narrowly won a tight, low scoring battle earlier in the season. James said: “We know what Clifton are going to bring here. They will be very physical and we will have to combat that. But, if we play the sort of rugby we’ve been playing lately, then I don’t think they’ll be able to handle that”.

Let’s hope this is the case, and the Volac Park faithful can listen to Mike over the tannoy this afternoon, celebrating a sixth win in a row for the Blood and Sand.

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Cambridge vs Southend Saxons 21/2/2015

Cambridge once again left it late, very late, this time to get the victory by 26-19, over a battling Southend side.

Like last week in Lydney, Cambridge seemed in control in the opening stages, as they put three well-worked tries on the board. Tom Ellis, Martin Wolfenden and Pete Kolakowski all touched over the whitewash to give the home side an early advantage of 19-3.

Cambridge then seemed to get themselves dragged into a battle they could have avoided. Southend had a strong pack as always, and largely dominated in the scrums.

The visitors managed to march their way up the pitch, and Cambridge gave away a few sloppy penalties to give them hope at the break, as they came off with the score at 19-9.

The second half started in much the same vein. Southend showed the desire in trying to escape the relegation zone, and fought themselves over the line twice in quick succession. Fortunately for Cambridge, both conversions were wide of the mark to leave the scores level at 19-19.

The introduction of Ben Penfold and Mike Gillick to the back line certainly got Cambridge playing in a more attacking style once again. Chances came and went, but with only a few minutes left on the clock, they won a penalty just on a slight angle on the 22. As soon as Penfold struck the ball, he let out a shout of annoyance, and everyone in the ground knew it had missed.

It seemed as if that would be that, a disappointing draw. But, with one last effort, Cambridge swept the ball out to the right. Gillick drew the defenders in, before offloading to James Ayrton, who was winning his 50th cap for the Blood and Sand. Ayrton coaxed in another Southend defender, before popping the ball to Corey Hircock, who had a clear run under the posts.

An incredible finish. Cambridge have entertained their home fans more than most with late drama this season, and this one was certainly dramatic. With the last strike of the game, Penfold kicked the extras over to send Southend home with their tails between their legs, thinking of what could have been, as they left Cambridge out on the pitch to celebrate another miraculous five points as the game finished 26-19.

Cambridge have now won 11 of their last 16, and will be hoping to keep the pressure firmly on those above them in a fortnight’s time, when they make the tough trip down to Launceston.

Some video highlights of the match, plus some behind the scenes stuff will follow soon.

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