Kilmarnock & District History Group · Kilmarnock · Ayrshire · KA1 3HY

Ayrshire Rugby Cup


The Ayrshire Rugby Cup was competed for among senior Rugby Union Clubs in Ayrshire, South West Scotland, between 1962 and 1996. The trophy is a solid silver three handled cup of circa 10" height which is titled 'Ayrshire Rugger Cup'.
It appears that the annual competition ceased in 1996 which coincides with professionalism in Rugby Union coming into effect. Perhaps clubs focused efforts at that time to structure themselves in such a away to climb the leagues during a period of uncertainty as to what professionalism in Scotland would eventually look like. There was a great deal of flux in Scottish rugby at this time and for a number of years subsequent. Thankfully, professional rugby settled down in Scotland eventually but competitions such as the Ayrshire and Glasgow Cups have not, to date, be resurrected.
Only 4 clubs ever won the competition, Kilmarnock RFC (15), Ayr RFC (9), Ardrossan RFC (4) and Marr (2). Winning streaks / cycles fairly accurately reflect the standing of Ayrshire clubs following the formation of National Leagues in 1973 and what divisions they played in from then on, with a more equitable sharing of the trophy pre-league days.
The school teachers' strike of the early 1980s is blamed for the demise of many school related sports in Scotland, with many traditional rugby playing schools suffering greatly, Ardrossan and Marr among these. Ayr and Kilmarnock, through regular appearances in the top 2 divisions, were able to attract players from all over Ayrshire and the South West into the mid-eighties and beyond.
It would probably be true to say that Ayr RFC would have gone on to dominate the competition from the mid 1990s onwards as they consolidated their position as the strongest team in Ayrshire and going on to win the Scottish Championship and Scottish Cup on a number of occasions. The rise of Marr from the lower leagues to the top national league in 2017-18 was a welcome development in Ayrshire rugby, particularly as the team was made up almost entirely of Ayrshire lads. Ardrossan remain a strong club but sadly, the once mighty Kilmarnock- who came 3rd in the top league in 1978- are languishing in the Regional League these days - hopefully not for too long. They can at least proudly boast having a player represent the British & Irish Lions whilst playing out of the club in Andrew Ross. No Ayrshire club will achieve this again given the professional structure we see.
Cumnock and Carrick have been successful in their own right in recent years with Irvine and Garnock still holding their own in their respective Regional Leagues.

1962 Ayr RFC 
1963 Ardrossan RFC 
1964 Ardrossan RFC 
1965 Kilmarnock RFC 
1966 Ardrossan RFC 
1967 Marr RFC 
1968 Ardrossan RFC 
1969 Ayr RFC 
1970 Marr RFC 
1971 Ayr RFC 
1972 Ayr RFC 
1973 Kilmarnock RFC 
1974 Kilmarnock RFC 
1975 Ayr RFC 
1976 Kilmarnock RFC 
1977 Kilmarnock RFC 
1978 Kilmarnock RFC 
1979 Kilmarnock RFC 
1980 Kilmarnock RFC 
1981 Kilmarnock RFC 
1982 Ayr RFC 
1983 Kilmarnock RFC 
1984 Kilmarnock RFC 
1985 Kilmarnock RFC 
1986 No final played 
1987 Kilmarnock RFC 
1988 Kilmarnock RFC 
1989 Ayr RFC 
1990 No competition 
1991 No competition 
1992 No competition 
1993 No competition 
1994 Kilmarnock RFC 
1995 Ayr RFC 
1996 Kilmarnock RFC

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