A crowd of 250 turned up at the Citadel in Ayr on Wednesday night to admire the magnificent Spaniards from Burgos and to cheer on a gallant Troon team in the European Challenge Cup Second Round.

The Citadel centre itself was resplendent after being put together by John Givens and his Citadel staff who know what to do so well as Troon took part for the fifth continuous year in European Competition. The game itself will not be remembered for its excitement but will be recalled because of the fantastic skill level of Troon"s opponents Burgos, who had finished fifth top in their league last season.

They were a mixture of Spanish and Brazilian flair, athleticism and quite a bit of stature, all but one of the team being over six feet tall.

The full time professional Spaniards began with a hitting error but any hope that this would be a sign that Troon could win many cheap points was soon forgotten as fast and powerful attacks split the Troon block and defence.

Troon passed reasonably well off extremely tough serving but couldn"t put the ball on the ground to clinch many rallies and if the ball was put in to the fingers and arms of their opponents it was immediately put back on the ground on the Troon side of the net.

Troon ran many subs to no effect except to build the experience of their young players and the set was ultimately lost 25-9.

For Burgos it was much the same in the second set with Jenny Ellis, Gillian Lyall and Jenny Krawczyk having to work extremely hard in the pass to get the ball to setter Elaine Krawczyk.

When they did manage it though Linsey Bunten was able to put away a few winners and Hazel Gow had a purple patch in the middle of the set which gave the generous crowd something to cheer. Despite a lot of effort and some really hard work Troon lost the set 25-7.

By the end of the set all the Troon squad of 12 had been on court and the younger players Sarah Robertson, Steph McCall and Hannah Grant had done everything that was asked of them and Emma Pell had zipped over a few services.

When you might have expected them to have lost a bit of sparkle in the 3rd set, Burgos kept coming, whipping over heavy serves and still throwing the ball around at great pace at the net and pummelling the ball on to the ground in too easily found open spaces.

Troon"s squad rotation was also probably beginning to takes its toll on any fluency that they could muster and the set went away quickly and was lost 25-6 but Debbie O"Connor and Sarah Robertson did manage to get their hands on to some blocks at this stage and Elaine Krawczyk was still working hard trying to open up the giant Burgos block.

Caroline Clayton also managed to breath a bit of life back in to the Troon left hand side attack - Burgos were no sooner started than an hour later they were finished.

They will go on to greater things this season and Troon will face a return to the normality of the Scottish game for the rest of the season. On Saturday Troon did return to normality and defeated their nearest challengers Su Ragazzi in the Scottish First Division away from home in Coltness by 3 sets to 0, to extend their unbeaten record to seven wins in domestic matches since the start of the season.

Pride of place on Saturday though goes to Troon"s men"s team who with Graeme Houston in magnificent form defeated Su Ragazzi"s second men"s team to keep their Scottish Second division title chances on course.

A four sets to one win keeps Troon in the running to get in to Scotland"s top flight for the first time ever. Troon women"s second team were unlucky to lose 15-13 in the fifth and deciding set away from home in the Scottish women"s second division.

It was good to see Alison Duncan coming out of volleyball retirement to help the Troon cause.