Ayr Advertiser

Ayrshire teams spared cup exit


NINE Ayrshire clubs set out on the road to the South Challenge Cup final at the weekend – and while none of the Ayrshire sides in the first-round draw fell victim to any cup upsets, more than one tricky banana skin had to be negotiated.

Nowhere was that truer than at Ardeer Stadium, where reigning Premier Division champions Beith found themselves 2-0 down to Third Division Ardeer Thistle after 20 minutes – only for Chris Strain’s men to eventually avoid what would have been an almighty upset by triumphing 3-2 thanks to Paul Frize’s extra-time winner.

Irvine Meadow also had to battle hard against lower league opposition, with Kevin Deeney’s men eventually putting their poor early season league form behind them to defeat local rivals Eglinton 2-0, with goals from Jack McDowall and Innes Lambert -–while Kilbirnie Ladeside had to come from behind, too, to book their second-round place thanks to a 2-1 home win over Greenock.

In the south-west section, Craigmark also put aside their slow start to the league campaign, dumping Lowland League Dalbeattie Star out of the competitio­n with a superb 6-2 win at Station Park, while Maybole Juniors held off a stiff challenge from South of Scotland side Lochar Thistle to progress after a 3-2 home victory.

But a disappoint­ing start to the season for Muirkirk continued after they fell at the tournament’s first hurdle, losing 5-2 away to Lanark United.

In the WoSFL Premier Division, Auchinleck Talbot’s poor start to the season continued after Tommy Sloan’s men lost 1-0 at home to Clydebank, while it was a tough day at the office for Glenafton, too, with Ryan Stevenson’s men on the wrong end of a 5-2 thumping by Pollok at Loch Park.

Kilwinning Rangers, the only Ayrshire team in First Division action on Saturday, conceded a late leveller as 10-man Shotts Bon Accord took a point from a 1-1 draw at Buffs Park, while in the Second Division, Ardrossan Winton Rovers remain top despite seeing their 100% start to the campaign go up in smoke after a 3-2 defeat away to Forth Wanderers.

Irvine Vics were held to a 1-1 draw away to Kilsyth Athletic, while Kello Rovers remain rooted to the bottom of the table and without a point after losing 4-1 at home to Threave Rovers – and the only Ayrshire team in Fourth Division action, Lugar Boswell Thistle, tumbled to a first home defeat of the season, with league new boys Knightswoo­d winning 2-1 at Rosebank Park.

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