Ayr Advertiser

Craigmark shine as they knock Glencairn out cup

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THE West of Scotland Cup reached the fourth round stage on Saturday – and it was an Ayrshire side who were responsibl­e for the biggest surprise of the day.

Craigmark Burntonian­s may be stuck in mid-table in the Second Division, but the Dalmelling­ton side are now the lowest-ranked team still standing in the West Cup after knocking out last season’s Scottish Junior Cup finalists Rutherglen Glencairn in the fourth round on Saturday.

Ian Nixon’s men fell behind early on to a deflected Austin Sime shot at Station Park, but Jordan Banks levelled straight from a corner a few minutes later and Michael Reilly gave the hosts the advantage on the stroke of halftime.

The visitors levelled through Ryan McManus midway through the second half, with Mark keeper Darren Johnson pulling off several fine stops during a cracking cup clash to take the tie to penalties – and then making two more saves in the shoot-out as the hosts won 3-2 on spot-kicks.

There was shoot-out drama, too, at Gasworks Park, but this time it was a case of ‘upset avoided’, rather than created, for the Ayrshire contingent after Ally Semple’s save earned Glenafton Athletic a place in the last eight following a 1-1 draw away to Larkhall Thistle, Craig Pettigrew having levelled for Glens after Mikey Stevenson’s opener.

Holders Auchinleck Talbot enjoyed a rather more routine passage into the quarter-finals thanks to a 3-0 win away to Kirkintill­och Rob Roy; Kyle McAvoy’s early strike had Tommy Sloan’s men in front at the break, but the Beechwood Park men had to wait until the closing stages to put the tie to bed, Luke Gillies adding a second on 83 minutes before McAvoy’s

Craigmark Burntonian­s and Auchinleck Talbot were among the winners as the West of Scotland Cup reached the fourth round stage on Saturday

injury-time header completed the scoring.

Meanwhile, the only all-Ayrshire tie to go ahead on Saturday saw Beith Juniors book their last eight place after a 2-0 win at Maybole, though Chris Strain’s men had to work hard for the result, with the First Division hosts holding their visitors to a goalless first half at Ladywell before Ciaran Diver and Alan Docherty found the net after the break.

Saturday’s card should also have featured an intriguing clash between Darvel and runaway Second Division leaders Ardrossan Winton Rovers, but heavy rain left the pitch at Recreation Park unplayable; both that game and the Hurlford United v Cumbernaul­d tie will go ahead at a later date.

On a day of upsets in the Premier Division, Largs Thistle threw a major spanner in the works of Clydebank’s title tilt with a 3-2 win at Holm Park; David Ramsay and Jamie Martin had Thistle two up with half-time approachin­g, and though Nicky Little pulled one back for the hosts from the spot before the break, captain Scott Adam reestablis­hed the visitors’ two-goal

lead in the first minute of the second half after seizing on an error by home keeper Kieran Hughes.

Callum Graham pulled another back for Clydebank with four minutes left, but Largs held out for their first win at Holm Park since 2019.

Meanwhile, Troon’s hopes of putting clear blue water between themselves and the relegation scrap at the foot of the top flight were dashed when Benburb won 2-0 at Portland Park in what turned out to be Paul Lovering and Ian Gray’s last match in charge of the Govan side.

There was little doubt about the surprise result of the day in the First Division, where Mick McCann’s Whitletts Vics side pulled themselves off the bottom of the table for the first time since the opening weekend of the season after a stunning 2-1 win at home to leaders Petershill.

The result took Vics above Neilston at the foot of the table after the Farmers Boys lost 3-2 at home to Kilbirnie Ladeside.

Meanwhile, Kilwinning Rangers got their push for an immediate return to the top flight back on track following two defeats on the spin, with Jordan Stuart, Cammy

MacNair and an own goal earning Buffs a 3-2 win at home to struggling Cambuslang.

In the Second Division, Muirkirk secured their first home win since before Christmas as James Hazlett, Ethan Brew and Bradley Faulds all found the net in the 3-1 win at home to St Anthony’s, while Bonnyton Thistle trailed, led and then trailed again away to Maryhill before David Blyth’s second of the afternoon earned Gordon Pope’s men a 3-3 draw away to Maryhill.

Dalry Thistle were Saturday’s only Ayrshire winners in the Third Division, with Tony Etherson and Aidan Catlow the men on target as Chris Wilson’s men won 2-0 away to Girvan; Irvine Vics’ loss by the same score at home to lowly Port Glasgow was a second defeat on the spin for Dougie MacDuff ’s men.

Ardeer Thistle’s game against Kilsyth Athletic fell victim to a waterlogge­d pitch, while Kello Rovers were on the wrong end of an agonising defeat away to Glasgow United, who came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks in part to a David Goodwillie brace at Greenfield Park.

Jamie Wylie snatched the winning goal right at the death as Lugar Boswell Thistle made it three Fourth Division wins on the spin; Jack Marks and Kieran Oliver were also on target in the Jaggy Bunnets’ 3-2 win at Rosebank Park against a Giffnock side who were reduced to 10 men for the final five minutes.

Ewan Curragh was Eglinton’s hero in the 2-0 win over Knightswoo­d, making a great goalline clearance with the scoresheet still blank before going on to score both of The Jousters’ goals; Saltcoats Victoria, though, remain just two points off the bottom after a 2-1 loss at home to Newmains United.

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