Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Talbot haven’t had much joy against the Glens of late & it was Glenafton who started the stronger; nearly taking the lead in the 3rd minute. Lynass was impeded 25 yards out & McKernon fired the free kick over the wall & inches wide of the right hand post.
With Talbot sitting deep, Glenafton were bossing territory & dominating the game without being able to get in behind the Bot defence.
The game’s next big chance came the Glens way in the 21st minute. Lynass sent a pass through the Bot defence for Park. The ball ran away from him but came to McCann who looked certain to score from 6 yards but Lyle dived in to deflect his shot over the bar.
The Glens threatened again in the 28th minute. McKernon was allowed plenty of time & space on the right & was able to pick out a cross toward Lynass. It took a slight touch before reaching him & that was enough to put him off & he took a fresh air swipe from 12 yards out.
Talbot managed to put the ball in the net in the 34th minute. Hyslop headed the ball on into the path of Graham Wilson who buried a volley past McGarrity from the edge of the area but the linesman flagged him offside.
The next Bot chance came when Armstrong back heeled the ball into the path of Lyle who burst into the area only to see his low drive blocked behind by McChesney. The corner was lifted into the centre where McGarrity touched it away. The Glens couldn’t clear their lines & the ball was fed out to Armstrong on the right. He skinned McChesney & lifted a dangerous cross to the far post which went to waste.
Neither side could make any headway before the interval & the sides went in level at the break.
Talbot got off to a sluggish start to the 2nd half and were fortunate not to fall behind. Two minutes in McAusland picked the ball up in space 35 yards out & under no pressure he hammered a shot at goal that came back off Leishman’s right hand post.
A minute later Talbot were guilty of the same offence, failing to get out to shut down Moore & he crashed a shot off the bar from 25 yards. The rebound came out to Andrew who side-footed it on target only for Leishman to make a crucial stop to turn it behind for the corner.
The close shaves woke Talbot up & they threatened the Glens goal in the 50th minute when Glasgow drilled a low shot on target that McGarrity bundled around his left post. Talbot kept the pressure up & Glasgow did well out on the right, cutting the ball back into the path of Hyslop whose shot was blocked behind for another corner kick. This time the ball was delivered to the back post where CRAIG MCCRACKEN climbed highest to bullet a header home to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
The goal transformed the game with Talbot now in the ascendancy and they nearly doubled their lead on the hour mark. Graham Wilson’s flick sent Glasgow free on the left & he out-paced the Glens defence to race into the penalty area but unfortunately his final shot lacked the power to beat McGarrity who smothered his low effort.
Within a minute Talbot had another chance. Glasgow beat McGarrity to a ball over the top, knocking it wide of him & gathering out on the right. With the keeper stranded off his line he opted to go for an early shot, lifting it over the bar, to the frustration of Graham Wilson who was free in the centre.
McGarrity made a blunder in the 64th minute bowling the ball straight out to Graham Wilson but the ref spared his blushes, pulling play back to allow the Glens to make a substitution with Dallas coming on for Andrew.
McCracken picked up a booking in the 67th minute for a late challenge on McCann & the Glens took the opportunity to make their 2nd change with Borris replacing Lynass.
Moore was the 1st Glens player in the book, penalised for persistent fouling, when he conceded a free kick out on the right. Pope whipped the ball over & McGarrity did well to punch it away under pressure from McCracken.
McChesney received a caution in the 73rd minute for his reaction after he conceded a free kick 30 yards out. Pope took it & his shot deflected off the wall & spun behind for the corner.
Glasgow had a half chance soon after when he cut inside off the left wing but he pulled his shot wide of target.
Talbot threatened again in the 77th minute. Hyslop headed a free kick on to Graham Wilson who laid the ball out to Glasgow on the left. He hared down the left of the area before firing a shot wide of target from a tight angle.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 84th minute with McIlroy on in place of Glasgow.
The referee got it wrong in the 86th minute. Park blatantly pulled White’s shirt as he broke forward but play went on & seconds later Harvey ended up cautioned for a late challenge. The Glens flighted the free kick into the goal mouth but Leishman came off his line to punch clear.
Two minutes from time Talbot nearly doubled their lead. Park fouled Graham Wilson 25 yards from goal, resulting in a booking for Park & a free kick to Talbot. Graham Wilson’s shot beat the wall & had McGarrity spectating but came back off the top of the bar.
Glenafton hadn’t offered much since Talbot had taken the lead but they threw men forward as the game moved into added time. They won a free kick within shooting range a minute into injury time & McAusland went for power, hammering a shot from 30 yards that flew into the Bot wall, flattening Stephen Wilson. He was unable to continue & wobbled off to be replaced by Thomson.
Talbot saw the game out to secure a hard fought victory & claim the Ardagh cup & bragging rights over their rivals. No game for Talbot this coming Saturday due to the Junior International tournament so a well-earned rest for the squad.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McCracken, White, Armstrong, Stephen Wilson, Graham Wilson, Glasgow, Hyslop
Subs – McIlroy, Pooler, Thomson, McPherson, Shankland
Glenafton Athletic – McGarrity, McAusland, Cairns, Menzies, McChesney, McKernon, Lynass, Park, McCann, Andrew, Moore
Subs – Dallas, Borris