Cumnock Juniors v Auchinleck Talbot

MURRAYS REPORT

Talbot paid the penalty for drawing a blank as their reign as Scottish Junior cup holders ended at Townhead Park after a penalty shoot-out loss to Cumnock.

On an afternoon of few clear cut chances Talbot had the first effort on target in the 9th minute. Shankland tried a curler from just inside the area that Barclay saved under his bar.

In the 20th minute Shankland flicked the ball out wide right to find Park in space and he drilled it into the penalty area where Boylan met it but fired well wide of target.

A minute later Talbot came close to taking the lead. Park hoisted an up & under cross that the home defence failed to deal with. It broke to Graham Wilson inside the area and he flashed a shot across goal that flew off a defender’s head and went just over his own crossbar.

Cumnock’s first threat came in the 23rd minute. Leishman came out to punch a cross clear and the ball came out to Wilson whose shot was blocked. Cumnock were first to the rebound and the ball was played down the left of the penalty area towards Moore who took a fresh air swipe before it went behind for the goal kick.

Veitch became the first player in the book when he was cautioned in the 26th minute for clipping Aiden Wilson’s heels as he broke out of defence.

In the 36th minute Talbot had a defensive scare when Leishman came for Carnwath’s hanging cross. He spilled it and the subsequent shot was deflected behind for a corner kick.

Two minutes later Moore managed to get onto a long ball over the top and turned McPherson but dragged his shot wide of the left hand post.

Five minutes before the interval Talbot were caught out when Veitch dispossessed Park deep in the Nock half and hit it long down the left wing. Moore controlled it and raced into the penalty area where he looked certain to score but Leishman produced a top save to deny him, diving low to his right to turn it away.

In added time Carnwath became the 2nd Nock player cautioned when he was yellow carded for a foul on Graham Wilson and soon after the ref’s whistle put an end to the 1st half.

Talbot made a change during the interval with Taylor coming on in place of Boylan.

Two minutes after the restart Taylor surged down the right and won a corner off Willet. Wardrope knocked a good ball in but the Cumnock defence were able to clear.

In the 51st minute Armstrong played it down the right to Graham Wilson and he switched it to the far side of the area to pick out Shankland. He held off the challenge of McAusland but lost his footing as he hit it and Barclay was able to smother the ball.

A minute later Talbot came within a whisker of taking the lead. Graham Wilson latched onto a ball over the top and fired it first time across goal where Barclay got a hand to it to turn it onto the crossbar.

Talbot were having a good spell and had a great chance to take the lead in the 56th minute. Wardrope did well out on the left and swept a good ball across the area that Park ran onto unmarked but he side-footed it wide of the left post.

In the 63rd minute Cumnock made a triple substitution with Carnwath, Tart & Veitch making way for Dolan, McLaughlin and Ferry.

Two minutes later Talbot passed up a chance when Taylor squared the ball to Shankland inside the box. He had a chance to hit it but tried a pass instead and the defence were able to clear.

Talbot’s next opportunity came in the 73rd minute. Wardrope whipped over a good cross from the right toward Taylor. It broke into the path of Shankland 16 yards out and his half-volley was tipped over the bar by Barclay.

Cumnock now made another change with Conn replacing Boyd up top.

Graham Wilson picked up what looked to be a very soft yellow card in the 78th minute.

With 8 minutes remaining Talbot made their 2nd and final change with Mason coming on for Shankland.

In the 84th minute Wilson received a caution when he took one for the team when he stopped Taylor as he looked to race down the right.

In the closing stages Talbot picked up two late bookings – Stafford for a foul on Conn and then Armstrong for an aerial challenge.

As the clock ticked down Cumnock were in the ascendancy and threatened the Bot goal late on when Ferry’s long shy from the right went straight across the 6-yard area and just eluded Moore beyond the back post.

Into injury time Cumnock had the final chance when they broke down the right and Conn angled it back into the centre where Stafford was well positioned to clear.

It was now down to penalties and Cumnock were first to take with Moore sending Leishman the wrong way to put the home side 1 up. Graham Wilson drilled Talbot’s first penalty low inside the right post to level it before McLennan put his penalty in the same spot to restore Cumnock’s lead. Mason then levelled it for Talbot sending Barclay the wrong way. Next up for Cumnock it was McAusland and Leishman managed to save his penalty to his left. Armstrong was next up for Talbot and Barclay guessed correctly – diving to his right to keep it out.

Jamie Wilson put Cumnock 3-2 ahead before Taylor thumped Talbot level with a decisive strike inside the right post. Frye stepped up to take Cumnock’s 5th penalty and gave Leishman no chance as he hit it low inside the left post. Wardrope was last up for Talbot and needed to score but he blazed his effort way over the bar and Cumnock went through 4-3 on penalties.

A disappointing afternoon for the large travelling support but the Bot have no time to dwell on it as they’re back in league action on Wednesday night when they take on Clydebank under the floodlights at Beechwood.

Cumnock Juniors – Barclay, Carnwath, Tart, McAusland, McLennan, Veitch, Frye, Wilson, Moore, Boyd, Willet

Subs – Dolan, McLaughlin, Ross, Conn, Sharpe, Ferry, Strain

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Wardrope, Park, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Boylan

Subs – Mason, Taylor, Ballantyne, Crawford, Lennox, Samson, White

Auchinleck Talbot v Darvel

MURRAYS MATCH REPORT

Talbot produced their A game when it mattered to see off Darvel in an enthralling Scottish Junior cup tie at Beechwood.

The Bot had the 1st chance of the afternoon. Graham Wilson’s ball up the left found Boylan and he held it up before squaring it across to Park who snatched his shot well wide of target.

Eight minutes in and the referee, for the first but not the last time, infuriated the home support when he harshly booked Graham Wilson for backing in at a shy.

In the 12th minute Boylan had an opportunity when he pounced on a loose square pass by the Darvel defence but he drilled his shot straight at Avici.

A minute later Talbot won a corner down the left when Shankland caught a defender dawdling on the ball. The corner was taken short and Wardrope swung a great cross beyond the far post where Armstrong rose to head it back across goal but it cannoned off Boylan and behind for the goal kick.

Darvel’s first chance came in the 14th minute when McGowan won a corner down the left. When the corner came over toward the back post Robertson got his head to it but his header back across goal drifted well wide of target.

The referee angered the Bot support again in the 16th minute. Talbot thought they’d won a free kick around halfway for a foul on Wardrope but the referee booked Talbot’s midfielder for diving.

Two minutes later Darvel threatened down the right when Reilly fed it back to Morrison and his dangerous cross was sliced behind by Stafford.

Consistency was obviously not a consideration for the ref in the 21st minute when Eadie threw himself down looking for a foul and the ref waved play on but chose not to book the Darvel man.

In Darvel’s next attack McShane had a chance to shoot from just outside the box but instead tried to slip a pass through to Morrison but McPherson read it and got across to clear it.

Darvel were having a good spell of pressure and they had a half chance in the 22nd minute when Stirling squared the ball across to Reilly 20 yards out but his shot was blocked en route by Armstrong.

No could accuse the referee of being a homer and he had the Bot fans up in arms again in the 24th minute when Graham Wilson was caught late in a sliding tackle. It was a foul and probably a booking but the ref gave nothing.

In the 29th minute McShane won Darvel a corner down the right. When it came over it landed at Robertson on the left of the area and his deflected cross skipped off the head of McCracken and Leishman beat it away only for it to hit off a Bot defender and go just wide of the post.

On the half hour mark, Shankland thought he’d beaten the offside trap as he burst through the middle but the assistant flagged for offside and Shankland was then cautioned for dissent.

Two minutes later Talbot grabbed the opener. Leishman knocked it forward and Graham Wilson then Shankland helped it on to find Boylan inside the penalty area. He cut inside Meechan who sent him tumbling and the ref pointed to the spot. MARK SHANKLAND took it and kept a cool head to dink a panenka down the centre to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.

Unfortunately, the Bot’s lead proved to be short-lived as Talbot gifted Darvel an equaliser in the 36th minute. There appeared to be no danger when Darvel hit a long diagonal ball from left to right but Aiden Wilson and Leishman got into a fankle just outside the penalty area and STIRLING was left with the simple task of passing the ball into the empty net.

However 3 minute later Talbot regained the lead thanks to a howler from Avici. For reasons unknown the Darvel keeper collected a back pass and attempted to run with it only for BRYAN BOYLAN to stick in a leg to steal it and roll into the empty goal.

The Bot could have extended their lead shortly before the break. Shankland slid a great square pass inside to find Wardrope running onto it inside the area but his shot went straight at the keeper and the sides went in with Talbot a goal to the good.

Talbot came out flying in the 2nd half and had a good chance to move 2 ahead in the 47th minute. Boylan got free on the right of the area and he pulled it back to the unmarked Shankland but his effort from 12 yards was well-saved by Avici. The referee then booked Meechan who had committed a foul in the build-up.

In the 53rd minute Talbot missed a golden chance to extend their lead. Stafford’s ball down the right was met by Boylan who laid off to Shankland. He in turn back-heeled the ball to Boylan who took it round the keeper and tried to pass it into the net only for a Darvel defender to clear it off the goal line.

Talbot were breaching the Darvel defence at will and in the 55th minute a good ball in behind the defence sent Boylan free down the left but he fired his shot wide of target.

Boylan had his name taken in the 58th minute for dissent.

With an hour gone Talbot came close again to grabbing their third. Graham Wilson hooked the ball down the left to send Boylan through one on one with the keeper. His low drive was blocked by Avici and spun to Shankland whose follow-up effort was cleared off the line.

Darvel weren’t at the races and made a quadruple substitution in the 62nd minute with Mackenzie, Morrison, Reilly and McGowan making way for Moore, Caldwell, Glasgow and Allan.

Talbot nearly paid for their missed chances in the 68th minute. Stirling cut in off the left and cut it back to Glasgow whose shot clattered the right hand post.

Having survived that scare Talbot then nearly scored at the other end. Boylan beat his ma on the right side of the box and angled a low drive across goal but once again Avici produced a good stop.

Moments later Boylan got in behind the defence and took it wide of the keeper before chipping it back towards Shankland but McShane got there first to volley it over his own bar..

In the 71st minute Talbot made a double switch up top with Shankland and Boylan making way for Samson and Taylor.

Moore then became the latest name in the book for a clumsy aerial challenge on McCracken.

Avici was single-handedly defying Talbot and the keeper reacted quickly again in the 74th minute when Wardrope slid a pass through to Samson in the centre of the box; the keeper racing off his line to make the block and taking a knock for his trouble.

With 10 minutes to go Darvel broke down the right and Meechan’s low ball into the box was sliced over his own bar by Armstrong. When the corner came over Leishman took it comfortably.

In the 83rd minute the ref waved away strong Talbot claims for a free kick and possible red card when Avici raced to the edge of his area and appeared to grab the ball outside the box to prevent Samson from getting to it but the ref ignored Talbot’s appeals.

A minute later the game was done & dusted as Talbot finally grabbed their third. Taylor climbed well to meet a ball chipped into the area and headed it back down and across for KIER SAMSON to fire past the keeper.

Darvel’s misery was complete in the 88th minute when they were reduced to 10 men. Allan forearm smashed Taylor as they chased after a ball in the Bot half and the ref produced a straight red.

From the resultant free kick Talbot flighted the ball up the centre where it broke back to Park who struck it well but his effort flew over the bar from 25 yards.

An excellent win for Talbot, who could and should have won by a more convincing margin, and now face the short trek to Cumnock in the next round.

Next up though it’s back to league business when Glenafton visit Beechwood next Saturday with Talbot looking to keep their momentum going against their local rivals.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Wardrope, Park, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Shankland

Subs – Taylor, Mason, Samson, Ballantyne, Crawford, White

Darvel – Avici, Meechan, Eadie, Meggatt, McGowan, Reilly, Robertson, McShane, Morrison, Mackenzie, Stirling

Subs – Allan, Kirkpatrick, Moore, Truesdale, Caldwell, Glasgow, Scott

Nathan Lennox

Rossvale FC v Auchinleck Talbot

MURRAYS REPORT

Talbot might well have won by more but got the job done as they saw off Rossvale 4-2 to book their place in the next round of the Junior cup where Darvel await.

The game got off to a sluggish start with little of note happening in the opening spell.

In the 18th minute Elliot picked up a yellow card when he wrestled Samson back as he tried to break forward.

The first effort at goal came in the 20th minute. Boylan cut in off the left but he pulled his shot well wide of target.

A minute later came close when Mason fed the ball to Boylan on the left. He cut it back across goal where Samson stretched to meet it and sent it wide of the right hand post.

Talbot kept the momentum going and only a fine stop from Goodfellow prevented Boylan giving Talbot the lead when he latched onto Wardrope’s ball over the defence.

The goal had been coming and what a strike it was that gave Talbot the lead in the 24th minute. Armstrong slid the ball into the feet of AARON MASON 25 yards out and he gave the keeper no chance as he hammered a shot in off the inside of the right post.

It was now one-way traffic and the only real surprise is that it took until the 32nd minute til Talbot added their 2nd of the afternoon. Wardrope angled a cross in from the right toward Boylan who was sandwiched between 2 defenders. No one could get a touch and it flew beyond the far post where Mason retrieved it and cut it back for BRYAN BOYLAN to pass it home from 6 yards.

In the 37th minute Talbot threatened again when Wardrope knocked it into the feet of Mason. He had his back to goal but swiftly turned his marker before firing a shot just over the crossbar.

Two minutes later Samson and Wardrope combined down the right and when Wardrope swept a ball across the 6-yard area Boylan just failed to make contact in the centre.

Talbot looked to be on easy street but a defensive lapse gave Rossvale hope in the 40th minute. There appeared little danger when a long pass was pinged into the Talbot box but there was a breakdown in communication between Leishman & McPherson with both leaving the ball to one another. Leishman did get a hand to it but as the ball broke loose McPherson nudged Malcolm over and the ref pointed to the spot and booked McPherson for the challenge. MALCOLM took the spot kick and sent Leishman the wrong way to narrow the gap.

The loss of the goal spurred Talbot forward and in the 42nd minute Ballantyne tested the home keeper when he latched onto a weak clearance at a corner to send a low right footed drive on target that Goodfellow saved low to his right.

As the half moved into added time Talbot restored their two goal cushion. Boylan skipped past Crumlish down the left and floated a cross over to the far post where AIDEN WILSON headed home from close range to make it 3-1 to the Bot at half-time.

Talbot started the 2nd half positively and nearly put the game out of sight in the 48th minute. Samson headed the ball into the path of Ballantyne and Goodfellow did well to block his powerful drive. The rebound came to Boylan but again the keeper did well – rushing off his line to force Boylan to hurry and he sent his shot over the bar.

The Bot’s next chance came in the 52nd minute when they won a corner down the right. Wardrope hoisted it deep beyond the back post where Crawford directed a free header back across goal that Mason turned wide of target.

In the 54th minute McAvoy had his name taken for a trip on Samson.

You couldn’t see any way back into the game for Rossvale but once again they nabbed a goal out of the blue in the 58th minute. Newlands sent a dangerous cross over from the left that Leishman came for but didn’t claim and the ball bounced off AIDEN WILSON near the back post for an o.g. to make it 3-2.

In the 63rd minute Elliot had a lucky escape when he hauled Mason down after he’d turned him just outside the box. It looked worthy of a 2nd yellow but the referee contented himself with awarding the free kick. Wardrope took it and went for goal only to see Crerand in the defensive wall stick up an arm to block it and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot for the 2nd time in the match.

KIER SAMSON took it and coolly slotted the ball home sending Goodfellow the wrong way to restore Talbot’s 2 goal cushion.

Talbot’s next attack was simplicity itself, Leishman bowling the ball out to Boylan in space on the right and he hared up the wing before squaring it across to Samson who saw his effort from 16 yards tipped over the bar. From the resultant corner Talbot had a great shout for a penalty. Boylan appeared to be bundled over as he went to meet it but the ref waved play on and as Rossvale broke down the right Aiden Wilson received a caution for a late challenge.

Rossvale’s keeper was having a good day and he came to their rescue again when Wardrope’s pass split open the defence to send Boylan through on goal but Goodfellow was quickly off his line and managed to block his shot which spun just over the crossbar.

Talbot picked up two bookings in the 73rd minute – firstly Ballantyne was cautioned and then Mason was carded for dissent.

Ballantyne had a couple of chances to extend Talbot’s lead as the Bot ramped up the pressure. Firstly he met a corner from the right at the near post only to see his header scrambled clear. It came back out to him and he drilled a low shot on goal that Goodfellow eventually managed to hold following a spot of juggling.

In the 78th minute Ballantyne passed up a good chance when he strode onto Samson’s cut-back, meeting it 15 yards out but he didn’t make a clean connection and his shot trundled wide of the left post.

A minute later Wardrope lifted a good cross into the centre where Mason glanced a free header wide from close range.

With 10 minutes remaining Tucker made a double switch with Park & Taylor coming on for Mason & Ballantyne and the subs were involved almost immediately with Taylor gathering Boylan’s cross beyond the back post and passing it back into the path of Park who lashed a shot just over the bar.

With a few minutes remaining Talbot made a further change with Shankland making a welcome return when he replaced Wardrope.

As the game headed into injury time Shankland nearly crowned his comeback with a goal. Taylor swept a cross over from the right that Boylan met beyond the far post. He laid it back to Shankland who clattered a shot off the right hand post.

Talbot now made one final change with Lennox coming on for Boylan.

Deep into added time Talbot had one final chance to add to their tally. Lennox cut in off the left and swung a good cross into the centre which was headed clear but only as far as Shankland. He thumped a shot at goal that was heading on target but for Samson who inadvertently blocked it en route.

Talbot’s second 4-2 win on the road in a row. After a string of cup ties it’s back to league business next Saturday as Talbot travel through to Newlandsfield to face on form Pollok.

Rossvale – Goodfellow, Crumlish, O’Donnell, Chatterton, Kelly, Elliot, Newlands, Crerand, Malcolm, McAvoy, Cridge

Subs – Bradshaw, McCormack, McAteer, Tuckett

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Crawford, Armstrong, Wardrope, Ballantyne, Boylan, Samson, Mason

Subs – Taylor, Shankland, Graham Wilson, Park, Lennox, Hewitt

Jamie Ballantyne

Sponsor: Cameron Torrance; Isla McCurdy

BIO:

Jamie initially started his career at Rangers as a youth, prior to a move to Ayr United where he captained their u20’s for two seasons. He would then go on loan to Girvan FC where he won the league, prior to joining Benburb for their championship winning season.
Jamie then made a return to first team league football with Annan Athletic, before again returning to non league football.

Ross Taylor

SPONSOR: Jim McCluskie, Dorethy Lawrence

BIO:  Ross joined Talbot in July 2022 after leaving Morton. He played the previous season on loan to Kilbirnie Ladeside where he became a fans favourite playing at right back. He has been a teenage sensation since joining Talbot and celebrated his Scottish Cup baptism by grabbing a hat-trick against Coldstream

Ally Park

SPONSOR: Billy Blackmore School of Motoring

BIO: This will be Ally’s second spell at Talbot where he first joined them in 2011 from Clyde. He had a productive youth career at Rangers and Hibernian before joining Clyde and carried this on into the then Junior grade. He left Talbot in 2015 playing for Glenafton until 2020 when he joined Beith Juniors. He returned to Talbot at the beginning of this season.

Auchinleck Talbot v Yoker Athletic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUCHINLECK TALBOT GOAL 1, CRAIG McCRACKEN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUCHINLECK TALBOT GOAL 2, JAMIE GLASGOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

Yoker Athletic

Auchinleck Talbot v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy

Craig McCracken gets an early attack started from the back.

 

From the middle of the park, Armstrong looks to see where to distribute the ball next.

 

WHAT-A-START!!! Talbot take a very early lead in the semi-final, as ‘Gee’ gathers the ball inside the box and calmly slots the ball home. 1-0.

 

Both the Talbot players and the fans celebrate Wilson’s opener.

 

The celebrations continue after ‘Gee’s’ goal.

 

Samson wins the aerial battle but fails to hit the target with his header.

 

Glasgow tries to race up the park while under pressure from his opponent.

 

Well I’m puzzled at Samson’s puzzled expression at looking at something that obviously…puzzles him.

 

OFFTT…THAT WIS CLOSE!!! Rob Roy go very, VERY close to scoring but the ball goes the wrong side of the post by a certain hair width.

 

Big Andy vents his anger after that big chance for Rob Roy to pull level.

 

TALBOT MAKE IT TWO!!! Talbot get awarded a penalty and up steps ‘Shankers’ who does not miss from the spot and fires the ball home. 2-0.

 

Shankland wheels away to celebrate extending Talbot’s lead.

 

McCracken stays close to his man and makes sure his opponent goes the wrong way.

 

Samson shows his frustration after being penalised by the referee.

 

CHANCE!!! Shankland goes close to scoring again but his close range strike fails to find the back of the net.

 

Healy clearly shows his anger after the referee blows for a foul against Talbot.

 

CHANCE!!! ‘Shankers’ slides in and gets on to the end of the cross but, again, fails to score.

 

And as the ‘keeper gathers the ball, Shankland rues that missed opportunity.

 

ROB ROY PULL A GOAL BACK!!! Rob Roy make a great start to the second half, as their shot from the edge of the box finds the bottom corner of the net. 2-1.

 

Aiden Wilson sticks to his man and looks to win the ball back.

 

Rob Roy get awarded a free-kick, as tempers boil over for both sets of players.

 

WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! Healy finds himself in acres of space inside the box but he can only push his header wide of the post.

 

It’s ‘heads in hands time’, as Healy knows what a great chance that was to score.

 

McCracken argues with the man in the middle, after being told he handballed the ball.

 

And from the resulting free-kick, Rob Roy can only fire the ball high over the crossbar.

 

The Rob Roy ‘keeper goes all ‘superman’ in order to gather the ball and prevent Healy from getting his head to it.

 

Aaron Mason skips past his opponent, as he goes on a great run.

 

Samson tries to keep hold of the ball, as Talbot look to see out the game.

 

The final whistle gets blown and the Talbot faithful applaud the players for reaching another Scottish Junior Cup Final.

 

Two very happy chappies after that victory!

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAYS MATCH REPORT

Meadow park proved a happy hunting ground once more for Talbot as the Bot edged out Rob Roy to book a place in this season’s Scottish Junior final where they will face Yoker at Rugby Park.

Talbot made a positive start and won a corner in the 2nd minute when Bell blocked Glasgow’s cross. Glasgow aimed the corner to the far post where it was just nicked off the head of the waiting Graham Wilson.

An early goal always helps and Talbot obliged by taking the lead in the 4th minute. Glasgow gathered on the right and played it into Samson whose head flick was met by GRAHAM WILSON who controlled it on his chest before rolling the ball past Smith to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.

The early momentum was with Talbot and Samson did well to force a corner down the left. Glasgow pinged it into the near post where the defence failed to clear their lines. It came to McPherson with his back to goal and he headed it across the area where Samson met it but headed off target under pressure.

In the 10th minute Baber spread a good ball out right to find Truesdale racing down the right of the penalty area but his ball across was blocked behind for the corner.

Persistence paid off for Samson in the 14th minute when he chased down Graham Wilson’s ball down the left & managed to nick a corner off Walker. Glasgow swung it into the goal mouth where McCracken managed to beat Smith to it in the air but his header went over the bar.

The Bot’s next attack saw Healy hit a slide rule pass out to Glasgow on the right and the defence did well to cut out his dangerous ball across the 6-yard area. Rob Roy then sprang onto the counter when Scott gathered deep in his own half before racing up field toward the Talbot box before releasing a pass to Young who ought to have equalised but fired past the left post from a good area.

Rob Roy were forced into an early change in the 19th minute when Arbuckle limped off to be replaced by McPherson.

The next goal was going to be crucial and it went Talbot’s way in the 21st minute. A shy from the right was helped on into the area by Glasgow where Graham Wilson was bundled over by Baber’s clumsy challenge. MARK SHANKLAND took the spot kick and sent Smith the wrong way to put Talbot 2-0 ahead.

Rob Roy came close to pulling one back in the 32nd minute. An early ball up the right found McPherson just inside the penalty area and he hit an angled drive across goal that just went beyond the far post.

The Rabs had another opportunity in the 40th minute. Truesdale squared it inside to Scott and he teed it up for Young 16 yards out but his shot took a deflection and went behind for the corner.

A minute later Young had his name taken when he petulantly shoved McCracken over the advertising hoardings as Talbot’s centre half ushered the ball behind for a goal kick.

Three minutes before the interval Talbot nearly killed the tie off with a 3rd goal. Glasgow’s flick sent Samson free on the right and he pulled it back across the face of goal. The defence couldn’t clear and Shankland nipped in and fired a shot from close range that Smith did well to turn round his left post.

Play was switching from end to end and Leishman was called into action in the 44th minute when Young skipped past a challenge on the right of the area and tried to find McPherson at the near post but Leishman managed to turn it behind.

The half ended with Talbot back on the attack as Samson strode clear on the right and swung a tempting cross over which Shankland met and steered goal ward but Smith dived low to his right to claim it.

Talbot would have hoped to keep it tight at the start of the 2nd half but those plans came undone when Rob Roy pulled a goal back two minutes after the restart. They were awarded a free kick in the Bot half which Truesdale flighted into the area. McPherson met it & guided a header out left where SCOTT met it on the volley and gave Leishman no chance with a drive across him and into the far corner.

The Bot responded to this setback and had a chance to restore a two goal cushion in the 52nd minute. Shankland played a good ball inside to find Glasgow who in turn squared it to Healy in space and he fired past the right post from 20 yards.

Armstrong had his name taken in the 56th minute for a challenge on Bell.

The game was ebbing & flowing and Talbot’s next attacks saw Graham Wilson release Shankland down the left.  He swept it into the centre trying to find Samson but it didn’t break for him and the defence were able to clear.

The Bot’s next chance came in the 62nd minute when Shankland whipped over a good cross from the right to find Graham Wilson beyond the far post. He steered it 1st time back across goal where Healy met it but glanced his header off target.

In the 66th minute Rob Roy had a chance to test Leishman when they won a free kick 23 yards out following McCracken’s handball but Scott lashed it well over the bar.

Two minutes later they had another set piece opportunity when they won a free kick in more or less the same spot. This time Truesdale hit but sent his shot straight into the wall.

With 20 minutes remaining Talbot had a half chance to kill the game off. Stafford played it up the wing to find Glasgow and he turned it inside to find Shankland. He laid it off early to Samson and he fired a shot across goal but wide of the right post.

Rob Roy made a change in the 76th minute with I Gold coming on in place of Bell.

Rob Roy’s McPherson picked up a caution in the 78th minute for a shove on Graham Wilson.

Talbot now made their first change with Mason coming on for Shankland and a few minutes later Hyslop replaced Glasgow.

In the 85th minute Cairns had his name taken for dissent.

The Bot had a nervy moment in the 86th minute. Armstrong lost out in a 50/50 inside the Rabs half and Rob Roy quickly broke forward through Truesdale who spread it out to Scott on the left of the area. He drilled a shot on goal but Leishman was equal to it and smothered it at his right hand post.

With 2 minutes remaining Rob Roy made their final change with S Gold replacing Scott.

Rob Roy threw bodies forward as the game moved into injury time but couldn’t breach the Talbot defence. The one half chance they had came from a short corner worked to Truesdale at the right edge of the area but he snatched his shot high & wide of target and Talbot were able to see it out to book their place in the final.

A hard fought win for the Bot who now move onto Monday night’s visit to Darvel which is a real 6 pointer and could go a long way to deciding the outcome of the title race.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Graham Wilson, Samson, Shankland, Glasgow

Subs – Boylan, Crawford, Mason, Hyslop, Robbie McCracken, Hewitt

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy – Smith, Walker, Bell, Baber, O’Halloran, Cairns, Truesdale, O’Kane, Arbuckle, Young, Scott

Subs – Gordon, Kelly, S Gold, I Gold, McPherson, Ross, Murdoch