A depleted Talbot battled their way to the cup final against Gartcairn under the lights at the Celcius Stadium in a dour struggle void of any great excitement. A virus had ripped through the Talbot ranks forcing them to play assistant coach Alan McLuckie aged 50 at left back while other players were moved into different positions.
As expected the glens started on the offensive and on Dale sieon had a chance but sliced his shot. It took Talbot 15 minutes to create a serious chance when Steven White’s goalbound shot was deflected past for a corner. Both sides fashioned chances in a match bogged down in the midfield with Bryan Boylan having two chances both on both occasions the ball ended up in the keepers arms while Glasgow curled a shot netwards which Whyte managed to claw past the post. Just before half time Harry Mitchell tried his luck from well out but the ball fizzed past Leishman’s post.
Talbot started the second half with a bit more urgency and Kier Samson was unlucky not to score when his header hit the side netting. The breakthrough came in the 56th minute when Bryan Boylan who was a thorn in rutherglen’s side all evening chased down a clearance, skipped past Kerr and slid the ball to Kier Samson who prodded the ball past Whyte from a few feet out.
Although Talbot were playing with a makeshift defence the lads were defending stoutly and were forcing the home side further up the pitch. Samson nearly added to his goal when he sent a scorching shot at Whyte which took a wicked bounce which the big keeper managed to beat away. This was Samson’s last contribution to the match as he looked physically sick and retired straight to the clubhouse. The home side were now flinging everything but the kitchen sink at Talbot, including keeper Whyte who was sent upfield to contest a corner. However Talbot were savvy enough to hold onto their narrow lead much to the frustration of the home support. It was a tight game, but in the end Talbot can look forward to another final. Rutherglen Glencairn :- Whyte, Lachlan, Miller, Donaldson, Stevie Kerr, McGregor, Leyden, McGuire (Cochrane), McRobbie (Wingate), Simeon (Ciaron Smith), Mitchell. (Subs not used – Hewitt, McLellan (gk).) Auchinleck Talbot :- Leishman, Young, McLuckie (Steven Wilson), McPherson, White, Pearson, McDowell, McKinlay, Boylan, Samson (Hyslop), Glasgow. (Sub not used – Hewitt.)