Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup Quarter-Final



By Stewart McConnell

RAMPANT Buffs steamrollered into the semi-final as they swept aside an understrength Meadow side whose firm focus was on their promotion challenge.

The visitors took an early grip of the game and once they secured a 2-0 lead, there was no way back for an inexperienced home side who were desperate to keep their stars injury-free for the final two league matches.

The visitors began strongly in this derby match, which was played in front of a sizeable crowd at Meadow Park.

In two minutes Buffs forged an opening when Joe Coleman shot across the face of goal from 25 yards.

A rasping drive from 22 yards by Ryan Nisbet was smothered on the line by Craig Gordon a minute later. However in 10 minutes Buffs soared into the lead when a shot from inside the box from Findlay Frye was turned into his own net by a Meadow defender.

Three minutes later, a Nisbet shot from 12 yards three minutes later was well fielded by the home goalie.

Gordon brilliantly fingertipped a 25-yard drive from Carlo Monti over the bar in 19 minutes.

However in 19 minutes Buffs doubled their advantage in some style when Carlo Monti ran on to a long through ball from Craig Pettigrew and drove it home from 12 yards. The visitors came close again three minutes later when Frye hit the side netting after latching on to a Monti free-kick. Monti had his shot well fielded from 25 yards in 35 minutes.

A great shot from 25 yards by Paul McQuilken was well saved by Michael Wardrope Snr in 44 minutes.

Buffs came agonisingly close again three minutes later when Monti sent a shot narrowly wide from 22 yards.

Meadow had a chance in 50 minutes when a Con Boyle drive from 20 yards was well saved by Wardrope.

Buffs cruised into a 3-0 lead in 56 minutes when a Ben Lewis cross was headed powerfully hone by Nisbet. Monti had a shot from inside the box deflected wide in 61 minutes.

Young Meadow player Reece Clark had a shot from 12 yards blocked by a Buffs defender in 72 minutes. However three minutes later the same player reduced the deficit when he ran on to a long through ball and volleyed home from 12 yards in 75 minutes.

However Davie Winters drilled the ball home from 12 yards to make it 4-1 three minutes later.

Buffs now host Beith, Girvan or Auchinleck Talbot in the last four on a date still to be determined.

IRVINE MEADOW: Gordon; Hadden, Mackay, Aitchison, Miller, Carnwath, Hannah, McFadyen, Boyle, McQuilken, Black. Subs: Willet, Gow, McPhie, Clark, Newman.

KILWINNING RANGERS: Michael D Wardrope; Coleman, McCloskey, Pettigrew, Maitland, Frye, Monti, Michael Wardrope, Boylan, Lewis, Nisbet. Subs: Whyte, Hanvey, Winters, Hill, McGuinness.