Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup Semi-Final



BUFFS breezed into Friday night's showpiece final as they overcame a Beith side who looked to be still suffering a hangover from their epic Premier Division triumph.

Now boss Chris Strain and goalscorer Bryan Boylan are hoping to end the season with silverware as they take on Largs Thistle at Meadow Park.

Strain said: "It was a good performance but Beith are probably still rough from Saturday. I felt we did well with some good goals. The first one was a mistake, the second one Carlo took really well and the third goal was a good finish. We were worthy winners. We were disappointed with how the campaign ended but the final game of the season is a cup final and we have a chance to win it. Largs are a good side and will be up for it because of their promotion. But no-one hands you silverware, you have to go and earn it. Stuart Davidson played with me at Troon and his teams are difficult to play against, they work really hard and are typical of him as a player."

Added Boylan: "We were always coming out to go for this, it would be good to get a wee bit of silverware."

Buffs got off to a dream start against an understrength Beith side who were missing four central defenders in three minutes when Bryan Boylan capitalised on a defensive mix-up to drill a shot home.

Then only a minute later Michael Wardrope Jnr sent a through ball to Carlo Monti, who smashed it past Stephen Grindlay from eight yards.

Buffs were totally dominant.

Once again Buffs forged a chance in 21 minutes when Wardrope saw his ambitious 25-yard shot well handled by Grindlay. Beit claimed for a penalty, claiming a Paul Frize cross had hit a Buffs player's arm but play was waved on three minutes later.

Sam McCloskey has a good opportunity in 25 minutes but blasted the ball over the bar from 25 yards.

Buffs blasted into a 3-0 lead in 28 minutes when McCloskey thundered the ball home from 12 yards.

Beith had a great chance a minute later but a Kenny McLean shot from 12 yards was deflected wide by the home defence.

A Craig Pettigrew free-kick from 22 yards was easily saved by Grindlay in 32 minutes. Monti made a darting run in 44 minutes but his cross was deflected by the visiting defence.

Buffs came close in 48 minutes when a dipping shot from 16 yards by Boylan glanced just over the bar.

A Wardrope effort from 22 yards was saved on the line by Grindlay three minutes later.

The ball broke to Michael Wardrope Jnr just outside the box in 54 minutes but he walloped it well over the bar.

Beith were reduced to 10 men in 57 minutes when Frize was sent off for swearing at the referee.

Then two minutes later Wardrope saw his 30-yard shot well clutched by Grindlay.

Monti sliced a shot wide from 10 yards in 68 minutes as Buffs kept pressing.

Buffs had a "goal" chalked off for offside in 72 minutes when Monti sent home an angled drive.

The visitors came close in 76 minutes when a Thomas Collins header from a Jamie Wilson cross was well saved by Michael Wardrope Snr.

Buffs were denied a penalty in 79 minutes when Monti was tripped by Kevin MacDonald inside the box as they held on to win comfortably.

KILWINNING RANGERS: MD Wardrope; Coleman, McCloskey, Pettigrew, Maitland, Frye, M Wardrope, Boylan, Lewis, McGuinness. Subs: Nisbet, Winters, Whyte, Latta, Hill.

BEITH: Grindlay; Cunningham, Milliken, McGlinchey, Docherty, Wilson, Bradley, Frize, McPherson, McLean, Burke. Subs: Collins, Christie, Macdonald, Martin.