REJUVENATED striker Darren Jones earned praise from Irvine Meadow boss Brian McGinty after helping his team enjoy a resounding win to kick off the season.

Meadow ran out 5-1 winners at home to Craigmark Burntonians in the opening Sectional League Cup match with the target man scoring four of the goals.

They dominated the match but lost 1-0 away to Troon on Monday night, putting the hosts on course for the last 16 as group winners. They will now face derby rivals Irvine Vics away tonight (Wednesday).

McGinty said: “It was a game we had to prepare well for. Craigmark are in the Championship and are a decent side.

“It was a good team effort.

“I was delighted for Darren - he had a few injury issues when he came in last season but has overcome them well and is a good finisher. We have six strikers in the squad but no-one has a divine right to play, we have competition for places.

“The guys look forward to the Irvine Vics game - they beat a Meadow select in a testimonial at the end of the season although our guys weren’t involved and we will be looking to make amends for that.”

Meanwhile Irvine Vics assistant boss Mark McCann can take some positives from his team’s 4-1 defeat at home to Troon.

He said: “Ryan Stevenson was the difference between both sides and had a great game for Troon. Had we scored the penalty it could have made a difference.

“I would say we competed well and we can take some encouragement from a game against a higher league team.”

McCann will also savour the Meadow clash and said: “We face them at home in the Marymass match as well and we are looking to win on Wednesday. It should be a good match.”

Kilwinning Rangers marked their first game at the new Buffs Park with a thumping 9-0 win against Ardeer Thistle.