ONE of the biggest teams in Ayrshire will fall at the first hurdle of the 2024-25 West of Scotland Cup after two of the top tips to win the tournament were drawn to face each other.

The ties for first two rounds of the tournament were picked from a hat on Monday night, and the draw handed reigning Premier League champions Beith a tie against the cup’s 2023 winners, Auchinleck Talbot, at Bellsdale Park.

The two sides will clash in round two after both were granted a first round bye.

Beith and Talbot were both knocked out of last season’s competition on penalties, with Chris Strain’s side being eliminated by eventual winners Darvel after a 2-2 draw in the quarter-finals and Tommy Sloan’s Talbot squad exiting at the hands of Pollok after a draw by the same score at Beechwood Park in the last four.

The holders will begin their defence of the trophy with a first round tie away to Forth.

There’s only one all-Ayrshire tie in round one, a tasty-looking clash between Kilbirnie Ladeside and Hurlford.

In addition to the Beith-Talbot tie, there are two more guaranteed all-Ayrshire clashes in round two: one of them an East Ayrshire derby at Loch Park between Glenafton and Craigmark Burntonians, the other a meeting of South Ayrshire rivals Whitletts Victoria and Girvan at New Voluntary Park.

Auchinleck Talbot won the 2023 tournament - but face a tough second-round tie away to Beith in this season's tournament.Auchinleck Talbot won the 2023 tournament - but face a tough second-round tie away to Beith in this season's tournament. (Image: Charlie Gilmour)

The full draws for the first two rounds of the 2024-25 tournament, sponsored again by Indigo Communications, are as follows, with Ayrshire teams highlighted.

First round (weekend of October 5)

Forth Wanderers v Darvel, Johnstone Burgh v Clydebank, Larkhall Thistle v Carluke Rovers, Kilsyth Rangers v Royal Albert, Maryhill v Kello Rovers, Lugar Boswell Thistle v St Peter’s, Newmains United v Threave Rovers, St Roch’s v Ardeer Thistle, Lesmahagow v Bonnyton Thistle, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Hurlford United, St Anthony’s v Knightswood, Cumnock v East Kilbride Thistle, Yoker Athletic v Muirkirk, Ashfield v Arthurlie, Bellshill Athletic v Saltcoats Victoria, Cambuslang Rangers v Drumchapel United.

Second round (weekend of November 2)

St Cadoc’s v Dalry Thistle, Thorniewood United v Kilbirnie Ladeside or Hurlford United, Kilsyth Rangers or Royal Albert v Irvine Meadow, Shotts Bon Accord v Cumbernauld United, Yoker Athletic or Muirkirk v Eglinton, Newmains United or Threave Rovers v Gartcairn, Johnstone Burgh or Clydebank v Finnart, Vale of Clyde v Troon, Lanark United v Easterhouse, Port Glasgow v Benburb, Ashfield or Arthurlie v Blantyre Victoria, Glenafton Athletic v Craigmark Burntonians, Campbeltown Pupils v Glenvale, Petershill v Irvine Victoria, Cambuslang Rangers or Drumchapel United v Largs Thistle, Forth Wanderers or Darvel v Giffnock, Glasgow United v Rutherglen Glencairn, Glasgow University v Ardrossan Winton Rovers, Cumnock Juniors or East Kilbride Thistle v Maryhill or Kello Rovers, Whitletts Victoria v Girvan, Caledonian Locomotives v Pollok, Maybole v Rossvale, Lugar Boswell Thistle or St Peter’s v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, Beith v Auchinleck Talbot, Glasgow Perthshire v Larkhall Thistle or Carluke Rovers, St Roch’s or Ardeer Thistle v St Anthony’s or Knightswood, Vale of Leven v Kilsyth Athletic, Wishaw v Bellshill Athletic or Saltcoats Victoria, Thorn Athletic v West Park United, Neilston v Renfrew, Greenock v BSC Glasgow, Lesmahagow or Bonnyton Thistle v Kilwinning Rangers.

Meanwhile, the draws for the first two rounds of the Strathclyde Demolition Cup were also made on July 8.

Whitletts Vics, the only Ayrshire team entering the 2024-25 tournament, have been handed a first round tie away to Port Glasgow on August 31. 

The winners will be at home to Maryhill in round two on September 21.

The cup is open to teams who are not SFA licensed and who do not enter the Scottish Junior Cup, with the tournament winners earning entry to the following season's Scottish Cup.

The full draw for the first two rounds of the tournament is as follows.

First round (August 31)

Port Glasgow v Whitletts Victoria, Forth Wanderers v Knightswood.

Second round (September 21)

BSC Glasgow v Forth Wanderers or Knightswood, Eglinton v St Peter's, Campbeltown Pupils v St Cadoc's, Port Glasgow or Whitletts Victoria v Maryhill.