Auchinleck are crowned Super Premier champs

Auchinleck Talbot were crowned Super Premier Division champions last night after a resounding 4-1 defeat of Pollok.

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  • Pollok v Auchinleck match action. Pictures: Mark Gibson
    Pollok v Auchinleck match action. Pictures: Mark Gibson
  • Pollok v Auchinleck match action. Pictures: Mark Gibson
  • Pollok v Auchinleck match action. Pictures: Mark Gibson
  • Pollok v Auchinleck match action. Pictures: Mark Gibson
  • Pollok v Auchinleck match action. Pictures: Mark Gibson
  • Pollok v Auchinleck match action. Pictures: Mark Gibson

A huge Ayrshire contingent that easily outnumbered the home fans at Newlandsfield celebrated loudly at the final whistle as Tommy Sloan's men made it 17 games unbeaten in the league this season.

A mere point would have sufficed to secure their deserved title triumph, however Talbot showed they had no intention of playing things tight by going on all-out attack from the first whistle.

And they had the points as good as in the bag by the 20th minute when they were 3-0 to the good thanks to a sensational opening spell.

Inspirational captain James Latta led the way with the opening goal on the 14th-minute mark when the Pollok defence afforded him too much time on the edge of the box to send the ball past diving goalkeeper Chris McCluskey.

The Lok No.1 looked to be at fault when the Ayrshire cracks doubled their advantage just five minutes later when his flailing punch under pressure from Bryan Young saw the ball fall kindly for Bot striker David Gormley, who placed his shot into the far corner.

Sixty seconds later and the visiting supporters were in raptures as Young set up Latta and his low shot beat McCluskey.

The bedraggled shotstopper then denied Latta his hat-trick by getting a crucial touch to a net-bound lob, but Auchinleck proceeded to take their foot of the gas thereafter.

John Richardson's rallying call to his troops at half-time sparked a second-half fightback and hopes soared when Willie Sawyers netted from close range after giant Talbot keeper Andy Leishman had parried out a well-struck Carlo Monti free-kick.

A buoyant Pollok then pressed forward looking for a second goal, however, Auchinleck were always dangerous on the break and they duly wrapped up matters with the best goal of the night as Young exquisitely volleyed home for 4-1.

The Talbot skipper said: "Some of our attacking play in the early stages was outstanding and Pollok just couldn't live with us."

Pollok's defeat ensures they remain embroiled in the relegation dogfight along with rivals Arthurlie, who were looking a good bet to take the spoils at home to Clydebank thanks to a stunning first-half Mark Blakey free-kick score.

But a disastrous closing 10 minutes saw the Barrhead men twice concede to Bankies ace Ross McPherson and the 2-1 scoreline means the Lie now sit second bottom of the pile ahead of Shotts Bon Accord, who lost out 4-2 at home to Rob Roy for whom Stevie Meechan (3) and Kieron McAleenan were on the mark.

Beith made the most of their basement rivals slipping up thanks to Calum Hardie (2) and Charlie Hobbs goals bringing about a comprehensive 3-0 win over Irvine Meadow at Bellsdale Park.

Elsewhere, Kilbirnie Ladeside forward Chris Hamilton bagged a hat-trick as the Blasties ran out 3-1 winners at Kello Rovers, a result that leaves only Rutherglen Glencairn, beaten 1-0 by a Mark Duffy strike for Thorniewood United, capable of pipping Kilbirnie and Hurlford United to promotion.

In the Central First Division, champions Greenock were held to a 1-1 draw away to Benburb, while Lesmahagow beat Lanark United 2-1.

Kingshill Park provided the backdrop as Cambuslang Rangers took the Central Second Division honours thanks to Steven McLung netting a hat-trick in a 3-0 defeat of Forth.

Cambuslang's title rivals Maryhill were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Vale of Clyde.

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