Lok back in business but not all is rosy in garden for Meadow

The second half of 2012 was crammed full of talking points for Junior followers and, as always, SportTimes was there to capture the highs and lows of clubs and players alike.

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Jim O'Donnell has covered the Junior game comprehensively this year
Jim O'Donnell has covered the Junior game comprehensively this year

Pollok and Irvine Meadow emerged as the first trophy winners of the 2012/13 season, however the Ayrshiremen were afflicted by a cruel run of injury blows and ended the year in disarray.

Here's how July-September shaped up ...

JULY

The peak time for Junior comings and goings sees 35- year-old Brian Watrett return to the game at Dalry Thistle. Cumnock entice Scott Anson away from Neilston, who target former player Charlie Hobbs as a striking replacement and also land veteran pair Andy Essler and Martin Hughes.

David Gumley departs St Roch's for Blantyre Vics, Auchinleck reinstate full-back Willie Lyle from Stenhousemuir and Rob Roy snap up Ardrossan Winton Rovers trio Finlay Frye, Scott Adam and Darren Miller.

Benburb overcome Winton 6-5 on penalty kicks in the first playing of the Dennis Donnelly Memorial Trophy and there's a format change announced for the Evening Times Cup, which will now be contested by league winners only under the new name of the Evening Times Champions Cup.

St Anthony's sign Vale of Leven defender Andy Bonner, son of legendary Celtic keeper Packie. Pollok land Tony Fraser from Beith and high- profile striker Willie Sawyers from Renfrew, who makes a scoring debut in a 4-2 win over Edinburgh United.

Mayhem erupts on the transfer scene as Irvine Meadow defender Kevin McDonald signs for Kilbirnie Ladeside while still a registered Medda player.

Carluke Rovers win the first competitive honour of the new season with a 5-2 Clydesdale Cup Final defeat of Lanark United through goals from Stewart Arnott (2) , Craig Stark, Mark Haddow and new striker signing Kenny Wright.

AUGUST

Dunky Black hands in his sponge after 50 years as Irvine Meadow physiotherapist and Petershill skipper Davie Dickson announces his playing retirement through work commitments in Elgin.

Then Scotland manager Craig Levein officially opens the sumptuous Port Glasgow Community Stadium facility prior to Port Glasgow and Greenock staging the first competitive game, won 2-1 by Grenock thanks to Joe Beckley Robert Storrie goals.

Rob Roy sign Kettering Town midfielder Stevie Meechan, who has SPL experience with Motherwell, and offload striker David Gormley to Auchinleck. Big -spending Irvine Meadow fix up Willie Kinniburgh. Chris Mackie scores eight goals in his first seven outings for St Anthony's, including a score in the 2-2 Govan derby clash against Benburb.

SEPTEMBER

Davie Greig surprisingly resigns as St Roch's manager to take over at Blantyre Vics and is followed to Castle Park by a handful of his erstwhile Provanmill Park players, leaving new gaffer Dougie McDuff with a massive rebulding job on his hands.

Shotts exit the Scottish Cup in a replay defeat by Edinburgh City while Auchinleck overcome nine-man Petershill 1-0 and top the Super Premier standings.

Largs Thistle play a game against Morton to open their new Barrfields Stadium, donated by multi-millionaires Colin and Christine Weir.

Petershill dump Pollok 3-0, with Stephen McGladrigan netting twice in his first league start of the season, and afterwards put Michael Fulton up for sale only 10 weeks after moving to the Springburn club.

Adam Strachan is posted missing from Meadow Park and his Junior side exit the Scottish Cup when beaten 3-0 by Queen's Park at Hampden.

Glasgow Perthshire lose 2-0 at home to Petershill in the Emirates Junior Cup while other notable results see Pollok thrash Cambuslang Rangers 6-0, Clydebank win 4-0 away at Bathgate Thistle and Ashfield beat Vale of Clyde 4-2 despite making seven changes to their starting line-up. The month closes out with Pollok lifting the Euroscot Eng League Cup silverware as goals from Ross Dunlop, Paul McQuilken and Carlo Monti clinch a 3-0 final victory over Renfrew.

OCTOBER

Scotland Juniors boss Keith Burgess fields 12 new caps in a 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland which sees Iain Diack (Rob Roy) bag the Scots goal.

Irvine Meadow take the Ardagh Glass Cup honours with a penalty shoot-out win over Auchinleck Talbot after the Ayrshire rivals played out a marvellous 4-4 final spectacle, but there's bad news on the injury front for gaffer Chris Strain as striker Michael Hughes is diagnosed with cartilage damage and is ruled out for the season. Talbot suffer another cup blow as they tumble out of the New Coin Holdings Cup to a shock giantkilling act by lowly Wishaw while Petershill are rocked as full-back Craig Palmer dislocates a shoulder .

The biggest transfer splash is undoubtedly made by striker Chris Mackie moving to Beith from St Anthony's.

Glencairn frontman Denis McLaughlin grabs the headlines by netting all his side's goals in a 5-3 defeat of Larkhall.

Robert Fox quits as Neilston manager, Pollok No.2 Stevie Docherty receives two red cards in a match with Rob Roy and another setback for Lok comes with the news that team skipper Paul Lovering is out until the New Year with reactive arthritis.

NOVEMBER

Red and yellow cards abound as Ashfield boss Stevie Rankin champions the cause for a number of team managers in calling for a meeting with SFA refereeing development officer John Fleming after his side rack up 61 yellow and five red cards in just 10 games.

Irvine Meadow sensationally sign frontman Keigan Parker, whose debut is hardly memorable as the reigning West Region champions succumb to a 5-2 Saracen Park beating from Ashfield.

Medda bounce back to win 4-1 at St Anthony's in the Emirates Cup, Pollok are narrow 1-0 winners at Glenafton, cup holders Shotts overcome Greenock 4-2 and Petershill chalk up a superb 6-3 victory away to last season's beaten semi-finalists Bonnyrigg Rose.

Stevie Dallas comes out of semi-retirement at Greenock and his former manager Stevie Easton is sacked by Beith.

Yet another hotseat is made vacant as Bellshill Athletic part company with Colin Mitchell and look to appoint their sixth manager in five years.

Petershill goalkeeper Michael White chalks up a milestone in his club's annals as he sets a new shut-out record by not conceding a goal for 482 minutes.

Former Beith gaffer Frank Lynch returns to Bellsdale in time to oversee an Emirates Cup win over Sauchie and Johnstone Burgh coast home against Buchanhaven Hearts, helped by Martin McIntyre bagging four goals in a 7-1 triumph.

However, the biggest shock of the third round sees Ashfield exit at home to minnows Ardeer Thistle.

The Evening Times hosts the Emirates fourth round draw and sets up the plum tie of the competition to date with Super Premier leaders Auchinleck Talbot hosting second-placed Petershill.

Bellshill appoint ex-Pollok strikers Robert Downs and Davie Turnbull as co-managers.

DECEMBER

Junior fixtures are decimated by freezing conditions followed by torrential downpours leaving the majority of clubs unable to play games.

Kilbirnie Ladeside take advantage to beat Largs Thistle and Hurlford United in consecutive weeks and promote themselves back into the Super First Division title race while Cumbernauld United secure an Emirates Cup fourth round place with a 4-1 defeat of Forfar West End.

Blantyre Vics warhorse David Gumley announces his retirement from the game.

There's no seeing out the old year for managers, with Stevie Farrell quitting his Cumnock post to take up a role as Stranraer No.2 and Jim Geddes resigns at Ardrossan Winton Rovers prior to his former club Whitletts Vics parting company with Brian Delaney and replacing him with Steff McMillan.

Irvine Meadow relinquish their New Coin Cup crown after losing 2-0 at home to Glenafton in their fifth straight defeat while Rob Roy join the Glens and Glasgow Perthshire in the last 16 after overcoming derby rivals Kilsyth Rangers 4-2.

Petershill top the Super Premier, Hurlford lead the Super First Division standings and Greenock (despite a 1-0 defeat by St Anthony's), Cambuslang Rangers and Kilwinning Rangers are out in front of the District Leagues.

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