Auchinleck Talbot made it through to their third Evening Times Champions Cup Final in four seasons with a hard- fought 2-1 victory over arch rivals Cumnock.

Both sides were missing key players as this semi-final clash kicked off in glorious conditions at Rosebank Park and Auchinleck certainly had the lion’s share of possession in the opening stages.

And they and came close to going 1-0 ahead in just six minutes when Dwayne Hyslop rose highest back post to nod down a cross into the path of Mark Shankland whose first time shot rose inches over the crossbar.with Nock goalkeeper Darren Johnstone beaten.

Cumnock were failing to make headway against a Talbot backline where Willie Lyle and Stevie White were dovetailing as a makeshift centre-back pairing.

However, it took a superb Andy Leisman save to keep out a Sean McKenzie front post flick after the big striker got on the end of an Owen Ronald cross.

John McKeown’s men were then forced into a reshuffle when left-sided midfielder Josh Watt limped off in what could be his last outing for the Ayrshire outfit if Queen's Park follow through their signing interest.

Auchinleck were pressing hard but finding openings hard to come by against a resolute Nock defence, but Stevie Wilson should have done better than direct a close-range header over the crossbar when allowed to rise unchallenged to a cross ball.

The breakthrough arrived in 36 minutes when Wilson rode a couple of challenges to cleverly keep possession and lay the ball into the path of backing up team mate Bryan Young and from 15 yards range the skilful midfielder “passed” the ball into the net beyond the reach of Johnston for 1-0

Talbot were again to the fore when the second period got underway, but they were to be rocked ten minutes in when a long ball forward was misjudged by Willie Lyle allowing Nock hitman Aidan Malone to run through and adroitly slip the ball under the giant frame of advancing keeper Andy Leishman .

The 1-1 scoreline acted to fire up Auchinleck into and both Wilson and Shankland wasted clear cut chances before a delightful pass forward by Young dropped invitingly into the path of Keir Milliken and he blasted a stunning shot high into the net for a 2-1 scoreline.

Talbot boss Tommy Sloan said: "We were down to the bare bones tonight, but the spirit and character shown by the players got us through a very tough 90 minutes.

“It won’t be any easier against Renfrew but hopefully the few extra days will help leave us better equipped for that one.”

The only other game played last night was a Newlandsfield staged re-run of the ETHXenergy Scottish Junior Cup Final and yet again Pollok and Beith played out a 1-1 regulation time draw with Thomas Collins putting the Ayrshiremen in front only for Derek Hepburn to net an audacious equaliser for the home side

Meanwhile, St Roch's supporters are reminded that their club’s AGM takes place at the James McGrory Stadium tomorrow night at 7pm when members and would be members can renew season tickets .

On the managerial comings and goings front comes confirmation of Shotts Bon Accord installing Kieron McGuinness as their new team manager with another ex-Hannah Park player Paul Finnigan as his N.2 while Newmains United have filled their vacancy with the high profile appointment of Kevin Muirhead , previously on the coaching staff at Hamilton Accies .

And a third Lanarkshire club, Royal Albert have wasted no time in appointing James Nesbitt and seasoned campaigner Billy Whiteford to take over from the outgoing Ian McLuskie.

From down in Ayrshire comes word of Annbank United replacing Scott Taylor with Ayr United Under 20’s management duo Graham Neil and Tom Robertson while still on the lookout for a manager are Neilston , inviting applications for their helm after Robert Graham tendered his resignation citing pressure of work commitments .

Interested parties have been asked to contact Secretary Kevin Robertson on 07342064230 or by e-mail to before the closing date of Thursday, June 9.

This week's fixtures

TOMORROW (Kick-offs 7.30pm): Super League play-off First Leg. Shettleston v Kilwinning Rangers.

Euroscot Eng Central League Cup, semi-finals: Pollok v Larkhall Thistle, St Anthony's v Greenock.

Friday, June 11 (7.30p,)

Super League play-off second leg: Kilwinning Rangers v Shettleston.

Saturday, June 11 (Kick-offs 2pm): Evening Times Champions Cup Final: Renfrew v Cumnock or Auchinleck Talbot. (Newlandsfield)