KILWINNING Rangers have swooped to recruit another multi-Scottish Junior Cup winner for their Abbey Park playing squad.

Buffs team boss Chris Strain completed the signing of Auchinleck Talbot’s three times Holy Grail winner Craig Pettigrew last night hard on the heels of him fixing up the centre-back’s even more decorated Bot team-mate James Latta (five medals to his name).

Strain admitted: “I’ve said all I’m going to say about the qualities that guys of their ilk will bring to our dressing room so suffice to say I’m absolutely delighted to have them on board and a special thanks to the Kilwinning club officials for their support in making the transfers happen.

“It says everything about Craig that he is currently the captain of Junior Scotland and will be leading our team in the forthcoming Quadrangular Tournament so I’m having to pinch myself that he is now on our books.

“And I would think the fact our supporters will be excited by this awesome signing news and desperate to see both players in action should add 50 or 60 to our gate for the home game against Rob Roy.

“Only a few people know that I tried to sign Craig on his release from Stranraer in the summer only to lose out to the emotional sway he felt for Auchinleck so it’s a great feeling to finally get my man.”

Paving the way for 30-year-old Pettigrew’s arrival is yet another ex-Auchinleck playing legend…Mark Campbell who has been ensconced in Kilwiining’s central defence this season but is now stepping to one side.

Strainy added: “It takes Sparky a while to recover after full-on games and he thinks it’s ideal for him to take a back seat but at the same time remain on our books in case of a playing emergency.

“It’s so typical of the big man to put the team first and the ironic thing is he went to Auchinleck to fill the void left by Petty joining Stranraer and now he is leaving a gap for him to fill.”

Late last night, Pettigrew whose career kicked off as a teenage stopper at Lugar Boswell reflected on moving to his third Junior club.

He said: “Putting pen to paper for Kilwinning Rangers was an easy call to make as Chris is a former Ayr United team-mate and I liked what he had to say about his young and exciting squad of players and the style of football he wants to play.

“Stories were circulating that I was bound for Glenafton but it was a case of people wrongly putting two and two together just because myself and the Glens coach Mick McCann had been seen in each other’s company recently.

“Truth is I am close pals with Mick and the Glens goalkeeper Brian McGarritty so we often socialise together and there was never any conversation about me joining up with them at Loch Park.

“I just want to get back playing regularly again and it was not going to happen for me at Auchinleck so I had little choice but to look for a move elsewhere and thankfully yet another top flight side Kilwinning Rangers have given me this opportunity to get back to my best and prove a point or two to my doubters.

“They are an up and coming club with a lot of ambition and I’m looking forward to giving my all for them and Chris.”

Yet another central defender on the move last night was transfer listed Cumbernauld United stopper Terry Hewitt who has penned a deal to join East Region cracks Sauchie Juniors.

The 29-year-old said: “I’m not going to pretend it was anything other than a bit of a shock to find I was no longer in the Cumbernauld gaffer Andy Frame’s plans but I’m totally relaxed about his decision and feel the time is right to go and try something different .

“Playing through East where I’ve never played beforehand ticks all the boxes in this respect and I’m looking forward to the challenge, however I will always keep an eye out for Cumbernauld’s results as I do with all my former clubs.

“I enjoyed some really good times at Guys Meadow and want to wish the players and indeed Andy, J.P. and Billy all the best for this season.”

Meanwhile, also being played today are a handful of Scottish Junior Cup first round replays – four involving West Region clubs – which finished all square last weekend.

Glasgow Perthshire head up onto Tayside to face Dundee North End and the Billy Adams steered Shire will be hoping they don’t regret throwing away a 2-0 lead in the first Keppoch Park game while one cannot help but think penalty-kicks may be needed to separate Super First Division rivals Renfrew and Troon when they lock horns at New Western Park.

Every bit as difficult to call is another all-Super First encounter which has Irvine Meadow hosting the visit of Maryhill following last Friday night’s 0-0 stalemate under the Lochburn Park floodlights.

Ayrshire District League leading lights Maybole and Irvine Vics have to likewise do it all over again at the Ladywell Stadium where something special may be required to separate the sides ahead of 128 names going into the hat for the second round draw which has been scheduled to take place at Hampden Park this coming Wednesday, October 4 (2pm).


(2pm unless stated)

Scottish Junior Cup First Round Replays (2.30pm): Irvine Meadow v Maryhill, Dundee North End v Glasgow Perthshire, Renfrew v Troon, Dundee East Craigie v Rosyth, Maybole v Irvine Vics. Super Premier Division: Arthurlie v Auchinleck Talbot, Beith v Kilbirnie Ladeside, Clydebank v Cumnock, Girvan v Hurlford Utd, Glenafton v Pollok, Kilwinning Rangers v Rob Roy. Super First Division: Darvel v Cambuslang Rangers, Largs Thistle v Kello Rovers, Petershill v Kilsyth Rangers, Rutherglen Glencairn v Cumbernauld Utd, Shettleston v Larkhall Thistle. Central First Division: Thorniewood Utd v Neilston, Benburb v Forth Wanderers, Lesmahagow v Yoker Athletic, Greenock v East Kilbride Thistle, St Roch's v Shotts Bon Accord, Rossvale v Port Glasgow, Blantyre Vics v Wishaw. Central Second Division: Lanark Utd v Gartcairn, Newmains Utd v Ashfield, Royal Albert v Dunipace, Vale of Clyde v Vale of Leven, Johnstone Burgh v Carluke Rovers, Bellshill Athletic v St Anthony's. Ayrshire District League: Annbank Utd v Whitletts Vics, Ardrossan Winton Rovers v Dalry Thistle, Lugar Boswell Thistle v Craigmark, Saltcoats Vics v Muirkirk.