Ultimately the most curious thing about Troon’s 1-0 defeat to Renfrew on Saturday was how the Ayrshiremen could possibly have come through their previous 10 league games without firing blanks.

Toothless perhaps best describes their performance in this top of the table clash yet the stats for the season to show that Jim Kirkwood’s side are the highest scorers in the Super First Division.

But that was never evident against a well-organised and resolute Renfrew whose goalkeeper Dale Burgess had precious few saves of note to make throughout 90 bitterly cold Portland Park minutes.

Frew’s No.1 did have his scary moments – like the goalmouth stramash early into the proceedings when the ball was twice cleared off his line – however the 10 guys in front of him – but most notably centre-backs Thomas Miller and Jamie Lyden – ensured his goal remained intact.

Winning co-gaffer Colin Clark said: "We rode our luck at times and had to absorb a lot of pressure particularly in the second half when Troon threw everything at us but every single player worked their socks off to come away with a terrific result.

“I make no apologies for being defensive because it would have been tantamount to handing the points to Troon if we had come here to be open and try to match them in terms of expansive football.

“Instead we concentrated on keeping our shape and asking them to break us down and they just couldn’t do it so the guys deserve their reward of three precious points.”

Troon had made a blistering start that threatened to blow their Super First title rivals away with winger Scott McLean looking in the mood but all their early territorial dominance failed to bring about a breakthrough and the closest to an opening goal arrived at the other end of the pitch when a corner kick saw the tall Lyden power a header past Troon keeper Ally McInness only for full back Ross Barbour to make a headed goal line clearance .

Renfrew began to be seen as more of an attacking force nearing the half hour mark and an acrobatic Craig Dallas effort touched round the post by McInness led to what proved to be the game’s only goal.

From the resulting flag kick, Dallas advanced along the byeline before firing over a low driven cross that Jamie Benton opportunistically turned home from no more than a yard out for a 1-0 lead.

Troon suffered a blow shortly afterwards when an injury forced defender Lewis Clark to come off however they continued to hold the upper hand albeit without seriously troubling the visiting goal.

If anything the home team’s efforts to get back on level terms intensified after the half time interval with former Kilmarnock signing Barbour letting fly with well struck shot that found the side netting followed by Burgess diving low to touch away a McLean shot that was heading goalwards.

Substitutes Scott Chatham and Mark Curragh offered fresh impetus coming off the bench but it was apparent long before the final whistle that Troon’s lack of firepower was going to prove their undoing.

Troon team boss Kirkwood emerged from his dressing room afterwards to say , “ The biggest disappointment is that we have failed to execute our game plan whereas Renfrew appear to have succeeded with theirs.

“We have knocked the ball about and played some good football at times so I have stayed calm in talking things over with the players though I do believe we need to be better than good if we want to be figuring in the title reckoning.

“The importance of taking our chances has yet again been stressed because that’s where we came up short today and we are crying out for players who are brave in the final third of the pitch and willing to make things happen by taking on opponents."

A total of four other games survived the big freeze and a couple of them in the Ayrshire District League had mixed fortunes for title challenging pair Maybole and Ardrossan Winton Rovers.

A 2-1 defeat at the hands of Annbank United whose Australian striker McLean Simpson netted both goals saw second top Bole overtaken in the standings by a battling Winton for whom David Orr netted a dramatic 90th minute winner to earn a 2-1 victory at home to Ardeer Thistle.

Rossvale opened up a three points lead atop the Central First Division after recovering from going 1-0 down against visitors Greenock whose score from the spot by Glen Thomson on the hour mark was cancelled out by a Liam Crichton goal that set up a rousing finale in which Jamie Hunter converted an 89th minute penalty kick award to seal a 2-1 triumph.

Second Division high fliers Gartcairn were nowhere near as fortunate in getting their game to go ahead after slumping to a 4-0 reverse against Carluke Rovers for whom Ian Watt (2), James Martin and Mark Cassidy were on target.

WEEKEND RESULTS: McBookie.com Super First Division. Troon 0 Renfrew 1. McBookie.com Central First Division.Rossvale 2 Greenock 1 McBookie.com Central Second Division.Gartcairn 0 Carluke Rovers 4.McBookie.com Ayrshire District League. Ardrossan Winton Rovers 2 Ardeer Thistle 1, Annbank Utd 2 Maybole 1.