MEMORIES were stirred by the sight of Irvine Meadow striker Con Boyle latching onto a through ball and skilfully cutting past an opponent to fire home a low shot for his hat-trick in the Ayrshire outfit’s 6-2 Scottish Junior Cup fourth-round demolition of Dunbar United on Saturday.

And confirmation of those recollections came when speaking to the 27-year-old hitman afterwards when he revealed himself as the same Con Boyle who had seemed set to become one of the Junior game’s shining stars when he first burst on to the scene as a teenage prospect with Shettleston in 2008.

Back then a youthful Boyle had already amassed a handful of first-team appearances for Clyde under John Brown and was earmarked as someone capable of going on to greater things, so it came as a shock when he was shown the Broadwood Stadium door after the Senior club made the cost-cutting decision to disband their youth team.

He and another freed youngster, David Mackay (currently on the books of Petershill and recently back playing again after sustaining a broken leg at the start of this season), were persuaded on a move to Greenfield Park by their former Clyde coach Ian Currie and Town supporters will recall they looked anything but out of their depth turning out in a side containing vastly experienced types such as Brian McEwan, Chrissy McCormick and Ryan Kennedy.

But after just one Junior season, Con’s yearning to play at a higher level convinced him to start all over again and try to catch the eye through dropping into the amateur ranks with Eastwood, however his impressive showings only caught the attention of then Lanark United team boss Tam McDonald.

He recalled: “I knew some of the lads at Lanark and felt the gamble was worth taking but after only one season Tam resigned his post and I played for another season under Brian Johnstone before deciding if I was going to stay in the Juniors level then I’d be as well returning to Shettleston.

“Unfortunately a lot of changes had taken place and I just didn’t feel settled second time around, so I opted to take time out from football – 18 months all told – and I might well have stayed away but for my good friend Aaron Connolly asking me to come and play alongside him at East Kilbride Thistle midway through last season.”

With his appetite for the game restored, Con played in the Jags team that won promotion to the Central First Division with a 1-0 victory over Newmains United in the final game of the season, however the celebrations afterwards were put in the shade as manager Billy Campbell announced his resignation.

Burnside-based Boyle added: "Billy calling it quits unfortunately brought about the break-up of that EK team and the trio of Aaron, myself and Ryan Carnwath were thrown a lifeline by an approach from Irvine Meadow manager Ross Wilson.

“The opportunity to step up and play at Super First Division level was a dream come true, but things went pear-shaped for me after an early-season injury, plus work commitments severely curtailed my appearances yet I was lucky compared to Aaron who damaged his cruciate ligament and will not play again this season.

“I then feared the worst when Ross was sacked and the club appointed a new manager in Brian McGinty but he’s shown great faith by putting me back into the team against Dunbar and hopefully I repaid him by scoring three goals.

“Holding down a regular starting jersey and getting a run of games is my only target right now but after Saturday I would love to go further in the Scottish Junior Cup.

“The win against Dunbar puts us in the last 16 and the funny thing is I was part of a Shettleston side that reached the same stage only to lose out 4-0… against Irvine Meadow.”

Meanwhile, Whitletts Vics have moved quickly to appoint George Grierson as their new team manager following the resignation of Neil Duffy.