It has been the assumption that Auchinleck Talbot cannot go through the rest of the season unbeaten, but now the possibility is being discussed.

Dwayne Hyslop’s goal on Wednesday night that sealed a 1-0 victory over Kilbirnie Ladeside marked an anything-but-unlucky 13th league game since Talbot last tasted defeat, or their 24th in all competitions at Junior level.

The fact no other team come close to matching this remarkable consistency is why Willie Lyle & Co are fancied to clinch a clean sweep of silverware for a “Junior Quadruple” – the Macron Scottish Junior Cup, Premiership title, Ardagh Group West of Scotland Cup and Sectional League Cup.

Manager Tommy Sloan has stuck by a solid core of players with their outstanding back line of goalkeeper Andy Leishman, skipper Lyle, Neil McPherson, Gordon Pope and Craig McCracken (as well as Ross Harvey before injury) more than justifying their manager’s reliance on them after a 13th clean sheet of the 24 unbeaten-game run against the Blasties.

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“There’s no question the toughest shifts are put in by players further up the pitch and that’s why defenders are able to play more games without looking jaded in the slightest,” Sloan said. “And they also tend to avoid their share of niggling strains and pulls which go hand in hand with playing two and three games per week though I’m not sure Ross would agree as he’s currently on the way back after sitting out our last eight matches with a hamstring injury.

“He has declared himself fit for facing Hurlford [tomorrow], but I have to consider whether it would be taking a bit of a gamble to throw him straight back into a game of this importance, particularly when there’s no need.”

Auchinleck supporters are convinced victory over the long-time league leaders would guarantee a first Premiership title success but Sloan refuses to take anything for granted.

“We’ll still have nine league games to play after Saturday as well as a lot of ground yet to make up on Hurlford regardless of the result so the title race will be far from over this weekend.

“I’m pretty sure Darren Henderson will have his players up for having a go at us and they are on a good run of form right now so I’m looking forward to what promises to be a smashing contest.”

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Another probable non-starter in the home team is Mark Shankland, who was a notable absentee when Auchinleck ran out winners in midweek.

Sloan said: “Shankers had a painful inflammation of his stomach which resulted in him being kept in hospital and though he’s been on the phone to say he’s out now and up for taking part at the weekend, I’m not keen on taking any risks.”

Auchinleck will have more than a passing interest in tomorrow’s Ardagh Group West of Scotland Cup quarter-final clash between Rob Roy and East Kilbride Thistle as they are scheduled to host the winners of that contest in the semi-finals on May 4. Beith will take on Glenafton in the other semi-final, with the winners meeting on June 8.