TROON (Portland Park)

Ok, so it would appear that I lied about last weekend being the last game of my hopping season!!

I never accounted for some last minute fixtures being thrown up, as ever at this time of year, in Scotland. So my season once again runs into June with the Ayrshire Cup Final between Troon and Auchinleck Talbot, which was being played at Troon's sun drenched Portland Park, after Troon won the toss to decide on the venue.

Both teams have had decent seasons but just fell short of achieving their ultimate goals. Troon play in the Ayrshire District league but finished 3rd just missing out on promotion by two points. Auchinleck Talbot play in the West Region Super League, two steps above Troon and, having failed in their attempts to win the championship, they also missed out on the Scottish Junior cup, suffering a shock defeat to Shotts Bon Accord, in the final, last weekend.

Today's cup final offered a chance for both teams to grab some silverware. On paper the game should have been a comfortable win for Auchinleck Talbot and, unfortunately for Troon, that's exactly how it panned out.

After the kick off was delayed slightly due to crowd congestion, Troon didn't help themselves by having their left back sent off after 5 minutes for, what I was told, stamping.

Gordon Pope scores the first of his two pens. Just.
They then proceeded to concede two first half penalties, both converted by Gordon Pope, though the Troon 'keeper did get a good hand on his first effort but the ball squirmed home.

In fact Troon were lucky not to be down to 9 men as the second penalty conceded was clearly for punching the ball away.

In fairness though Troon did keep trying to play their football but Auchinleck were simply too strong for them. Further goals in the second half from Keir Milliken, Mick McCann and Gordon Pope, completing his hat-trick, put the result beyond doubt.

However, Troon did score the goal of the game, a 25 yard dipping volley was a fantastic consolation.

Portland Park is a tidy little set up, the ground on the edge of town, hemmed in by the railway line and main road. It has a small covered terrace on one side of the pitch. There was also a bonus of, just a stones throw away up the road, the two Troon GBG listed pubs, Makay's and Bruce's Well, where a lovely pint of Cairngorm 'Wild Cat' was served.

All in all another great trip north and there still might be one more jaunt to come....


Auchinleck Talbot lift the Ayrshire Cup

Saturday 2nd June 2012
Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup Final 2012
Troon 1-5 Auchinleck Talbot
Attendance : 700 est

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