AFTER the opening round of Ardagh Cup fixtures, Muirkirk lead the way at the top of section four, albeit on goal difference.

Kirk beat Lugar Boswell Thistle 5-0 while Cumnock and Glenafton Athletic enjoyed wins over Kello Rovers and Auchinleck Talbot respectively.

We caught up with some of the team's managers after the dust had settled.

Craig McEwan on Glens 1-0 win against Talbot at Beechwood: “I think the boys probably just deserved it to be fair.

“Do you know what? There's no better start for us than coming and playing against a side who, in my eyes, are the benchmark in junior football. Auchinleck Talbot and the job that Tucker [Tommy Sloan] does is nothing short of magnificent but to come here again and put in a performance like that, and I've said to the players, I'm more pleased with the work rate than I was with the way we played.

“Everyone knows we can play and it's when people try to turn the game into an ugly game for us, can we handle it? Do you know what? We handled it again and the basis on what we done last year was clean sheets and being solid and we showed that again tonight.”

John McKeown on Cumnock's 3-1 home win over Kello: “I'm pleased with the comeback but I wasn't pleased with the overall performance. I feel we were a wee bit sloppy in terms of possession, final choice, final pass and obviously finishing. We had some great chances and it looked as if we were going to get punished.

“All credit to Kello, they came here and they played well. They set up nice and compact and made it difficult for us.

“It's probably a good thing for us to get a wee fright tonight because pre-season we've been very comfortable with our results and we haven't really had a wee scare or a wee fright.

“To get away with it, aye it's good now but it wasn't good at the time. It's maybe a wee wake-up call for some of them that they now know that maybe we're not at the level yet.

“Every bit of respect to Kello after tonight but we're going to play teams another wee level up, especially coming Saturday so we need to up it again.”

Geoff Paterson on Kello's 3-1 reverse at Townhead Park: “I thought the boys worked really hard unfortunately we just couldn't hang on. It was a wee bit of a soft penalty and then they got their tails up. We can only be expected to work hard in these games and make it close and we did.

“We gave them a wee fright so overall we're happy with our performance.

“We're looking to go into the Muirkirk and Lugar games looking to win them both because that's the games we're expected to win.

“We need to go and prove that we've got the quality to go and beat these sides and then the following week we need to compete against the big teams again.”

Tommy Sloan on Talbot's 1-0 defeat to Glens “I thought were no bad, quite decent and had the better chances certainly in the game to win it. We certainly didn't deserve what we got today but you've got to score goals.

“Overall I was pleased. We had a new set up and a few new guys in the team. We'll have a few changes on Saturday to freshen it up.

“Because we've brought in a number of players we are going to have a look at them in this tournament. I was pleased with that tonight if I'm being honest with you.

“I've no idea if it was a penalty. I saw the challenge but I never even asked Gordon. The referee's given it so it doesn't matter. It's not worth me arguing with the referee at this stage.

“I am looking forward to the game on Saturday. We'll try and freshen it up a bit and take it from there and see what other guys will get the opportunity to play in a good game like that was tonight.”


Saturday, August 5

  • Cumnock v Auchinleck Talbot
  • Kello Rovers v Lugar Boswell Thistle
  • Muirkirk v Glenafton Athletic