ALL roads will lead to Irvine on Sunday for the Ardagh Glass League Cup final between Auchinleck Talbot and Glenafton.

With Glens winning the league, Scottish Cup and Evening Times Cup and Talbot lifting the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup, the Ardagh was one that eluded both sides last season.

That is something that Talbot manager Tommy Sloan will have in his thoughts as he prepares his new-look side.

He said: “We are looking forward to the game. It is an early chance to lift silverware and hopefully we can play well enough to do that.

“We lost in last year’s final against Kilbirnie in a tight match, but not a good match to watch. It was one of three finals we played in and we lost two of them.

“The cup we won was the last trophy of the season and the final was played at Meadow Park as well, but it’s water under the bridge now.”

The Beechwood Park side travel to Meadow Park following a confidence-boosting 5-0 win at Arthurlie.

The gaffer added: “It was pleasing to come back after the Beith match, which we lost two weeks previously. It was a convincing win at Barrhead and I couldn’t have been happier at the final whistle.

“I am quite pleased with the progress of the new players we have brought in. Over the piece, apart from the Beith match, we have been a decent side.

“There has been quite a turnover, which happens at every club but hopefully we can put in a decent performance against Glenafton on Sunday.”

His thoughts were echoed by his opposite number at Loch Park, Craig McEwan, who will not underestimate Talbot.

“We are not getting caught up in any talk that we always do well against Talbot. Yes we have beat them the last couple of times but we will learn from that.

“People describing them as an ageing team are way off the mark, but we will aim to win the final by working harder than them.

“No disrespect to Talbot, as this is how we prepare against all opposition. We will do our homework on them as the past few results count for nothing.

“The first challenge I set to the guys was to get to a cup final. Lots of teams will be wishing they were Talbot or Glenafton on Sunday. I am quietly confident,” McEwan said.

While Talbot were coasting to victory at Dunterlie. the Loch Park side were drawing with Pollok, a match the Glens gaffer said they could have won.

He added: “We controlled the game until the last 10 minutes when we went down to nine men, but Brian McGarrity had a good save.

“I thought we were the better side overall but it is no disgrace dropping a point to a good Pollok side although it was frustrating that Beith also dropped points.

“This is going to be a very competitive league. Every team is capable of beating everyone else and there are no easy games.”

Ardagh Cup Final — Auchinleck Talbot v Glenafton at Meadow Park, Irvine, kick-off 2.30pm.