TALBOT warmed up for Saturday’s derby with a five star win away to Hurlford United.

Runaway leaders Hurlford were blown out the water as goals from Gareth Armstrong, Stephen Wilson, Gordon Pope and a brace from Graham Wilson saw Talbot win 5-0 at Blair Park.

The win – Talbot’s fifth in a row and 10th match unbeaten – was enough to propel the Beechwood Park side above Saturday’s opponents Cumnock in the league table.

They are now in fifth place, 15 points behind leaders Hurlford but with six games in hand.

Boss Tommy Sloan wasn’t drawn on any title talk but still understood his side had to win to give themselves a fighting chance.

Sloan told the Chronicle: “It was a good win for us. It was a good performance, we started the match really well and continued that through the game. I thought it was a well deserved win.

“It was a game we had to win to keep ourselves in touch. We’ve loads of games in hand and that goes against you later in the season.”

Paul Burns’ baptism of fire as Cumnock manager continues on Saturday as he follows up a 3-0 defeat at home to rivals Glenafton Athletic with the trip to Beechwood Park.

Nock have lost each of their last four matches but Sloan isn’t taking three points for granted.

He added: “They are always tough matches against Cumnock. They have had changes recently with Paul [Burns] moving into management.

“We’ll treat it as we always do because they are always tough matches.

“It’s all set up, we’re in good form and they aren’t but if it worked like that we’d all be rich men. We’ll need to be at it to get the three points.

“Ross Harvey is out, Mark Shankland is available again and Jamie Glasgow is also available.”