Auchinleck 1 Linlithgow 0: Cup dream is over for Rose

Rose couldn't find a way past Talbot keeper Andrew Leishman (pic courtesy of Official Talbot Photographer Paul Flynn)
Rose couldn't find a way past Talbot keeper Andrew Leishman (pic courtesy of Official Talbot Photographer Paul Flynn)

Linlithgow Rose's hopes of a fifth Scottish Junior Cup triumph were ended by Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday.

After a goalless stalemate in the first leg at Prestonfield, the return leg in Ayrshire was just as tight with little between the teams

Again, much of the match was played in midfield but there were a few more opportunities for the teams in front of goal.

Talbot's Graham Wilson sent a fine header narrowly over, while at the other end Tommy Coyne forced a good low save from keeper Andrew Leishman after a lovely Rose move.

Keir Milliken's shot on the turn went over the Rose bar before the goal which settled the tie arrived in the 37th minute.

A Rose move broke down at the edge of the Talbot box when they gave the ball away and the home side countered quickly and Bryan Young, appearing to be just trying to help the ball into the Rose box, saw the ball float into the net off the inside of the far post beyond the reach of keeper Darren Hill.

Rose should have equalised when Kevin Kelbie's clever flick found Coyne in space and he slipped the ball past the advancing Leishman but it struck the post before being cleared.

After the break a loose pass from Gary Thom presented Wilson with a chance to extend the home side's lead, but he hit the bar with Hill stranded.

Blair Batchelor forced two saves from Leishman and Coyne's overhead kick went wide as Rose pushed for an equaliser, but they just couldn't find a way way through Talbot's strong defence in which keeper Leishman was outstanding.

The visitors threw Colin Leiper forward for the final few minutes and it almost paid off, but Leiper's fine left foot shot from the edge of the area was brilliantly saved one handed by the big keeper.

Despite a great effort from Rose it's record winners Talbot who move on to play Ayrshire rivals Glenafton in the final.