Linlithgow Rose boss Davie McGlynn has conceded the Superleague title following Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Bonnyrigg Rose at Prestonfield.
Linlithgow needed to win the battle of the Roses to have any realistic chance of overhauling long-time leaders Bonnyrigg.
But despite being 2-0 behind and down to 10 men, Bonnyrigg showed their champion qualities as they battled back to snatch a point with the last touch of the game four minutes into stoppage time.
The result leaves Linlithgow still 10 points behind their rivals, with a game in hand but with just six matches left.
McGlynn admitted: “It’s not going to happen now. To be honest it was always going to be a big ask.
“It was disappointing to lose the goal so late on. We didn’t even have time to kick off again.
“But to be honest we didn’t perform as well as we can. Credit to Bonnyrigg, they came and were in our faces from the start and showed why they are going to be the champions.
“We went in at half-time 1-0 up against the run of play but we controlled the second half, apart from the last 15 minutes.
“We got the second and their keeper made a great save to stop us going 3-0 up. If that goes in it’s a different match.
“But we’re still unbeaten at home. Last season the team could hardly win a match at home.
“I always said it would take time for us to gel and to get playing the way I want us to but we’re getting there.”
Rose’s priority now is to focus on the cups and they face a quick rematch with local rivals Bo’ness - whom they beat 3-0 on Saturday - when they travel to Newtown Park for an East of Scotland Cup last 16 tie.
That’s followed by a home tie with Kennoway Star Hearts in the Fife & Lothians Cup three days later and - with cup commitments in mind - McGlynn admitted he’s likely to shuffle the pack in terms of selection for Saturday’s league match at Sauchie.
Supporters should note the bus to Sauchie on Saturday will leave the social club at 1.15pm.