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Favourites secure Raydale Cup with late goal

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By Bob Geddes at Raydale Park
Favourites secure Raydale Cup with late goal

A LATE goal gave favourites Ayr United a narrow 1-0 win over Gretna 2008 in the final of the Raydale Cup at the weekend.

Big crowds attended the annual tournament hosted by the Lowland League side at Raydale Park on Saturday and Sunday.

The SPFL Division One side beat cup holders Annan Athletic 3-1 in the second game on Saturday to book their place in the final.

In the opener at midday on Saturday, the host side Gretna rattled in three goals in the first half before going on to beat Carlisle City 3-1.

A Gretna shot in the 5th minute looped over Ballantyne before hitting the bar but it was only a brief reprieve as an 8th-minute corner was headed in by ex-City man Brendan Longcake.

Then in the 16th minute Dan Smith added number two when he shot home from close in to give the hosts a 2-0 interval lead.

In the 64th minute, it was 3-0 as Longcake’s fine run was followed by a rasping shot past Ballantyne but City pulled a goal back in the 75th minute with a fine strike from Jamie Heath that gave the keeper no chance.

Later on Saturday, Ayr booked their place in the final with a convincing win over the cup holders.

Annan started strongly but it was the Honest Men who went ahead against the run of play in the 15th minute when a centre forward trialist slotted the ball home.

Then two minutes before the interval Ayr went two up when Mike Donald headed home at the back post.

Weatherson goal

Annan again started strongly and Peter Weatherson brought them back into the game when he fired low into the net from 12 yards.

The Division One side sealed the match with 11 minutes left when Ryan Nesbit hit number three.

In the final on Sunday afternoon, it was only a goal from Ryan Gilmour at separated Ayr and Gretna 2008 who fought a fine defensive battle.

Ayr got a late goal after squandering a series of second half chances combined with some good goalkeeping by Gretna`s new signing, keeper Vinnie Parker.

He kept his side in the game in the 60th minute with a diving save from Ryan Nesbit and then ten minuets later Gerry McLauchlan shot past from 12 yards before Gilmour had a shot parried on to the upright by keeper Parker and then cleared.

Then in the 75th minute a mistake by the home defence allowed Gilmour to go clear and he fired a low shot past the helpless Parker for what proved to be the winner.

Earlier in the day three second half goals gave Annan Athletic a 3-0 win over Carlisle City to book third spot in the tournament.

Kevin Watt fired in a low shot in the 55th minute and a trialist headed number two in the 75th minute before Nigerian Smart Osadolor got the third a minute from time.


SPORTSDESK: 01461-202417

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