Kirkintilloch Rob Roy into West final after stunning win at Auchinleck Talbot

Rob Roy won an epic West of Scotland Cup semi-final at Auchinleck Talbot
Rob Roy won an epic West of Scotland Cup semi-final at Auchinleck Talbot

Rob Roy reached their first West of Scotland Cup final since 2010 with a stunning semi-final win at Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday.

The Kirkintilloch side’s thrilling 4-3 triumph at Talbot’s Beechwood Park booked a final with Beith on June 8 - and ended the Ayrshire giants’ hopes of a trophy clean sweep.

Rabs boss Stewart Maxwell made six changes to the team beaten in midweek at Clydebank and the initial phases reflected a settling in period for the away team.

Talbot took advantage of this and stormed in to an eighth minute lead when Gareth Armstrong’s effort at the back post was deflected off Scott Forrester and went beyond keeper John Hutchison.

Rabs responded and hit back with an Alex Cassells’ hook shot that narrowly cleared the Talbot crossbar.

At the other end in the 19th minute Martin McBride did well to clear a dangerous Jamie Glasgow corner before Talbot’s keeper Andrew Leishman showed a clean pair of hands to take a high corner kick from Lee Gallacher.

However a minute later the Roy grabbed the equaliser. Clever play on the left released Cassells and he smartly lobbed the ball beyond Leishman to score his first goal for Rob Roy.

Gallacher’s header from a Cameron Clark cross failed to trouble Leishman as the Rabs gained more confidence. However there was a scare in the 27th minute when Forrester’s pass back was spilled for a corner by Hutchison.

Despite all their good work the Roy went in to the interval a goal down as, in the 41st minute, Jack McDowell was sent clear on goal to slot the ball beyond Hutchison.

Rabs started the second half on the attack with Michael Daly sending his header wide from an accurate Gallacher cross.

The match then developed in to an exciting cup-tie as Clark made a goal line clearance before Joe Slattery’s deflected effort was taken low by Leishman.

Rabs then again brought the game to parity when in the 55th minute Slattery latched on to a Cassells’ cross to give Leishman no chance from eight yards.

In the 67th minute Graham Wilson had the ball in the Rabs’ net but was flagged correctly for offside.

However three minutes later a clever passing movement from the Roy resulted in McBride latching on to Gallacher’s through ball and he drove the ball past Leishman to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the match.

Nevertheless Talbot were not disheartened and equalised in the 80th minute when substitute Calvin Kemp connected sweetly with a half volley to blast the ball beyond Hutchison.

To their credit Rob Roy never gave up and Gallacher’s free kick was saved on his goal line by Leishman before they stunned the home support in the 87th minute by snatching their fourth goal of the game. After Gavin Mackie was fouled on the right, Gallacher’s low free kick was touched in to the net by substitute Gary Carroll.

In the remaining minutes Talbot hit the woodwork and then saw a goal bound effort blocked but the Rabs’ defence held firm to deny Auchinleck’s valiant attempts to equalise.