Rob Roy’s bid to land the West Super League title for the first time was killed off by Glenafton in their title decider at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.
Rabs’ failure to maintain their first half impressive performance into the second period - and their failure to take their chances when on top - was punished as two second-half strikes gave Glenafton the points.
And their win, coupled with Auchinleck Talbot’s defeat at the hands of Beith, secured the championship for the Ayrshire side and render academic this Saturday’s return clash between the sides.
In front of Guy’s Meadow largest crowd of the season it was Stewart Maxwell’s side who had the best of the early chances.
Kevin Green’s header from a Lee Gallacher corner fell to Kevin Watt who sent his hurried shot over the bar.
Rabs kept up the pressure on the Glens defence with Watt making a clever turn and pass to Willie Sawyers only for the striker to have his shot blocked. Minutes later Watt headed over the bar.
Glenafton’s first real chance came on the 15 minute mark with Chris Dallas failing to make proper contact with the ball on the slippery conditions.
Back came Rabs and when Gallacher sent a corner into the visitors’ penalty box it was met by Danny Boyle who saw his shot unluckily deflected over the bar for a corner kick.
Rabs remained in the driving seat Rabs and came close on a number of occasions but were unable to add the finishing touches to smart outfield play.
In the latter stages of the first half Glens began to gain a foothold. David Gray sent a couple of 20-yard free-kicks past Michael McKinven’s post but Rabs central defensive pairing of Kevin Green and Danny Boyle stood firm.
The first opportunity of the second half fell to Rabs with Shaun Fraser sending a neat Jordan McGuire lay off over the bar from 18 yards.
But with Gray controlling matters in midfield the Ayrshire side now looked the more likely to open the scoring and it came in the 56th minute.
Kyle McAusland launched a long cross into the Rabs penalty box for Dallas to rise and head the ball past McKinven, despite valiant efforts from the Rabs keeper to keep the ball out.
Four minutes later Dallas hit the base of the Rabs post then in the 66th minute Glens added a second when Michael McCann headed the ball down for Dallas to run in on goal before sending a powerful shot into the corner of the net.
As the scorer celebrated with the large Glenafton support he was shown a yellow card by referee Doherty for removing his shirt.
Any hopes of a Rabs comeback were dashed in the 73th minute when Sawyers header hit the net only to be ruled offside.
To their credit Rabs never gave up with Glens keeper Brian McGarrity saving substitute Gavin Mackie’s free kick then Sawyers shot from distance but lacked power.
But at the final whistle news that Beith had defeated Auchinleck Talbot 3-0 and there were joyous scenes among the Athletic following.
But for Rob Roy the dream was over.