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Football: WE'VE BEEN TO HILL AND BACK; Boss Ron hails side as win run hits eight.

Byline: By Kevin McGoldrick

MARYHILL 2

BELLSHILL 0

RONNIE LOWRIE saluted his players after Maryhill made it eight wins on the bounce.

The Lochburn Park side had a disappointing start to the campaign but now sit comfortably in mid-table in the Super League top flight and face Arthurlie in the West of Scotland Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

Lowrie said: "Considering our inconsistency in the first part of the season the players have to be complimented on the way they have turned it around.

"We've only lost twice since the turn of the year and there's a great team spirit among the boys.

"I believe lack of confidence was partly to blame when we were going through a tough spell, and now that has improved we've been winning.

"I thought we totally dominated Bellshill and the whole team defended well with our attackers closing people down.

"Our season has totally turned around and now we have a semi-final to look forward to. After beating Bellshill we will go into it looking to continue our run.

"My only disappointment is that Brian Dingwall didn't get on the score sheet. He has scored in his last nine games and we all wanted him to continue that streak."

Bellshill had an early chance when Robert Coulter got on the end of a John Thomson corner but his header went the wrong side of the post.

Maryhill opened the scoring courtesy of a Craig Rowan howler.

The Bellshill keeper let a harmless Kevin Miller strike slip through his legs, leaving Joe Andrews the simplest of tasks in rolling the ball into an empty net. Maryhill went on to have most of the possession and Eddie McGuinness was unlucky with a header that flew inches over.

Loud claims for a penalty were turned down after Dingwall was put in the clear before being up-ended by Stephen Marshall.

Then Paddy Flannery turned well in the box but keeper Scott Black saved the former Dumbarton striker's effort. Midway through the second half Maryhill added to their lead with a superb strike from David Williams.

He controlled a Bellshill clearance on his chest before firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 25 yards.

With minutes remaining Dingwall thought he had continued his scoring run.

He connected with Gino Invincibile's cross only to see his volley cannon off the upright. Bellshill boss John McCormack said: "We never got out of the starting blocks. I thought our first-half display was disappointing.

"The first goal was a mistake by our keeper but in his defence we had plenty of chances to clear and didn't.

"It was a game we thought we could win and although our performances have picked up of late this sets us back a bit."

RESULTS

Whyte and MacKay Cup Semi-Final - Hurlford 0, Glenafton 1.

Stagecoach Super League Premier - Cumnock 2, Arthurlie 0' Maryhill 2, Bellshill 0' Pollok 2, Larkhall 0' Shotts1, Johnstone Burgh 0.

Super League First Division - Dunipace 1, Beith 1' Rob Roy 2. Troon 3' Largs 0. Neilston 3' Lugar 1, Vale of Clyde 0' Maybole 1, Petershill 3.

Stagecoach Ayrshire League - Girvan 5, Darvel 3' Irvine Meadow 2, Irvine Vics 1' Kilbirnie 4, Craigmark 0' Muirkirk 0, Ardeer 4' Saltcoats 0, Dalry 3.

Stagecoach Central League First Division - Clydebank 2, Vale of Leven 1' Lesmahagow 1, East Kilbride 2' Glencairn 0, Lanark 1' St Anthony's1, Thorniewood 2' Yoker 4, Shettleston 1.

Central League Second Division - Ashfield 1, Perthshire 1' Port Glasgow 2, Forth 2' Royal Albert 0, Blantyre Vics 2' Wishaw 2, Stonehouse 3.

East Of Scotland second round - Stoneyburn 2, Dunbar Utd 2 (Dunbar won 4-2 on pens).

Whyte and Mackay East Super League - Bathgate 2, Dundee North End 0' Bo'ness 2, Whitburn 1' Bonnyrigg 3, Glenrothes 3.

Lothian League First Division - Armadale 1, Fauldhouse 1' Camelon 3, Penicuik 2' Musselburgh 2, Newtongrange 1' Pumpher-ston 0, Edinburgh 1' West Calder 1, Sauchie 3.

Lothian League Second Division - Harthill 2, Haddington 0' Dalkeith 1, Broxburn 2.

Kingdom Kegs Cup quarter-final - St Andrew's Utd 7, Kirkcaldy YM 1.

Whyte and MacKay Fife League - Ballingry Rovers 1, Lochore Welfare 3' Cross-gates 3, Oakley Utd 2' Kelty Hearts 5, Newburgh 0' Steelend Vics 1, Dundonald Bluebell 1' Thornton Hibs 0, Rosyth Recreation 6.

Challenge Cup first round - Montrose Roselea 1, Kinnoull 2' Jeanfield 2, Arbroath SC 1' Dundee Violet 1, Forfar WE 1 (Violet won 4-3 on pens)' Carnoustie 6, Kirrie 0.

Findlay and Co Cup first round - Lochee Utd 2, Bankfoot 0.

Whyte and MacKay Tayside Premier League - Downfield 0, Scone 3' Coupar Angus 2, East Craigie 0.

Whyte and MacKay Tayside First Division - Forfar Albion 0, Blair 3' Arbroath Vics 2, Brechin Vics 1.

CAPTION(S):

THAT WILL DO IT: David Williams gets lift from Maryhill team-mates after sealing win with second goal
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 24, 2006
Words:799
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