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Football: LATE STRIKE IS SO DUFF TO TAKE; TROON .......4 ARTHURLIE ......3.

Byline: Mick HYDES reports

TROON upset the form book to claim their first West of Scotland Cup success in a thrilling final at Newlandsfield.

In a match full of twists it needed a Jim Duffy goal deep into injury time to take the Whyte and Mackay sponsored cup to the seaside town.

After 52 minutes Troon had looked home and dry with goals by Chris Strain, Tony McCormick and Mick Glancy being answered only by one from Robert Downs.

But then Downs grabbed his second and Charlie Hobbs set up the dramatic finish.

Delighted Troon caretaker gaffer Mark Shanks said: 'I'm really pleased for the players and credit should also go to the former management team for getting us into this situation.

'We expected Arthurlie to come back at us even when we went 3-1 ahead but to win the match with such a well-worked late goal was special.'

Arthurlie came out of the blocks and could have taken the lead in the first minute when Mark McShane blasted over from a Zander Ryan corner.

From another Ryan corner Downs headed over then Martin McGarvey was found in space in the box by Ryan - but the ball cannoned off his heels. Troon found their way into the match and Alan McTurk's free kick was pushed out by Kris Robertson in 15 minutes.

At the other end Adam Strain was alert in the Troon goal to keep out Gary Wilson's rasping drive.

Arthurlie had a scare on the half-hour when Gareth Turner released Chris Strain but with only Robertson to beat he screwed his shot wide.

But Strain made amends to give Troon the lead five minutes later. McTurk hit a post after a solo run and the ball was never cleared properly, allowing Gareth Turner to float it back into the box for Strain to nick in and head home.

McCormick almost doubled Troon's lead moments later with a speculative shot that dipped just over the bar.

In 41 minutes it was 1-1. McGarvey set up Downs with the Troon defence claiming offside and the hitman netted easily.

But Troon still had time to lead by the break, McCormick heading home from a corner after Stephen Watson had flicked the ball on The second half began at a blistering pace with chances at either end.

In 52 minutes it was 3-1 when Glancy slotted the ball home after good work from Duffy and at that stage Arthurlie looked down and out.

But the Barrhead men added both Bonnar McKenzie and Hobbs to their attack and in 63 minutes they were back in the game after a low McKenzie corner was scrambled in by Downs.

Troon sub Steve Elliott was also making an impact and was denied by Robertson twice inside a minute.

With 20 minutes to go it was all square again thanks to Hobbs keeping up his super sub tag. He managed to scramble in a Downs pass after using his pace.

Downs then missed two good headed chances to seal the game for Arthurlie after Ryan and McKenzie crosses.

With the clock running down and the sides beginning to ponder over the potential penalty takers Troon won the match in spectacular fashion when Duffy ran onto a through ball from McTurk and slotted it past Robertson

CAPTION(S):

Over the Troon: Heroes Alan McTurk, Tony McCormick, Jim Duffy and Chris Strain
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 15, 2005
Words:563
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