The reigning holders bowed of this year’s competition as the visitors marched on to the semis with this hard fought but deserved win. It was a match that really only sprang to life in a five goal second half, as both sides tried to counter the swirling elements as well as each other.
The weather really wasn’t suited to the high ball, and this is perhaps how the match was eventually won. Crosshouse are used to playing football on the deck but their opponents were quick to unsettle them and force the long speculative ball, playing right into their hands. The holders weren’t at their best, and it was a day where they had to be on their A game against quick and skilful opponents.
In the tight goalless first half, both sides had cancelled each other out in a congested midfield. Neither side was getting time on the ball, with the ball spending a lot of time in the air.
Both sides looked more dangerous when they got the ball wide. Christopher Law gave Crosshouse’s some early promise with his tricky runs and even got into the box to force a first save from Pierce Finnie on 10 minutes.
At the other end Robbie Brown and Chritopher McLeod were trying to build the play and supply the ammo for Callum Holland up front. Rossvale began to string some passes together, and they got some joy from the high ball too. Rob Fowler's floated free kick held up in the wind and almost caught out the home defence, with Keir Thomson almost taking advantage but heading wide on 24 minutes.
At the other end Crosshouse looked for a response and were pressing in midfield to try and carve out their own opportunities. They were denied by a fine double stop on 28 minutes, as Finnie saved first from Smith's powerful free kick, and then Bailey McClure's rebound to keep the sides level.
For all Crosshouse's efforts though, Rossvale continued to build momentum, particularly when getting the ball wide and encouraging their full backs to get forward. Ryan Martin was linking up well with Holland down the right, with the latter setting up Brown with a header inside the box on 32 minutes, but he couldn’t test Jamie Wilson in the home goal.
There wasn’t much to choose between the sides as half time approached. The holders always looked more lively when they could get Smith on the ball, and he almost had Law thorough on goal, but Finnie was quick rush out and block, with the referee waving away calls for a penalty.