South West Region (174)
Crosshouse BC vs Bonnyton Thistle U13
In the crowded U13’s League of the West of Scotland Youth Leagues, games to watch are quite difficult to come across. Thankfully, we have a match with proper title ramifications to look at this weekend.
Crosshouse currently sit in second place, just two points off of league leaders Cumnock Juniors. Failure to win this weekend could result in Crosshouse falling further behind as it is expected that Cumnock will beat their opponents Dreghorn Stars this weekend.
Bonnyton Thistle have some room to maneuver, but any dropped points here could prove costly come the end of the season. Thistle sit fourth, nine points behind Juniors with three games in hand over the leaders.
Bonnyton remain undefeated this season, with a 100% record to maintain, while Crosshouse have only lost one game all season at Cumnock Juniors.
Glenburn MW vs Auchinleck Talbot U14
These two have a lot of work to do to catch up with runaway leaders Tass Thistle, so a win this weekend is extremely important to both teams.
Glenburn have the most ground to make up. They currently find themselves nine points adrift of Tass having played the same number of games and with Thistle looking likely to win their game against bottom side Hurlford United, dropped points would surely have a massive impact on their title ambitions.
Auchinleck Talbot occupy second place and also have to make up nine points on the league leaders, but have the benefit of holding two games in hand. Wins in those spare games could put more pressure on Tass, but only if they manage to get the job done this weekend.
There is still plenty of life left in the B League. Keep your eyes peeled.
Crosshouse BC vs KSC Kilwinning Rangers Blue U16
You won’t find many more compelling title races across the country than the race for the WOSYFL Under 16’s League. Just four points separate the top five from each other, and two of those teams face off this weekend.
Crosshouse share top spot with Caledonian and have two games in hand over their rivals. They also remain unbeaten in the league this season, keeping up the pressure on those around them.
Kilwinning Rangers sit three points behind them, also holding two games in hand over Caledonian at the top, having lost just one game in the league to fellow contenders Tass Thistle.
This will be the first time the two have met each other in league competition, making this an extremely hard one to call. The benefit for the neutral is that it has all the ingredients to be one of the ties of the week around the country. This writer is keen to see how it all plays out.
Heston Rovers vs Lochar Thistle U14
Moving further south towards the Dumfries and Galloway leagues, the Bobby Kerr U14’s League is still very much up for grabs. Both teams hold one game in hand over first place and are neck and neck heading into their clash this weekend.
The two have yet to meet in the league, but a win for either would very much keep them in the title fight. Each of them have only lost two games each this season.
It is very rare that you see two teams with the exact same records face each other this late into the season, but that is exactly what we have in store this weekend. It will be interesting to see how the two approach this game.
Galloway Thistle vs Mid Annandale U16
The top two in the league face each other in the Bobby Kerr 16’s League this weekend in what is sure to be an entertaining match between two teams who will surely be motivated for the match.
Galloway Thistle occupy top spot going into the game and hold a three point advantage over their opponents this weekend. Thistle have only lost one game so far this season, a surprisingly convincing defeat at the hands of Annan Athletic.
Mid Annandale have played one game less than Galloway and a win would put them on exactly even footing with their opponents. Like Thistle, they have only lost one game this season, a narrow defeat to Lochar Thistle.
Expect a high quality match between two great sides.
Crosshouse BC took full advantage of their game in hand to close the gap on WOSYFL U13s league leaders Cumnock Juniors. A convincing 8-0 win away to Irvine Meadow AC saw them close the gap to just five points having played 13 games each.
Coylton remain winless at the bottom of the league having suffered a big defeat to a Valspar side pushing towards the top end of the league.
Cumnock Juniors were in cup action this weekend and booked their place in the semi-finals of the Presidents Cup with a 3-1 win over a motivated KSC Kilwinning Rangers side. Auchinleck Talbot, Drongan United and Troon Thistle were able to book their place in semi finals of the Charles Hoggitt Senior Memorial Cup with wins over Caledonian United, Dreghorn Stars and Irvine Meadow respectively.
Dreghorn Moorfield extended their lead at the top of the A League with a convincing 9-1 win over Nith Valley United. KCFC Blasties 1-1 draw with Bellfield Royals meant that Dreghorn were able to move seven points clear. Caledonian YFC were able to make up ground with a 7-2 win over Largs Colts.
In the big game in the B League, Tass Thistle were able to secure a massive win to extend their lead at the top to seven points. The 6-2 win over their nearest rivals Glenburn MW could prove vital in the title race this season.
At the other end of the table Woodwynd Wolves were able to pick up only their second win of the league season with a 2-1 win over Hurlford United.
Glenburn MW closed the gap at the top of the U15s League to five points as they secured a narrow victory over Kilwinning Rangers Whites. League leaders Crosshouse BC could only manage a draw against Galston YFC.
And at the bottom of the table Irvine Meadow secured their first league win of the season as they beat fellow strugglers Dean Thistle 3-0. Thistle are still without a win in the league this season.
Caledonian kept their lead at the top of the U16s league with a 6-0 win over Dean Colts.
Galston YFC’s 8-0 victory over KSC Kilwinning Rangers Whites kept them within three points of the league leaders. Leaders Caledonian have played one game more than their rivals.
Tass Thistle also closed the gap at the top to four points with their emphatic 9-1 win over Townhead United.
Rowallan used the opportunity of their nearest rivals, Glentyan Thistle, not playing to extend their lead at the top of the table to eight points. Their 8-2 win over Hurlford was emphatic and extended the lead having played one game more.
Irvine United’s win over Bonnyton Thistle extended their lead at the top of the U19s League to nine points. United have played two games more than most of their title rivals.
One of those rivals, Valspar FC moved to within nine points of United with a thrilling 4-3 win over KSC Kilwinning Rangers. With two games in hand over the leaders they are still very much in the title race.
The founder of Ayr-based football club Valspar FC, Jim Gourlay, received his well-deserved place on the Queen's honours list this year. Jim now joins the ranks of Scottish Football legends who have also received this accolade such as Ally Mcoist, Gordon Strachan, and Sir Alex Ferguson.
The club was founded in 1976 by Jim who had no prior experience, just a love for the game and a desire to give young men in his own town of Ayr an outlet and purpose.From 1976 to 2019 Valspar teams have travelled to countries as far and wide as Canada, America, Norway, Sweden and many others. In the early 1990s Jim took a team that won the Austria cup having previously won the Scottish cup.
Jim has spent his career as both chairman and president of the club, as well as scouting for teams like Liverpool and Ayr United. During his tenure at Liverpool Football Club, Jim was responsible for the scouting of 1988 FWA Player of the Year Steve Nicol. As well as this, he was involved in the early recruitment of John Barnes and Emile Heskey.
Perhaps his biggest recent achievement was, whilst scouting for Ayr United, he spotted a young left sided player by the name of Andy Robertson, who you may remember lifting the Champions League trophy in June.
Jim Gourlay’s recognition comes well earned, his role within Scottish Football has been pivotal for years and something for everyone with a passion for football to look up to.
(Bonnyton Thistle 2002s, who recently won the Central Ayrshire Youth FA David McNaught Cup)
Bonnyton Thistle FC from Kilmarnock will have a senior team on the field next season, after the club’s application to join the South of Scotland Football League was approved.
The move will also see the Ayrshire club set up an Under 20s team, which will play in the Scottish Lowland League Under 20s Development League, which kicks off in late July.
The club, which has been a regular fixture in Scottish Youth FA Cup finals in recent years, are now officially part of the SFA pyramid system for Scottish football, with the South of Scotland League making up the sixth tier. Promotion from there leads to the Lowland League, which in turn provides the possibility of football in SPFL League Two.
The senior side will be managed by former Kilmarnock player Alan Robertson, who also took the Under 20s side at the club and was in charge of its academy. His assistant will be ex-Killie striker and youth coach Paul Wright.
Current Bonnyton coaches Ian Higgins and Neil Wilson will head up the Under20s side along with Graeme Neil, who joins the club after stints with Annbank Juniors and Ayr United. Higgins and Wilson have not only been involved in the club’s recent cup successes but were pivotal in securing a new 3G facility for the club, in the Townholm area of Kilmarnock, which allows them to fill the league’s contractual obligations for the season ahead.
Teams that have followed a similar path from youth to senior football include Cumbernauld Colts and East Kilbride FC, the latter of whom played Celtic in the Scottish Cup in February this year.
It takes a lot of qualities and characteristics to get through the entire league season without losing a single match; determination, consistency, team spirit and a never-say-die attitude, and those traits are something AC Irvine Under 14s have displayed in abundance throughout the 2015/16 season.
Seeing off their nearest challengers Vaspar FC by 11 points and Larg Colts by 14 points, Irvine stormed their way to the Central Ayrshire League title, scoring 161 goals along the way, with 25 of those strikes coming from main man Blair Craig.
However, halfway through the season and cruising, Irvine faced a huge dilemma. When Kilmarnock FC offered Craig the chance to go pro youth it was an opportunity he was never going to turn down. Losing their top scorer could have proved to be such a large bow in their title hopes. However, they had Jonny Irvine to step in and fill his boots.
Half a season and 30 goals later, Irvine finished as the team’s top scorer after missing the opening few matches of the season.
One characteristic which defines an unbeaten team is the willingness to fight to the end and refusal to accept defeat. This is perhaps the reason behind Irvine’s successes, with late goals coming against both Largs and Rosebank to keep the run going being particular highlights.
One moment in the season which defined this team of warriors was in late February, 2-0 down against Galston YFC, many teams would have given up and accepted that it wasn’t to be their day. Irvine are not one of those teams. They fought back, and hit Galston with four goals to run out 4-2 winners, preserving their unbeaten record from an unlikely position. This result highlighted the ability that Irvine possess, with other high points such as their convincing wins against Galston and Glenburn, displaying the ruthlessness and goals within the side. Ultimately, their tendency to find the back of the net with almost ease was the key component in their fantastic invincible season.
One of the main reasons that Irvine have been so successful is their results against fellow title challengers, picking up all 12 points available against Vaspar and Larg Colts, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Despite the points gap, manager Chris Carruthers told Youth Football Scotland that the title race was a lot tougher than people may have thought. He said: “The league was a lot closer than it looked in my opinion as our boys were starting to feel the pressure of clinging on to our unbeaten record. With that in mind, we knew our last two games were against Valspar, who finished 2nd and Largs Colts, who finished 3rd.”
He added: “I said earlier in the season that it looked like everyone in CAYFA league could take points off one another and it certainly proved to be the case.”
Congratulations to AC Irvine Under 14s, unbeaten Central Ayrshire league champions for 2015/16!