Dalbeattie Star’s difficult season ended on a high as they retained the regions top knockout competition, the Southern Counties Challenge Cup.
On a warm afternoon at a sun kissed Galabank, they ran out deserved 3-1 winners against a determined and well organised Mid Annandale side.
This was Star’s first match in two and a half weeks but if there were any worries of rustiness, they were soon dispelled as they began brightly, dominating possession and pushing forward at every opportunity.
First opening fell to Greig Thorburn, playing against his local side, who combined well down the left with Lewis Sloan but was well off target with a sliced shot.
The opener soon arrived in the 16th minute when Hugh Cameron pushed forward and his cross from wide found Sloan at the back post.
His first time lay off picked out Jamie McHarrie and he found the back of the net with a fine shot across the keeper, just inside the far post.
It was the ideal start for Star and delighted the boisterous travelling support.
The closest Mids came to an equaliser was four minutes from the break when Luke Hammonds shot was parried by Vinnie Parker and Harley looked favourite to reach the rebound first but a superb block by Liam Park averted the danger.
The players were perhaps given the hairdryer treatment during the interval as they came out of the blocks for the second half at full pelt.
Seven minutes in and they doubled their lead when after a good build up, Steven Degnan’s shot was blocked by Murray and Muir was the first to react firing home the rebound from close range.
The killer goal arrived in the 76th minute when Muir set up Sloan and though his shot from just outside the box was not the sweetest strike, it was accurate enough to sneak inside the far post and the game was all but over.
Mids did get themselves a consolation goal with just two minutes of the 90 left, when Dean Smith fired past Parker from outside the box with a well struck low drive.
So it was a jubilant group of players and supporters that quite rightly enjoyed every second of the post match celebration.