Star in eleventh heaven

Four out of the six scheduled South of Scotland League matches survived the wet weather and flooded pitches with league leaders and present champions Dalbeattie Star beating Nithsdale Wanderers 3-1.

The win at Islecroft was their 11th league victory out of 11 so far this season. Prolific goal scorer Scott Milligan opened the scoring in the 25th minute to give Star a slender lead that they took into the break. Six minutes after the restart a Hugh Cameron 18-yarder found the net to double the advantage and player manager John McBeth secured the points 14 minutes from time, although Rory Kirkpatrick scored a consolation goal for the Sanquhar side.

Creetown held a surprise one-goal lead through Stephen Campbell at St Mary’s Park in their match against St Cuthbert Wanderers but a terrific second-half fightback blew the Castle Cary Park team aside with the home outfit finding the net no fewer than eight times.

Craig Rudd scored the first of a hat-trick in the first minute after the restart with Ian Millar adding number two in the 57th minute. Striker Rudd hit again in the 69th minute, with Justin Nicol finding the net two minutes later as Saints’ rout continued. Rudd completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute as the Kirkcudbright side went nap.

A Raymond Gordon free kick made it six five minutes from time and the same player added another two minutes later. Ian Cairney scored goal number eight on the final whistle as the home side ran out easy winners after Creetown had crumbled following a great first-half display.

Threave Rovers were made to fight all the way to record a 3-1 victory over a fighing Newton Stewart side at Meadow Park with ex-Stranraer manager Keith Knox taking over the reins for his first game in charge although he had been in the dug-out the previous week finding his feet at Meadow Park.

The first goal came 10 minutes before the interval when a Scott Wilby penalty was saved by keeper Harry Fidler but the Threave player was the first to react to the rebound to put his side ahead. The Castle Douglas side held this slender lead into the break, with Sean Milligan adding number two eight minutes into the second half when he latched onto a through ball to beat the keeper from inside the penalty box.

With the visitors keeping Threave keeper Vinnie Parker working with some superb saves, Jamie Struthers sent in a curler from 25 yards on the hour mark to give the home side a convincing lead. Central defender Jason Gallacher scored a consolation for the visitors with a header from a corner kick 10 minutes later followed by a Jonathon Hill effort finding the upright as Newton tried to fight their way back into the contest but it was all too little and much too late and Threave won the three points to keep up their challenge at the top.

With Maryfield unplayable, the match between Heston Rovers and Wigtown and Bladnoch was switched to Trammondford Park with the home side also winning 3-1, with Jamie McHarrie recording a hat-trick.

McHarrie struck first after 10 minutes when he scored following a corner but the visitors drew level when Jonathon Boyd went on a fine solo run 15 minutes later to end the move by slipping the ball under the advancing Wigtown keeper. With 31 minutes played, McHarrie struck again when he ran 30 yards to latch onto a long ball to beat keeper Keiron McCulloch to give the home side a one-goal advantage at half-time.

With fourteen 14 left to play, McHarrie secured his hat-trick and the three points from six yards with an opportunist goal. Heston manager Raymond Boyd said after the match: “Today we lost to the better team. Wigtown were stronger in the air and competed for every ball. We found it difficult to play on the sticky surface but improved in the second half but to no avail.”

The matches between Crichton and Mid-Annandale ad Fleet Star and Abbey Vale wer both called off due to the adverse weather conditions leaving the pitches at Hospital Park and Garries Park, Gatehouse, unplayable.

Results from Saturday, November 24.

South of Scotland League

Crichton v Mid-Annandale – Match postponed

Dalbeattie Star 3 Nithsdale Wanderers 1

Fleet Star v Abbey Vale – Match postponed

Heston Rovers 1 Wigtown and Bladnoch 3

St Cuthbert Wanderers 8 Creetown 1

Threave Rovers 3 Newton Stewart 1