The SFA Regional Cup (South) quarter-finals took place last Saturday and involved the three Stewartry teams.
All three had tough cup- ies ahead of them, with Threave Rovers travelling to the capital to take on East of Scotland Premier League leaders Spartans.
And even allowing for a second-half comeback, the Castle Douglas side went down 3-2.
The Edinburgh team, who have only lost one league match this season so far, were three goals to the good before the half-time break. Two goals from Kevin Motion and a single from John Ferguson gave the Edinburgh side a comfortable lead but a minute after the restart Colin Kay gave Threave some hope and, when Sam Warren added a second in the 70th minute, things were looking brighter for the visitors.
However, they were playing with 10 men after defender Arnault Bembo was red-carded on his debut on the hour mark. It was, therefore, all too much and too late for Threave and they were unable to pull another goal back and victory went to Spartans who now play fellow East of Scotland Premier League side Whitehill Welfare in the semi-finals.
South of Scotland league leaders Dalbeattie Star had better luck, though, when they lined up against present cup holders, Stirling University, at Islecroft.
Star defeated the visitors 1-0. The university side dominated the first half but the Star defence stood firm and the teams went in at the break all square and goalless. The home side came out in the second half, however, and began to run the show but it took them five minutes from time to find a winner when substitute and ex-Annan Athletic player Graeme Bell came off the bench to score the vital goal to send the Dalbeattie side through to the semi-finals where they now meet Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale on Saturday, March 9.
Star’s semi-final opponents, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, who sit in sixth place in the East of Scotland Premier League, have lost five of their 10 matches but came up trumps when they beat St Cuthbert Wanderers 3-1. By all accounts, Saints played well but home advantage saw Thistle take a three-goal lead before substitute Ryan McKie scored a consolation for the Kirkcudbright side.
The other quarter-final was at Raydale, where Gretna 2008 played hosts to fellow East Premier league team Whitehill Welfare. This was a tie which saw the home side go two ahead within eight minutes through Aaron Muirhead and Wayne McIntosh but Whitelhill fought back before the break to draw level. Five minutes after the restart, Alan Brown for the visitors scored the goal that proved to be the winner and Whitehill now go on to play Spartans for a place in this season’s final.
Stranraer and Mid-Annandale fought out a close tussle in the South Challenge Cup with the home side going through in a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw in 90 minutes.
Player/manager Ally Sloan put the Lockerbie side ahead after only three minutes but the home side equalised four minutes later from the penalty spot. After Stranraer had scored a second, Darren Notman levelled the match just after the hour mark to send the game into a penalty shoot-out with Stranraer scoring their first three and Mids missing theirs to send the Stair Park side through.
There was only one match played in the South of Scotland League and that saw Creetown go down 3-0 against Abbey Vale. Stewart Cameron, Stephen Degnam and Clarke Chambers were on target for Vale to see them comfortably take the three points.
All other scheduled matches were postponed because of the weather, with the Haig Gordon Cup semi-final due to be played at Trammondford between Wigtown and Bladnoch and Newton Stewart being called off by the referee half an hour before kick-off.
Results from Saturday, February 9
South of Scotland League
Creetown 0, Abbey Vale 3
Heston Rovers v Crichton,match postponed
Haig Gordon Cup – Semi Final
Wigtown and Bladnoch v Newton Stewart, match postponed
South of Scotland Challenge Cup – first round
Stranraer 2, Mid-Annandale 2 (Stranraer won 3-0 on penalties)
SFA Regional Cup – South, quarter-finals
Dalbeattie Star 1, Stirling University 0
Gretna 2008 2, Whitehill Welfare 3
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale 3, St Cuthbert Wanderers 1
Spartans 3, Threave Rovers 2