Saturday brought another West of Scotland YFL blockbuster to Dam Park, with three trophies up for grabs, and each decided by the odd solitary goal. First up, and with the best of day’s conditions, was the local derby between Ayr Boswell and Valspar in the President’s Cup final. Boswell boast an unblemished record this season but were to be pushed all the way by a well organised Valspar side without a goalkeeper in their ranks.
For long spells Boswell certainly showed why they are the unbeaten league leaders, with tidy possession football providing the platform behind the strikers up front. Gavin Todd was to weigh in with an impressive second half hat trick but it was Valspar who struck first blood to frustrate their town rivals for the opening period.
They had gone ahead after just four minutes, when alert opportunism allowed Ross Clark to close down David Miller's clearance, to round the keeper and stun the league leaders. It set the stage for a high tempo first half, with Boswell jolted into action in response.
After their slow start Boswell began to get their passing game going and carve out some openings of their own. Euan Muir’s shot was deflected wide on 10 minutes, with Daniel Wilson having another shot cleared off the line, as they sought to pin Valspar back in their own half. It was a strong response to going behind, but with all their possession football they were unable to capitalise.
Valspar weathered the storm, with Boswell mainly restricted to shots from long range. Joseph White’s shot fizzed just over on the half hour, with Stephen McLelland similarly unable to test rookie keeper with a shot from the edge of the box just after.
The stand in proved equal to Ayr’s best opportunity of the half, as Wilson went on a driving run through the heart of the Valspar defence, but the keeper stood up well to close down the shot and clear the danger.
With a narrow lead to protect Valspar began to push out and were pressing better in midfield, with Brendan Lynch and Lucas Eliot closing down Boswell’s playmaker McLelland. Without creating any further opportunities of their own they hung on for a half time lead to give their opponents much food for thought at the interval.