Jul 27 2012 By John Woods
KILWINNING Rangers manager George Grierson was not too disappointed at his team's defeat from Irvine Meadow on Saturday but stated that if his players learned just one thing from their Premier League counterparts he'll be a very happy man.
“We did OK in patches but they kept the ball better and that was the big difference between the teams,” he admitted.
“We gave the ball away far too cheaply and if you do that you end up chasing the game and your energy levels drop in the closing stages of the game.
“However we were by no means embarrassed and we gave Meadow a much harder time than Troon did in Sunday's final.”
Grierson felt it was a great occasion for the younger players in his team and they'll learn from the experience on Saturday.
However one player who won't remember too much about it is keeper Ally McGhee who had to be replaced at the interval because he was suffering from concussion after taking a hefty first half head knock in a goalmouth scramble.
“Ally had quite a few good saves while he was on the park but he simply hadn't a clue what was going on when he got back to the dressing room at the interval,” added Grierson.
“However there's no need to rush him back and we'll give him a rest for a wee while now.”
One player who had Grierson purring with delight was 21-year-old sweeper Martin Reynolds who has arrived from Muirkirk.
“He was absolutely outstanding for the entire game and gives the impression he could play at any level,” added the Buffs boss.
“But we're trying to build a team here, we've signed Martin on a three-year professional contract and I view that as a statement of our intent.”
The combative Darren McMahon has arrived after his contract with Dalry was cancelled and that will give Buffs the dig they've maybe missed in midfield.
An Irvine boy, McMahon has also played with Stranraer and Glenafton and fits the profile Grierson is looking for.
There were a few good performances sprinkled around the Buffs ranks at the weekend and Grierson was also pleased with the display of Bruce McMaster and Ally Ross who combined brilliantly for the equalising goal against Meadow on Saturday.
“It's not long till the real thing starts but we've got a few good games lined up between now and the big kick off and we're in much better shape than we were this time last year” added Grierson.