Cricket: Baikie believes Rose can bounce back and bowl Auchinleck out

CRICKET fan Dave Baikie stayed up into the early hours yesterday morning to watch the opening exchanges in the Ashes clash between Australia and England in Brisbane.

Now he's hoping his hopes of a dream double aren't hit for six in a heavyweight clash in Junior football this weekend.

Linlithgow Rose, holders and four-times winners, entertain Auchinleck, who've lifted the trophy on eight occasions, in the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup at Prestonfield tomorrow (1.45pm kick-off).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It's a clash of giants that would be more likely at a later stage in the competition but, on this occasion, they've come out of the hat together in the third round.

"As well as the fact we've had 12 Scottish Cup wins between us, we are the holders and they won it two seasons ago," said Linlithgow boss Baikie of a tie that is likely to attract a big crowd in West Lothian for the second weekend running.

Last Saturday just over 1300 fans watched Bo'ness take on Buckie in the Scottish Cup and close on 2000 are expected for tomorrow's tasty clash.

"Linlithgow and Auchinleck are two big names in the Junior game so it makes for a good contest," added Baikie, who is hoping a 3-2 defeat at Camelon in the Super League last weekend has acted as a timely reminder to his players.

"While I don't want to take anything away from Camelon, who deserved to win the game, we didn't perform nearly as well as we can," said the former East Fife manager.

"We were slack and also tried to play the wrong type of game on a pitch that wasn't conducive to passing football.

"We were terrible for the first-half hour, then got back to 2-2 and almost went in front before half-time when their keeper pulled off a fantastic save to deny Colin Strickland.

"If we had continued playing like that at the start of the second-half, I am confident we would have gone on to win the game but, instead, we went back to how we had been earlier in the game. It wasn't until the final ten minutes that we were able to apply any pressure and Roddy McLennan had a chance to make it 3-3.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We certainly won't be able to play like that against Auchinleck as they are a good side, as we know from having them watched a couple of times since the draw was made.

"We know what they are capable of. We will have to try and nulify their strengths and, at the same time, exploit their weaknesses."

Auchinleck's main threat is likely to come from John Boyle, David Gillies and Stevie Mallan, the latter being a player Baikie knows well. "Stevie played for me when I was at Arbroath and, even though he's into his 40s now, he still plays with the same energy and enthusiasm as he did then.

"He leads the line well and is a great example to younger players. He's super fit and has a great enthusiasm for the game. I'm sure there will be some good banter between him and I on Saturday."

The holders will be without Gordon Herd. who will go in soon for an operation on the ankle that has been causing him problems on and off for a while now.

Former Musselburgh midfielder Adam Nelson is also a doubt after he tweaked his hamstring in training on Wednesday night. Since he took over at Prestonfield around 18 months ago, Baikie has won every trophy possible with the exception of one - the East Region Super League.

Asked if that would mean more to him this season than a second succesive Junior Cup triumph, he conceded: "That's a difficult one.

"Both would be equally enjoyable, to be honest. However, the leagues are regionalised to a certain extent and to win the Scottish Cup back-to-back, something that not many managers have achieved, would certainly give me a lot of pleasure."