Scottish Cup: Vandals sink Glenrothes spirits

NO-ONE at Glenrothes CC imagined for a minute that the leap from the East League to the National stage would be easy.

But nor did they imagine the transition would be just quite as traumatic as has been proved –both on and off the turf.

Spare a thought, then, for the ambitious Fifers who take on Stenhousemuir today in their quest to kick-start their Scottish Cup campaign following a week that was upsetting to say the least.

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Before the start of the season, they invested around £8,000 on rain covers for their square. However, some young locals mistook two of them for a trampolines and rendered them useless for much-needed duty this weekend. Disenchanted club operations manager Kenny Crichton said: “It has been a very bad few days for us. We only took delivery of these covers three weeks ago and they were meant to be vandal-proof.

“But after what happened, one is completely out of commission and another is badly damaged.

“We have no idea if the remaining covers will be sufficient to keep the wicket playable for the Stenhousemuir match.

“It is a case of praying that the rain will play ball with us.”

Glenrothes had the toughest possible start to the season, travelling to face Uddingston and Aberdeenshire. And if today’s encounter goes ahead they will be confident of breaking their duck against the men from the Tryst.

Uddingston, meanwhile, will be without Calum MacLeod for the trip to Mannofield to face Aberdeenshire because of Saltires commitments at Southampton.

Another absent skipper is Clydesdale’s Majid Haq, though they will be boosted by the presence at Titwood of new overseas recruit Shoaib Khan against West Lothian.

Dale spokesman Colin Mitchell said: “This is very much a development-orientated signing, however we expect Shoaib to bolter our top order.”

An experienced campaigner at the age of 34, Khan has rattled up more than 6,000 first class runs and he is likely to inflict significant damage with the ball as well.

Group A pacesetters Arbroath will be without all-rounder Calvin Burnett for the awkward jaunt to New Williamfield to take on Stirling County.

Whitehaugh could also be a banana-skin venue as Forfarshire lock horns with Kelburne.

Stoneywood-Dyce’s home collision with Ayr will go a long way to determining the outcome of their section.

The same applies to the Carlton v West of Scotland showdown at Grange Loan and Heriot’s would take a big step forward by beating Dumfries at Goldenacre.