Glorious 12th is on offer for cup experts

THE Junior silverware trail leads to Creamery Park in Bathgate tomorrow for the final of the East of Scotland Cup with Linlithgow and Musselburgh fighting it out.

Linlithgow already have the Scottish Junior Cup in their trophy cabinet while for Musselburgh this is the first of two tilts at glory, with the final of the Fife and Lothians Cup to follow at Newtongrange on Tuesday evening.

Linlithgow boss Dave Baikie is going for a tremendous double but knows just how difficult it'll be. "They are tough opposition. They have some good, good players and we will have to be at our best to beat them. I'm expecting a real battle on our hands in what looks like a really close game.

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"We know the strikers like Ryan McCallum and Mattu King but they are solid at the back with Stuart Fraser having huge amounts of experience.

"We've been playing some great football in the second half of the season and have the confidence to go into the game looking to win," Baikie went on.

"We have a couple of niggling doubts to Kevin Donnelly and Mark Tyrrell but they should be available for selection. Danny Smith and Roddy McLennan are both back from holiday but Gary Livingstone is away.

"Everyone else is fit so we should have a near-enough full squad. If we win it will finish off a great season considering the poor start we had to the campaign. We won only two of our opening nine league games while in the second half of the season we've won nine out of 11 and that's taken us to runners-up spot in the table.

"I'm pleased with the way the season's finishing, but we have to be careful. They beat us in a cup final last season so they know they can win big games."

Musselburgh manager Davy McGlynn is pleased with the team's performance this term. "It's been a great season for the club. Our first time in the Super League and we learned a lot. These two cup finals are the icing on the cake for us. Playing a big club like Linlithgow on Saturday is what the players turn out during the long wet nights training for.

"In front of a big crowd, playing for one of the best trophies in Junior football, it doesn't come much better than this. We'll enjoy the occasion but not take our eyes off what we're there for. "They have had a super season and one I'm jealous off but we can achieve the heights the same as them," McGlynn went on. "Over the past few seasons we've tried to get a consistent side capable of winning silverware and it's now coming good.

"We've had some great games between us over the years and I hope this one's the same. It's always tight and even this season we've drawn the games in the league. As for our squad we have a few niggles but nothing serious. Everyone wants to play in the next couple of games so even if they are carrying a knock, they're not telling anyone.

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"In our last game against Hill of Beath we rested some players to freshen things up for the two cup finals so everyone is ready for the game. At this level of football most of the players know each other and how they play so sometimes it becomes a stalemate but I don't think this'll happen on Saturday."

While many football followers may find themselves looking for a comfortable place to watch the World Cup matches on TV tomorrow, they could do worse than head for Creamery Park beforehand to see, in the flesh, what promises to be an exciting game.

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