It’s Scottish Junior Cup time again this weekend - weather permitting - with 32 clubs battling for places in the fifth round of the junior game’s ‘Blue Riband’ trophy.
After their exploits against Forfar Athletic in the senior Scottish Cup last week, Linlithgow Rose are fancied by many to go all the way.
And manager Davie McGlynn says Rose’s tie against Irvine Meadow is even more important than their tie against Forfar.
He said: “The Scottish Cup is a fairytale for us. The league and the Scottish Junior Cup are our bread and butter.
“Irvine Meadow will be up for this one so we have to make sure we are properly prepared. If you want to be the top junior side these are the games you have to win.”
The two sides have seven Scottish Junior Cup successes between them.
Meadow have lifted the trophy three times - in 1959, 1963 and 1973 - and lost in the final once, in 1951 when their showdown with Petershill attracted a record 77,650 crowd to Hampden.
Rose’s victories came in 1965, 2002, 2007 and 2010 but they will still be smarting from failing to reach the final last year when they lost to Musselburgh in the semi-finals.
Rossvale were also beaten by Musselburgh last season, having reached the last 32 for the first time in their short history.
The Bishopbriggs club, who have only been going since 2011, are hoping to go at least one better this time round and face Stonehaven at Petershill.
Manager Martin Lauchlan says everyone is looking forward to the big match.
He said: “It’s a massive game for the club.
“It means a lot to the club financially, but to be honest as a manager my focus is on the playing side. It’s a full club effort to promote the match and it’s now down to the players to do the business.
“What the club has achieved is tremendous. We got promotion last year, we’re second in the league and we’re still in the West of Scotland Cup which just shows the progress we’ve made.
“Stonehaven have already put out Shotts and St Anthony’s from our league, but we should have beaten Musselburgh last year and no-one will relish coming to play us.”
Other former winners still in the competition include 1995 victors Camelon Juniors, who face Dundee North End.
The Mariners have disposed of Irvine Victoria, Banks o’Dee and Kilsyth Rangers to get this far while the Tayside outfit have overcome Aberdeen University and Carluke Rovers without yet losing a goal.
Among the Fife contingent still chasing Scottish Cup glory are Glenrothes, Kennoway Star Hearts and Tayport.
Kennoway face a tough test against Glasgow giants Pollok, winners in 1981, 1985 and 1997, but KSH boss Alex Davidson reckons his side will emerge as ‘winners’ whatever the result.
He said if KSH lose 3-0, people may say it was expected, while a draw would allow them go to Glasgow with a decent crowd, maybe to make a bit of money and spring a surprise.
“And if we beat them, we’ll be creating a massive part of Scottish cup history,” Davidson added.
“My feeling is that Pollok will think it’s a great tie for them, with their ambitions to get to the later rounds. Hopefully, we can catch them off guard.” Glenrothes, trophy winners in 1975, welcome Aberdeen side Hermes to Warout Stadium – the team they beat 3-0 in manager Benny Andrew’s first game in charge.
Andrew said that although Hermes were reportedly doing well in the north east, Glenrothes were going into the game with a bit of confidence, as they’d made had made a reasonable start to the season.
He said the Junior Cup was a hard contest in which to go far and the chance to reach the last 16 did not present itself too often, so Glens will hopefully make the most of it.
Tayport have an opportunity to put their Super League woes to one side this weekend with a trip to North Ayrshire, to meet Kilbirnie Ladeside.
Both clubs have a proud Scottish Cup history, with Tayport triumphing in 1996, 2003 and 2005 and Kilbirnie having won the trophy twice, 1952 and 1977.
Tayport’s three triumphs are more recent.
On current form, however, Kilbirnie will start the tie as hot favourites. They are challenging for the West Super League Premier Division title and, in their last two matches, have defeated Shettleston and Auchinleck Talbot, both away from home.
John Ovenstone may welcome back Gary Sutherland and defender Clark Kay.
Cup favourites are 11-time winners and defending champions Auchinleck Talbot who face arguably the tie of the round at home to bitter local rivals Cumnock.
Latest odds from McBookie.com to lift the trophy are - 7/2 Talbot 7/1 Hurlford 10/1 Kelty 10/1 Bonnyrigg 10/1 Linlithgow 12/1 Pollok 12/1 Troon 16/1 Beith 16/1 Kilbirnie 20/1 Arthurlie 20/1 Irvine Meadow 25/1 Camelon 25/1 HOB 25/1 Petershill. Selected others - 50/1 Tayport 100/1 Rossvale 150/1 Glenrothes 200/1 Kennoway.
Full fourth round draw -
Kennoway Star Hearts v Pollok
Kelty Hearts v Renfrew
Auchinleck Talbot v Cumnock
Linlithgow Rose v Irvine Meadow X1
Kilwinning Rangers v Arniston Rangers
Camelon v Dundee North End
Kilbirnie Ladeside v Tayport
Glenrothes v Hermes
Oakley United v Carnoustie Panmure
Darvel v Troon
Scone Thistle v Beith
Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Petershill
Hurlford United v Dalkeith Thistle
Rossvale v Stonehaven
Bonnyrigg Rose v Lochee United
Arthurlie v Wishaw