Junior Football: Party poopers Hibs on track for promotion

Willie Clark passes to Chris Ireland in Thornton's victory over Downfield
Willie Clark passes to Chris Ireland in Thornton's victory over Downfield

Thornton Hibs manager Craig Gilbert said he took extra enjoyment in spoiling Downfield’s champions party on Saturday.

It was only the Spiders’ third defeat of the season and the 2-1 victory meant the champagne had to remain on ice – literally!

“They were in party mode,” Gilbert said. “They had buckets of champagne and beer waiting and they’d had special programmes printed saying they’d won the league by beating Thornton Hibs. They couldn’t hand them out, it was ridiculous. So we took a wee bit of extra satisfaction in winning. It was a good win.”

The result sent out a message to the teams sitting beside third-placed Hibs in the league, with Kennoway Star Hearts and East Craigie also pushing for the second spot and automatic promotion.

“East Craigie drew again at the weekend, so that was good for us,” said Gilbert.

“There are five games left, so it’s going to be tough.”

This week, Thornton play hosts to second-bottom Kirriemuir Thistle but Gilbert is adamant there will be no complacency from his side.

“They drew with Kennoway just two weeks ago, so we’re under no illusions here; every game is a hard game.”

Meanwhile, Glenrothes Juniors will be staring relegation in the face unless they beat Edinburgh United at Warout Stadium tonight (Wednesday).

Glens are currently third bottom of the East Premier League and four points from safety, with just three games left to play, but could close to within a point of their opponents in the safe zone with victory tonight.

Glens will also need to overcome Montrose Roselea at home on Saturday to keep their slim hopes alive, as they look to bounce back from a 5-2 defeat to Broughty Athletic on Saturday, where Moffat was red-carded.

In the North Division, Kennoway Star Hearts play their final league match away to Kirkcaldy YM on Saturday, where a win is essential in the race for promotion.