BY MARK GODFREY
Giants of Scotland’s Junior ranks, Pollok, were condemned to their first ever relegation from the West of Scotland Super League Premier Division last night following a 3-2 defeat at fellow strugglers Glenafton.
The loss at Loch Park combined with a vital victory for the ‘Lok’s arch enemies Arthurlie was enough to see the club from the south side of Glasgow drop out of the division they have been champions of on four occasions since its creation in 2002.
The Newlandsfield Park side have been battling all season to avoid the unthinkable, and last night’s six-pointer was no different. Despite taking the lead twice during the game, Pollok were undone by one of their former men – Alain Kinney – whose goal guided Glenafton to a 3-2 success and gave the Glens renewed hope of dodging the relegation play-off at the end of the campaign.
Pollok’s misery was doubly celebrated by supporters of their fiercest rivals over at Dunterlie Park. The men from Barrhead comfortably dispatched Cumnock 2-0 to secure their Premier Division place for next season while making it mathematically impossible for the ‘Lok to catch them in their remaining league fixture. They’ll be playing First Division football next year along with Largs Thistle whose fate was decided last week.
While Pollok can point to the loss of last season’s top scorer Carlo Monti as a negative, they still boast one of the best scoring records in the Premier Division. But defensively it’s been another matter – 53 goals now shipped in their 21 league games to date tells it’s own story – they have the worst defence in the 12-team top tier.
With crowds regularly exceeding the 500 mark – an average that tops most clubs in the lower two divisions of the Scottish League – Pollok will be a big fish in a small pond next season. However, that will only make them a greater target for teams looking to get one over one of the so-called big boys.