Arran suffer a narrow defeat to Irvine Celtic

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Isle of Arran AFC  1 Irvine No 1 CSC AFC 2

On Sunday it was back to ‘international duty’ for a lot of the Arran boys as the new all-island team played their final group game of the Ayrshire Sunday League group C.

Arran hosted Irvine No 1 Celtic Sports Club and although both teams had already qualified for division 1 there was still a lot to play for, as Arran could still top the group, but could also drop to third with a loss.

It was clear from the start of the game that there was a lot of weary and fragile players on the field for Arran. The cup final on the previous day and the aftermath were a major factor in this. Irvine took an early lead as they dominated play in the first 20 minutes.

Arran started to play themselves back into the game though and were rewarded from an Archie McNicol corner as the keeper spilled it and debutant James Todd was on hand to head the ball into the net to make it 1-1.

In the second half the teams were evenly poised but Irvine were given the chance to retake the lead when Ryan Armstrong was judged to have brought down the Irvine striker in the box. David Heenan in goals for Arran stood no chance from the resulting penalty as the away side went back in front.

Arran had chances late on and McNicol thought he had rescued a point for his team when he ran in and stroked the ball into the corner only for it to be ruled offside by the referee despite protests from the Arran players and supporters.

The scores remained 2-1 to the Irvine Cetlic boys and both of the teams will now head into Division 1 now that the group stage is finished. The first league fixture will take place on Sunday September 23.

Tomorrow (Sunday) Arran will host Galston in the first round of the Go Vending cup as Arran compete in their first knockout competition. Kick off will be at 2pm at the Ormidale Park and all support is welcome.

The Arran side who took to the field on Sunday with manager Alan Murray and club sponsor Iain Keen. 01_B37irvine01

The Irvine Celtic side who took to the field at Ormidale Park with the referee. 01_B37irvine02

An Arran player shows some good close control surrounded by two Irvine players. 01_B37irvine04

The ball goes narrowly wide from an Arran free kick. 01_B37irvine05

The crowd eagerly watch a promising Arran attack down the wing. 01_B37irvine06

Archie McNicol hits the deck as another promising attack ends in a foul. 01_B37irvine07

An Arran player is determined to be first to the ball. 01_B37irvine08