So now we know. It’s Ayr United in the First Division and the wee Rovers in the Second. As they have been stuck in the Third Division for years it is easy and lazy to call them the wee Rovers but Paul Martin’s side walked tall over the two legs.
Albion won the first game 3-1 meaning that the second leg of the Final had many thinking that it was a foregone conclusion. When Ciaran Donnelly put them ahead mid way through the first half it seemed they were right.
Annan Athletic had other ideas though and Bryan Gilfillan was to have a major impact with a hat trick of interventions in the second half. He brought Annan level in the tie on 51 minutes with an 18 yard shot, taking advantage of slack defending. 14 minutes later he put Annan ahead, but in the final minute his last act of the game was a head butt that saw him sent off. With the aggregate score being 4-3 at Full Time, Albion Rovers went up but Annan will be back, of that we can be pretty sure!
Late drama was also the order of the day at Glebe Park where Brechin City and Ayr United were level at 1-1 after the first leg. A bizarre own goal towards the end of the first half by substitute Jonathon Tiffoney meant that Brechin had the advantage at half time.
Ayr United who had traveled with half the town in tow, came out after the break determined to win. Tiffoney, having made a cardinal error in the first did everything in the second to aid the come back. Veteran Mark Roberts made it all square in the 77th before Michael Moffat, who was playing Junior football six months ago, brought the house down with the winner in the 84th. Sportingly Brechin boss, Jim Weir was on the pitch to applaud Ayr’s players as they received the applause of their fans. Brechin have now managed to fall at the Play Off hurdle three years on the trot, twice at the hands of Ayr United, so their lucky number may have to be four.