May 12th 2004. Kilwinning Rangers 7 Cumnock 3. An evening etched in Buffs’ folklore for eternity.
The night Kilwinning overturned a 2-0 deficit to trounce their rivals at a bulging Abbey Park and clinch their first and only Premier League title on the final day of the season.
For sheer nail biting, edge of the terracing drama it just doesn’t get more exhilarating than that.
Junior football at its raw, thrilling, all-or-nothing best.
So to say today’s home clash with reigning champs Glenafton is the most important league game Abbey Park has seen in the 14 years since is some statement.
But that’s the feeling down Kilwinning way as the Buffs storm ahead at the half way stage of the season, top of the pile and on the back of a seven-game winning run.
Chris Strain’s men saw out 2017 with a statement 1-0 victory over Auchinleck and welcomed in 2018 with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Hurford last Saturday.
And the three goalscorers who secured those six points are proof of why the sharp-shooting Buffs – 33/1 rank outsiders at the start of the season – must be taken seriously as title contenders now.
Bryan Boylan, Carlo Monti and David Winters – three quality forwards with the ability to give any backline a run for their money.
Should they complete an Ayrshire treble and dump Glenafton this afternoon then even an ardent Irvine Meadow fan would have to concede Kilwinning are in pole position for the league title.
One man who knows all about banging in…