THE battle for Premier League survival grabbed all the West of Scotland Football League headlines on Saturday – with two remarkable fightbacks by Ayrshire teams among the day’s biggest stories.

Nowhere were the twists and turns of WoSFL fortunes more dramatic than at Blair Park, where Glenafton Athletic grabbed a crucial three points in a remarkable comeback win.

The Loch Park side have struggled for consistency since Ryan Caddis was appointed manager in November, and looked on course for a fourth league defeat on the spin when Michael Mullen and Ally Love put Hurlford United 2-0 up at the break against their East Ayrshire rivals.

Mullen’s second on 65 minutes looked to have made the points secure for Darren Henderson’s men – but in an incredible eight-minute spell, Gary Fraser pulled one back for the visitors with a spectacular strike from distance before Liam Caddis’s brace, the second from the penalty spot, levelled the game.

But the best, at least from the visitors’ point of view, was yet to come, with the referee awarding the visitors a second spot-kick two minutes from time – and Caddis kept his cool onve more to complete his hat-trick and spark remarkable scenes in the away dugout and among the travelling Glens support.

There was plenty of late drama at MTC Park, too, where Troon grabbed a point right at the death after being apparently down and out away to Gartcairn.

Harry Mitchell’s goal just before the break, and a quick-fire double by Scott Ferguson and Tam Reilly shortly after it, had the home team firmly in control – but Leyton Dunlop pulled one back for the Portland Park side on the hour before Dean Fulton’s header with 15 minutes to go set up a grandstand finish.

Despite all the Seasiders’ pressure in the closing stages it looked like Gartcairn would hold out – until Rabin Omar’s injury-time leveller grabbed a point for Jimmy Kirkwood’s side.

At the top of the table, Beith bounced back from their surprise loss at Portland Park seven days earlier, closing the gap on leaders Clydebank to six points with a 3-0 win at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, with Scot Rough, Ciaran Diver and a Carlo Monti penalty earning Chris Strain’s side full points at Guy’s Meadow.

Auchinleck Talbot climbed to sixth in the table with their eighth win in nine league matches, also by a 3-0 margin, with Kyle McAvoy’s header midway through the first half setting Tommy Sloan’s men on their way at home to Benburb; Luke Gillies doubled the hosts’ lead midway through the second half, with Connor Boyd putting the icing on the cake from the penalty spot late on.

Meanwhile, Darvel – who were paired with Talbot when the draw was made for the Junior Cup semi-finals last week – remain in fifth place after being held to a 1-1 draw at St Cadoc’s, with Jordan Moore giving Tony McInally’s men the lead before Lewis McTaggart levelled in first half injury time.

Back at the bottom of the table, Irvine Meadow were unable to follow up the previous week’s win over Pollok with another positive result, with Jamie Martin’s first-half free kick enough to earn Largs Thistle full points against Ben Carson’s men at Barrfields.

Kilwinning Rangers remain in the top three as the battle for promotion from the First Division hots up, despite tumbling to a second defeat on the bounce, with Mark Lamont sent off for a second yellow during the 2-0 defeat away to St Roch’s.

Kilbirnie Ladeside’s recent revival continued with a fine 2-0 victory at home to Johnstone Burgh, with Mickey Wilson’s stunning free kick midway through the first half putting Colin Spence’s men on their way before Alex Bell sealed the points late on.

Maybole Juniors picked up what could be a crucial point in the battle against relegation after holding second-top Blantyre Vics to a 1-1 draw at Ladywell, but Whitletts Vics remain marooned at the bottom after losing 1-0 at home to Drumchapel United.

At the top of the Second Division, Ardrossan Winton Rovers’ bogey team came back to haunt them, with Gavin Friels’ men seeing their remarkable 12-match winning streak ended with a 3-2 defeat at home to Cumbernauld United.

The hosts led 2-0 at the break, but Cumbernauld, who were the last team to take anything off Winton, courtesy of a 2-1 win at Guy’s Meadow back in the middle of October, came roaring back in the second half, with John Cunningham and Dale Fulton levelling before Darren Bowie grabbed the win.

Jordan Ryan scored the only goal as Craigmark Burntonians eased their relegation fears with victory at home to Kilsyth Rangers; the win which lifted Ian Nixon’s men above Ayrshire rivals Bonnyton Thistle, who were held 1-1 at home to Forth.

However, Jamie McDermott’s equaliser shortly before the break wasn’t enough to prevent Muirkirk Juniors falling to a 3-1 defeat away to Yoker Athletic.

Irvine Vics continue to lead the Ayrshire charge in the Third Division, but Dougie MacDuff’s men slipped to fifth place after a 5-1 thumping away to Lanark United, with Kevin Adam’s late goal the only silver lining on a dismal day for Vics.

There was no shortage of drama at Millburn Park, where Dalry Thistle lost 2-1 to Vale of Leven in a game which featured a remarkable five red cards, and more than a dozen yellows, as the hosts finished with nine men and Dalry with eight.

Paul O’Donnell’s opener for the Merksworth Park men midway through the first half ultimately proved in vain, with the hosts battling back to take the lead - and home keeper Evan Currie saving an injury-time spot-kick to deny Dalry a point.

Ardeer Thistle slipped into the bottom three after yet another action-packed 90 minutes ended with Sean Kenney’s men losing 5-4 at home to Glasgow United, though the visitors were 4-1 up at one point early in the second half before Thistle pegged them back through Ryan Singleton, an own goal and Jack Gibbons’ late strike.

Bailey Fairbairn’s brace earned Girvan a point against Kello Rovers at Nithside Park, with the Hamilton Park side twice coming from behind to secure a share of the spoils away to the division’s bottom club.

Kieran Oliver, Jack Marks, Lewis Kerr and Robbie Hannah all found the net as Lugar Boswell Thistle climbed two places to fifth in the Fourth Division thanks to a 4-1 win away to East Kilbride Thistle – a fifth victory in the last six games for the Rosebank Park side.

Liam Davis gave Eglinton the ideal start at home to promotion-chasing Thorn Athletic, sending a beautiful 25-yard chip over the Thorn keeper’s head for the opener just six minutes in, but the Kilwinning side couldn’t keep that early momentum going, with Thorn scoring three times in the second half and Dylan McLintock seeing red as the hosts finished empty-handed.

And Saltcoats Vics remain second from bottom after falling to a 3-2 defeat against the team immediately above them, Royal Albert.

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Ayrshire clubs' fixtures for Saturday, February 24 are as follows.

West of Scotland Cup, fourth round: Darvel v Ardrossan Winton Rovers, Hurlford United v Cumbernauld United, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy v Auchinleck Talbot, Larkhall Thistle v Glenafton Athletic, Maybole Juniors v Beith Juniors, Craigmark Burntonians v Rutherglen Glencairn.

Premier Division: Clydebank v Largs Thistle, Troon v Benburb.

First Division: Kilwinning Rangers v Cambuslang Rangers, Neilston v Kilbirnie Ladeside, Whitletts Victoria v Petershill.

Second Division: Maryhill v Bonnyton Thistle, Muirkirk Juniors v St Anthony's. 

Third Division: Ardeer Thistle v Kilsyth Athletic, Girvan v Dalry Thistle, Glasgow United v Kello Rovers, Irvine Victoria v Port Glasgow.

Fourth Division: Lugar Boswell Thistle v Giffnock, Saltcoats Victoria v Newmains United, Eglinton v Knightswood.