It was hardly emphatic or pretty on the eye it has to be said, but a winning start to their WoSFL campaign was all that anyone connected with Benburb wanted to be looking at this morning and through blood, sweat and a few bucketfuls more sweat (on the warmest day of the Scottish summer to date) they got their wish with a 1-0 victory over Rob Roy.

The Bens got over the line with 22 minutes on the clock, arguably against the run of play following an opening period by and large dominated by a visiting Rabs side aided by a strong wind blowing down New Tinto Park - and one that had come close to snatching an opening score on several occasions.

The hosts had already posted a warning of their back-post attacking menace when Jamie Campbell was left all alone to meet a low Lewis Lovering cross only to delay his parting shot allowing grateful goalkeeper Craig Burns to make a crucial blocking save.

But the Roy custodian could not make a similar telling intervention just minutes later when another cross from out left was criminally allowed to travel through a crowded penalty box and fall for Bens debutant and ex-St Johnstone striker Euan Loudon to knock the ball over the line from point-blank range.

Rabs gaffer Stewart Maxwell seethed: “The goal we lost has to go down as an absolute nightmare from start to finish.

“We’ve given away a needless foul then Craig has been unable to come through a few bodies to claim the cross and our one covering defender has not reacted quickly enough to the ball arriving at the back post.

“It was far from a classic goal and anything but a classic 90 minutes. However, any football that was played came from us and I cannot help but feel the result was very harsh on my guys.”

A doleful Maxi added: “Connor Bell was denied a certain equaliser in the second half when his close-range header from a corner kick has crashed off their defender’s head when he wasn’t even looking in the direction of the ball. But I have to say the second 45 minutes was a footballing non-event.

“A share of the blame falls on us, mainly because we just never got to grips with the combined dynamics of the pitch and wind, with the upshot being we allowed ourselves to get sucked into playing back to front which is totally alien to our players.”

Not unsurprisingly, Benburb boss Paul Lovering did not agree with his dugout counterpart’s summations and delighted in lavishing praise on his Govan playing charges.

He explained: “What you had out there was a typical first game of the season affair with two teams battling it out and showing a great deal of effort but little in the way of composure on the ball.

“Rob Roy did pose us problems, particularly in the early stages, but our guys were excellent at defending crosses into our box and that allowed us to grow into the game and carve out several clear-cut scoring opportunities.

“In fact, I think we should have probably put the game to bed but how can I complain at sitting here with three points and a clean sheet from our opening league game?”

Paul’s oldest son Lewis was one of the Benburb star turns, playing in a left-sided midfield role, and nobody in the home team’s ranks came closer to doubling their advantage than the 20-year-old when he demonstrated superb ball control in 83 minutes to pull down a high forward ball before cutting inside and playing a one-two with Loudon, ultimately despatching a low angular shot past the diving Burns only for the ball to carry inches wide of the far upright.

The Bens boss admitted: “Lewis still has a lot to learn but he gives us a presence out left and did very well today, which is no mean praise coming from me because I am his biggest - and loudest - critic as well as his biggest fan. But don’t let him know that!”

Vastly-experienced Benburb defender Ryan Docherty, at his ball-winning and uncompromising best at the heart of the home team’s rearguard, reckoned it was a “massive three points” for him and his team-mates.

He said: “Yes, it was a better result than performance but I’ll take it any day as these are the games that we as a club have to be winning.

“The Premier Division is going to be a tough league to play in and there’s not going to be a lot to choose between a number of teams, so getting points on the board early and from games like today is essential if we are to make a first of staying among the big boys.”

He added: “Young Euan has arrived here from St Johnstone and is only 17 but he’ll derive a lot of confidence from scoring the winning goal today and will only get better with a few more games under his belt.”

Govan’s pride and joy were one of nine WoSFL top flight sides to get off to a winning start, with Pollok taking pride of place with the most comprehensive of opening day outcomes. Goals from Adam Forde, Shaun Fraser (2), Ryan McGregor and Matty Grant brought a 5-1 hammering of Blantyre Vics, for whom John Cunningham netted a consolation score.

One time Lok hitman Allan McKenzie, Darren Miller (pen), and Andy Stirling were on target in Darvel’s 3-0 defeat of Bonnyton Thistle; Kilwinning Rangers had the exact same winning margin at home to Troon through scores by Carlo Monti, Thomas Collins and Jordan Stuart; while Adam Martin netted the only goal of the game to enable Cumnock to come out on top at home to Beith.

Harry Mitchell and substitute Ross Smith scores helped Rutherglen Glencairn to get the better of Largs Thistle by a 2-0 scoreline that also sufficed for Cumbernauld United against Rossvale, with Kieran Boubekri (pen) and David Cameron on the mark.

Hurlford United held off a late fightback from visitors Kilbirnie Ladeside to triumph 3-2 at Blair Park where the points had looked in the bag after Lewis Morrison, Liam Miller and Marc McKenzie counters had Darren Henderson’s men 3-0 to the good before Ladeside sparked into life to net twice through Brendan Sharpe and Danny Bamford.

Glenafton had similarly looked to be cruising to victory away to Irvine Meadow after scores by Sam McKee, Sean McIlroy and Leon Murphy however Neil Schlooves finding the net led to a late Medda attacking surge.

The only Premier contest not to have a decisive outcome one way or another was at Beechwood Park, where Auchinleck Talbot and Clydebank played out a 2-2 see-saw stalemate.

Neil McPherson’s own-goal blunder saw the Bankies take a 1-0 lead but Talbot mounted a second-half comeback to level matters with a sublimely-placed Kieron Healey drive before Keir Samson, running clear, put the Ayrshiremen’s noses in front - only for his strike to be cancelled out by a close-range Chris Black header .

The Petershill Park complex arguably staged the Conference League’s game of the day where Drumchapel United came from behind to outdo fancied hosts Petershill by a 3-2 scoreline.

Danny Finnigan fired the Drum ahead but a 44th-minute own goal saw the teams go in level at the interval. Kieran Campbell scoring early on the resumption saw the Peasy lead 2-1 but Gary Muir and Martin Grehan goals earned the points for the delighted visitors.

A special mention too for Greenock’s veteran frontman James Marks after “Slick” bagged all his side’s goals in a 3-2 'Tail O’The Bank' derby clash against Port Glasgow.

RESULTS: (Kick-offs 2pm)

PDM Buildbase Premier League
Auchinleck Talbot 2 Clydebank 2, Benburb 1 Rob Roy 0, Cumbernauld Utd 2 Rossvale 0, Largs Thistle 0 Rutherglen Glencairn 2, Kilwinning Rangers 3 Troon 0, Hurlford Utd 3 Kilbirnie Ladeside 2, Pollok 5 Blantyre Vics 1, Darvel 3 Bonnyton Thistle 0, Benburb 1 Rob Roy 0, Cumnock 1 Beith 0, Irvine Meadow 1 Glenafton 3.

PDM Buildbase Conference League A
Maryhill 2 Bellshill Athletic 2, Girvan 4 Craigmark 2, Muirkirk 0 Johnstone Burgh 0, Irvine Vics 1 Whitletts Vics 2, Arthurlie 2 Glasgow University 1, Saltcoats Vics 2 Lugar Boswell 3, Forth Wanderers 0 Shotts Bon Accord 6, Lesmahagow 1 Maybole 2.

PDM Buildbase Conference League B
Cambuslang Rangers 2 St Cadocs 3, Ashfield 3 Glasgow Utd 3, Dalry Thistle 1 Kello Rovers 2, Newmains Utd 1 Gartcairn 6, Renfrew 6 Royal Albert 0, Greenock 3 Port Glasgow 2, Ardeer Thistle 1 Thorniewood Utd 0.

PDM Buildbase Conference League C
Vale of Clyde 0 St Roch's 0, Neilston 1 Wishaw 0, Petershill 2 Drumchapel Utd 3, Lanark Utd 2 Larkhall Thistle 1, East Kilbride Thistle 1 Glasgow Perthshire 3, Ardrossan Winton Rovers 0 Vale of Leven 0.

PDM Buildbase Division Four
Glenvale 0 Harmony Row 0, Campbeltown Pupils 0 Kilsyth Athletic 6, Harthill Royal 0 Finnart 2, BSC Glasgow 0 St Peter's 2.