EVEN those of us to whom many past experiences have spawned a certain indifference to the year-in year-out feats of Tommy Sloan and his Auchinleck Talbot players could not fail to have been impressed with Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Clydebank.

Their Holm Park triumph was considerably more comprehensive than the scoreline begs to suggest and it’s no exaggeration to say the Ayrshire cracks totally dominated every aspect of this top of the table contest en-route to condemning the Bankies to a 4th Premier League defeat, all in front of their own supporters.

If ever proof was needed that Talbot are the team to beat for any would-be champions, this previously thought of must win contest for Gordon Moffat’s men undoubtedly bears it out.

A performance of real edge and energy (particularly first half) to go along with their more traditional attributes of aggression and 'they shall not pass' defensive resilience had the points in the bag long before the time-up blast of Referee Chris Gentles’ whistle brought the realisation, once other results became known, that Talbot had regained pole position in the standings and were now all of seven points better off than third placed Clydebank from two games fewer played.

Bot boss Tucker summed up his thoughts afterwards: “We carried a goal threat all day and an excellent  half an hour’s play during the first half earned us a 2-0 lead which allowed us to see the game out reasonably comfortably from then onwards.

“Our instruction to the players at half time was to go for a third goal but they naturally erred on the cautious side and preferred not to be too open however it was pleasing that we continued to look the more likely of the two teams to score.

“The game did turn a bit scrappy late on but overall I’m delighted to come away from here with a win.”

Two compact and take no risk backlines ensured the opening stages were bereft of attacking opportunities and all of 10 minutes were played before a first scoring chance was created that  visiting front man Jamie Glasgow duly scorned with a poor first touch .

His team mate Graham Wilson was not so profligate shortly afterwards when Bryan Boylan and Mark Shankland combined to put him clean through on goal to slot a low shot under Bankies keeper Jamie Donnelly for 1-0.

Craig Holmes pulled a 30 yard shot wide of target in Clydebank’s first attempt on goal after 25 minutes that was followed by Glasgow slashing a close range shot over the crossbar when Donnelly, under pressure by Wilson, failed to gather a Shankland corner kick.

An undeterred Glasgow’s ability to find space and drift into attacking postions was causing continual issues for the home team’s defence and nearing half time he was integral to the Ayrshire outfit doubling their advantage when he ran clear down the right before delivering over a deep cross that was met at the back post by Boylan whose downward header was adjudged to have crossed the line despite Donnelly’s frantic attempts to scramble the ball away.

The pattern of the game remained largely unchanged after the interval, with Glasgow to the fore, firstly firing high over from a Wilson pass before setting up Shankland to pull an angular shot just wide of target .

Robbie McCracken did similar from an identical position before the introduction of Bankies substitute  Ross McPherson led to a late flurry of attacking forays, the best of which saw towering centreback Matt Niven come upfield to head over from a  speared Lee Gallagher corner kick when it looked easier to score.

Disappointment was etched all over Bankies gaffer Moffat’s face when he spoke.

He said: “Matt failing to score with his header was the story of our day as things just never clicked for us in the final third and you have to say Auchinleck managed the game well and were able cope with everything we had to offer.”

The Ayrshiremen are back atop the Premier pile after erstwhile leaders Pollok were held to a calamitous 1-1 draw away to Glenafton where both goals were netted first half by Lok centreback Bryan Wharton , his 35th minute header from an Adam Forde corner kick cancelling out an own-goal gaffe that had put the Glens in front.

Kilwinning Rangers might have leapfrogged over Clydebank but for suffering a 2-0 Friday night reverse against Hurlford United for whom Jack Whittaker bagged a scoring brace welcomed by fifth top Darvel, up to  level on points  with the Buffs after Darren Miller(pen), Allan McKenzie , Ryan Thomson, Scott Ferguson and Jordan Allan netted in a  5-0 hammering of Bonnyton Thistle.

In other games, Rutherglen Glencairn’s  Michael Lone netted the only goal of the game against Beith while Rob Roy recovered from falling behind at Guys Meadow  to a Jamie Whyte header for Irvine Meadow to win 2-1 through scores by Kieran McPherson and Robbie Leighton,

Brendan Sharpe and Alex McWaters did the damage as Kilbirnie Ladeside ran out 2-0 victors over Cumnock while Cumbernauld United went one better in coming out on top 3-0 away to Blantyre Vics with Kieron Boubekri, Klark Thompson(pen), and Aaron O’Hare on target,

Rossvale slumped to 16th place in the table following a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of a rejuvenated Benburb who had five different marksmen  in Ryan Docherty, Ally Taylor, Lee Duncanson, Ryan Livingston and Declan McDonald while second half counters by Tommy Maitland, Sam Jamieson and Jordan Vernon enabled Troon to take the spoils at home to  Largs Thistle for whom Will Sewell had netted during the opening period.

RESULTS: Buildbase Premier League. Rob Roy 2 Irvine Meadow 1, Kilwinning Rangers 0 Hurlford Utd 2, Rossvale 1 Benburb 5, Bonnyton Thistle 0 Darvel 5, Clydebank 0 Auchinleck Talbot 2,Troon 3 Largs Thistle 1, Rutherglen Glencairn 1 Beith 0, Kilbirnie Ladeside 2 Cumnock 0, Glenafton 1 Pollok 1,  Blantyre Vics 0 Cumbernauld Utd 3. PDM Buildbase Conference League A. Johnstone Burgh 2 Lesmahagow 2, Craigmark 6 Saltcoats Vics 1, Whitletts Vics 2 Muirkirk1, Glasgow University 3 Irvine Vics 1,Bellshill Athletic 0 Arthurlie 6, Shotts Bon Accord 1 Girvan 0, Lugar Boswell 1 Maryhill 2. PDM Buildbase Conference League B. Carluke Rovers 0 Thorniewood Utd 5, Renfrew 6 Port Glasgow 2, Dalry Thistle 0  Glasgow Utd 1, Gartcairn 6 Royal Albert 1, Greenock 3 Ashfield 1,  Cambuslang Rangers 4 Newmains Utd  0,  Ardeer Thistle 2 St Cadocs 4. PDM Buildbase Conference League C. Drumchapel Utd 1 Glasgow Perthshire 0, St Anthonys 2 Wishaw 2,Kilsyth Rangers 1 Vale of Leven 0, East Kilbride Thistle 3 Yoker Athletic 1, Lanark Utd 0 St Rochs 2, Larkhall Thistle 0 Petershill 4.PDM Buildbase Division Four. Campbeltown Pupils 2 B.S.C. Glasgow 2,Finnart 3 Harmony Row 1, Kilsyth Athletic 0  Glenvale 1,  Harthill Royal 2 St Peters 3.