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Daily Record
Daily Record
Andy McGilvray

Dundee East Craigie are Junior Cup 'dark horses' says Rutherglen boss, as he insists all semi-finalists will fancy chances of glory

Willie Harvey says all four Junior Cup semi-finalists will fancy their chances of glory, having taken Rutherglen Glencairn into their first semi-final in 10 years.

But he reckons their last four opponents Dundee East Craigie could be dark horses in the competition, having ousted Cambuslang Rangers, St Roch’s and Shotts Bon Accord.

Glencairn - who last reached this stage of the competition in 2013 - have been paired with East Craigie, while Ayrshire rivals Glenafton Athletic and Cumnock will meet in the other semi-final. Dates and venues for the ties are yet to be confirmed.

Harvey reckons their success so far will give the whole club a boost ahead of Saturday’s league clash at Whitletts Vics and believes any of the remaining teams are capable of going all the way to glory in the summer.

After a 2-1 win at Larkhall Thistle in Saturday's quarter-final, Harvey said: “All four teams will be looking at each other and thinking ‘every game is winnable’.

“Glenafton will fancy themselves against anybody, them and Cumnock are two of the Premier League teams.

“Dundee East Craigie have already knocked out Cambuslang, Shotts and St Roch’s, so they’re the dark horses of the four, but Cumnock and Glenafton will fancy themselves against anybody.

“But we’ll put that on the back-burner because we need to concentrate on the league and the West of Scotland Cup last 16.

“Training this week will be good, everyone will be on a high, and our job is to bring them back down to earth and be ready for the Whitletts Vics game.”

Tam Miller and Kyle Chrystal celebrate after Glencairn's quater-final win (Rogue Monkey Digital Media)

Glens were backed by a noisy crowd at Gasworks Park as they reached the last four, which Harvey admits took him by surprise.

“They turned out in their numbers and we only realised that when the linesman made a bad decision up our end and the whole crowd beside us went mental,” he said.

“When we scored, the roar that went up from right around the ground made us realise that we had carried a good support with us, which was brilliant.

“It was good to see the people of Rutherglen and surrounding areas coming out to support us, and hopefully they’ll do that in the semis.”

Glens now head to Dam Park on Saturday to face a Whitletts side that sit bottom of the First Division, a situation that Harvey finds surprising, given what he has seen of his opponents.

“When we played them at our park we drew 1-1 with them, and don’t get me wrong, we could have beat them, but I don’t see how they’ve ended up in the position they’re in,” he said. “I was very impressed with them.

“I watched them in the Strathclyde Demolition Cup final against Renfrew that went to penalty kicks and I was impressed with them then, as well.

Jack McIlveen scores from the spot for Rutherglen (RGFC)

“It’s another banana skin for us, because we’re up riding high, trying to chase promotion and they’re down there fighting relegation, so all of a sudden it’s a similar scenario to the Larkhall game.

“We’ll be favourites, but Whitletts aren’t as bad a team as their league position shows.”

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

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