HOLDERS Kyles Athletic defeated Argyllshire rivals Inveraray 6-2 to retain the AJG Parcels Celtic Society Cup for the first time in 30 years as the final returned to its traditional setting of Old Anniesland in Glasgow.
On a hard and somewhat patchy surface Kyles were always on top thanks to Dunky Kerr, Roberto Zavaroni and the tireless Robbie Macleod dominating the middle of the field, although their forwards were wasteful early on.
Inveraray took a sixth-minute lead when a long free hit from centre David Robertson fell to Euan MacMurdo and he fired a blistering shot high into the net past veteran Kyles keeper Kenny Macdonald.
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Kyles equalised after 13 minutes when Roddy Macdonald picked up a through ball from Kerr , dodged past his marker and slipped it past Graham Macpherson in the Inveraray goals.
MacMurdo struck again after 20 minutes following an error in the Kyles defence and Inveraray could have gone further ahead had Neil Campbell shown more composure in front of goal when Kyles full-back Calum Miller failed to cut out a long through ball.
Kyles were working hard to get back into the game, but the Inveraray defence looked well in command until just before half-time.
Kyles were awarded a free hit close to goal and, in a move straight from the training ground, captain Tom Whyte slipped the ball past the Inveraray defenders and Kerr was on hand to make it 2-2 at the break.
Whyte put his side ahead after another well-worked free hit in 62 minutes and Roddy Macdonald produced another individual effort for Kyles' fourth.
From then on, the game was all about the Tighnabruaich side. Whyte went on to complete his hat-trick with goals in the 76th and 80th minutes.
That ensured he won the man of the match award to add to the commemorative caman traditionally presented to the winning captain at the end of the game.
That his club have now won the Celtic Society Cup a record 31 times may well please him more.