FROM a season that began ominously with a thigh injury picked up in training, Lawrence Tynes claimed his place in the history books of American football as he fired the New York Giants into the Super Bowl for a second time.

The 33-year-old Greenock-born kicker scored a 31-yard field goal in overtime that won a place in the showpiece final against the New England Patriots. And more than 4000 miles away from the hysteria of San Francisco's Candlestick Park stadium, the extended family of Tynes's mother, Margaret-Ann, watched the tense sudden-death finish in Port Glasgow.

"It was amazing. He did it again," Tynes's younger cousin Darren Tipping told The Herald. "When it went 17-all and went into overtime, I knew Lawrence was going to make that kick.

"The whole family are really happy he's back in the Super Bowl and we just all hope and pray he can do the same as he did in 2008 [when his side won]."

Darren, 20, who now plans to watch the final with his fiancee and three-year-old son, added: "It makes the whole family so proud. Lawrence is very happy he's doing a job he loves in a sport he loves and he gets paid for it. You can't ask for much more."

The Giants clinched a 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday evening to set up a clash with the Patriots at the 46th Super Bowl in Indianapolis on February 5.

Four years ago Tynes was also the toast of New York after his overtime shot sent them to the 2008 final and his side's first Super Bowl victory in 18 years. The first Scot to win the Super Bowl enjoyed invitations to David Letterman's The Late Show and put his signature to a five-year contract worth $7 million.

Tynes helped the Giants edge 10-7 ahead just before half-time on Sunday evening's game with another 31-yard field goal.

Asked if he believed he would ever have played in two Super Bowls, he said: "No, I was just a guy trying to make it. I am playing for my job every week and that is how I approach it. I still will two weeks from now. You are only as good as your last kick, and fortunately I made my last one."

Yet earlier this year, Tynes didn't rank among the most popular members of the team. "If you went on to a blog at the start of the season, he was one of the guys they were calling to leave," says journalist Roddy Mackenzie, The Herald's American football writer.

"I'd say he's one of the most reliable kickers now in the NFL. He's up there with the best this season."

Tynes, whose father was a medic in the US Navy stationed a Machrihanish, grew up in Campbeltown, Argyll, and dreamed of playing for Celtic and Scotland.

Even after the family relocated to Florida when Lawrence was aged 10, he continued to play soccer at school until a coach suggested he try American football.

The law student at Troy State University signed with Kansas City Chiefs in 2001, then had a year-long spell with the now-defunct Scottish Claymores and a stint with the Ottawa Renegades, after which he re-signed with Kansas before he joined the Giants.

Tynes now lives in Clifton, New Jersey, with his wife Amanda and their sons. One of his two elder brothers, Mark Tynes, is serving a 27-year prison sentence for cannabis trafficking.

Late last year Tynes entered the New York Giants' record books by completing four years without missing a point-after-touchdown kick, notching up 135 successive kicks.

"He's very focused," added Mackenzie, who has interviewed Tynes on a number of occasions. "As a kicker you're pretty much standing on the sidelines for most of the game and you come on to kick the field goals or the points after the touchdown. You can spend the best part of three hours being inactive.

"Your whole career stands or falls by how many you kick or miss."