Aug 31 2012 by Lizzie Smith, Kilmarnock Standard
Hurlford Thistle ..............................5
EDF Energy Ayrshire Cup first round
HURLFORD Thistle fired in five first-half goals against fellow premier side Kilmarnock Town to start their defence of the cup on Saturday.
Thistle’s Michael Mullen fired home the opener from a Jamie Phillipson header on eight minutes.
Ryan Caddis brought out a fine save from Town keeper Marc Boyd. However, Boyd was beaten two minutes later when Alan Hunter pounced to put Hurlford two up.
The keeper came to Town’s rescue when he touched a Mullen shot onto the crossbar.
On 20 minutes, Billy Mason played the ball into the path of Mullen who found the top corner of the net for Thistle’s third.
The home side kept pressing forward as Caddis’s cross was met by Robert Robertson whose header was saved by Boyd.
Eight minutes from half-time, Mullen broke free to shot low into the net and complete his hat-trick.
With the break looming, Richard Reeder found Phillipson who nodded the home side 5-0 up.
The second half was only minutes old when Greig Gilroy fired narrowly over as Thistle looked to increase their lead.
Thistle keeper Ryan Farrell was called into action as he touched a shot round the post.
Roberston rounded a defender before the keeper blocked his shot.
At the other end, Farrell pulled off a fine save to keep the visitors at bay.
Thistle replied as Caddis curled a shot wide of the Town upright.
Town almost pulled a goal back when a header struck the Hurlford bar and Farrell was on hand to block the rebound.
Town keeper Boyd made saves from Mullen and then touched a Reeder header on to the crossbar.
The keeper was beaten in the dying seconds but Robertson’s shot went narrowly wide.