Strathearn Grove 5
DEADLY finishing, including a four-goal haul for teenager Darren Beattie, ensured Grove were able to wrap up a potentially tricky away fixture inside an hour.
The Crieff men, who harbour hopes of claiming one of the Third Division’s two automatic promotion places, gave Donald Crerar a start in place of the suspended Gavin Jack.
And it was the young central midfielder who made an early impact, putting a firm foot through the ball from 30 yards out to send it sailing over the home goalkeeper’s head for the opening goal after 15 minutes.
If that was a good start two further goals in a two-minute spell midway through the half were more than the most optimistic Grove follower could have hoped for.
A piece of magic from Mark Buckley saw him evade the Kenmore left-back hard on the touchline and set up Darren Beattie, who turned the ball home. Then, with Grove dominating the midfield, the ball was played forward and a one-two between recalled striker Ali Grant and Beattie led to the youngster grabbing his second.
More could have followed until a challenge inside the box by Grove left-back Gregor Walker was deemed illegal shortly before half-time. Kenmore were foiled as Barrie Chiverton pulled off his second penalty stop in a week.
Moments from the break, a great through ball from midfield dynamo Jamie Henry put Beattie away and he calmly drew the goalie before slotting the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
In the second half calamitous defending from the home side gifted Braco’s Beattie his fourth, and Grove’s fifth, from point-blank range.
Kenmore never gave up and pulled a goal back with a header as the visitors were caught short-handed after giving away possession.
With time running out Gregor Walker was adjudged to have handled and Kenmore made amends for the earlier penalty miss.
Third-top Grove almost added to their tally with a curling Henry effort that struck the bar. Barry McKenzie thought he had notched when he slammed home the rebound but was ruled offside.
GROVE: Chiverton, McLean (Fyfe), Gregor Walker, McKenzie, Graeme Walker, Graham Walker, Crerar (Ward), Henry, Dewar, Beattie and Grant (Klawikowski).