A LOCAL publican and a taxi firm rescued a group of Largs Thistle fans' cup final after they were stranded on the way to the game.

Brisbane Taxis and John Sharp stepped in after the supporters' bus broke down on the way to the Hamilton showpiece.

Three buses were going from JG Sharp's in Nelson Street at 2.15pm on Sunday but there was a problem with the third bus which broke down at Kilbirnie. leaving fans high and dry.

Lifelong fan Kenny Smailes said: "It was a nightmare. We had booked three buses and two turned up fine, but the other one had broke down on the way here.

"We had to wait for a replacement bus to arrive but when it did, there wasn't enough room and around a dozen people couldn't get on."

Kenny, a former match secretary and club president, was gutted at the situation, was set to miss the game himself to allow others to go.

But bar owner John covered the cost of the taxis, which came at short notice to get fans on their way.

Kenny said: "A special thank you goes to John, who paid for the taxis.

"Brisbane and him were the heroes of the hour, they saved the day."

Kirsteen Frew, who works in the taxi firm's call centre, said: "A bus failed to arrive so we dropped everything to get the supporters to the game.

"We sent for three taxis who took around 12 fans to the match. We took them back later on.

"We were glad to be able to assist - that is what we are here for.

"We got the phone call at 2.55pm so it was cutting it fine, but we got all the fans there for a 4.10pm kick-off.

"It was a community effort and a big event for the town. It is something that doesn't come along too often and we couldn't have people missing out. It was a shame they didn't get the result, but everybody still had a great day out."

Coaches from The George, Anchor, Halkshill Bowling Club, and Eglinton Bar in Skelmorlie all made the journey along the M8, while brothers Chris and Michael Sewell travelled up from London for the big match.