Largs Thistle legend George Wall writes for the News about football matters local, national and international...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I managed three games at the weekend:  Greenock v Port Glasgow, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Maryhill and Largs Thistle v Hurlford.

First up was Greenock v Port Glasgow under the lights at Ravenscraig with a big crowd - the biggest I have ever seen there for a game, in fact.

Greenock won 2-0 in what was a very competitive game, starting with the first tackle after about 10 seconds - and I like a tackle.

One player that stood out in the game was Largs boy Travis Stracey, who plays for Greenock. He played really well in the midfield, where he was up against former Largs player Mark Millar, and for me was man of the match.

Next was Saturday's friendly at Valefield between Kilbirnie Ladeside and Maryhill, which the visitors won 2-1. It was a typical friendly, although Ladeside never like getting beaten at home.

Maryhill looked to have improved from the previous time I watched them a few weeks ago, although the man of the match for me was Ladeside's Jon Scullion. What a skilful player he is - though he only played the first half before going off injured.

The last of the three games I took in at the weekend was Largs Thistle v Hurlford - and it was a much better performance from Largs this week as they won 3-1.

After Largs scored their first they looked to me to be well on top. Hurlford did threaten a comeback after they scored but it never happened.

I spoke to Darren Henderson, the Hurlford manager, after the game, and he was so disappointed in his team's performance. Man of the match there for me was Darryl Duffy, who showed composure, skill, experience and linked the play up throughout the game.

It was great also to meet former Largs player Derek Love at the game. Derek was instrumental in winning the league when myself and Frank Lovering were the management team at Largs. Derek also scored the winning goal in the Scottish Junior Cup final in 1989 when Cumnock beat Ormiston Primrose 1-0 at Rugby Park - the last time Cumnock lifted the trophy until their win over Rutherglen in June.

Next up for Largs is Glenafton, when the task is simple: just beat them and keep them down in the bottom three.

Are we seeing a shift at the top of “junior” football? For years Auchinleck Talbot have been the team other teams aspire to be. They now sit bottom of the league, having won only one and drawn two of their eight games so far - and at the weekend they were beaten in the 'big' Scottish Cup by St Andrews United.

I know their manager, Tommy Sloan, will be working tirelessly to turn things around, but is it time for someone else to replace the Talbot at the top of the tree?

I don't see anyone out there yet that can do it to quite the same degree - though maybe there is a new dominant force emerging in the shape current league champions Beith, given the way they are playing and getting results. Time will tell.