Largs Thistle boss Stuart Davidson has praised his side after a terrific second half of the season which has resulted in the Barrfields side equalling their best ever league finish.

Thistle rounded off the season on Saturday with a comfortable win away to relegated Rob Roy, off the back of a commanding performance in the 2-0 victory over Auchinleck Talbot in their final home fixture of the campaign.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The Auchinleck win was also a special night for Martin Crawford in his last home match after a seven-year spell as Largs assistant manager.

Crawford was given a guard of honour by the players at Barrfields and couldn't have wished for a better send-off than seeing the team convincingly see off a Talbot side who mounted their own late push for the title.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Davidson said: “It has been another satisfying season at Largs Thistle. I am lucky to work with such a great hard working group of players.

"Thanks to the team, coaching staff, committee, sponsors and most of all supporters.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Feeling champion: Martin CrawfordFeeling champion: Martin Crawford (Image: Richard Kreider)

And Davidson also praised Crawford for his immense contribution over the seasons at Largs.

“What a fantastic person and gentleman Martin is," he continued.

"He has amazing knowledge of the game which has been so beneficial to me, the staff and the players over the years.

"He is going to be missed by everyone at the club. Thanks for stepping up Martin- it’s been an absolute pleasure.”

Beith finished as champions on 60 points, with Talbot on 55, St Cadoc's and Clydebank on 54 and Largs on 53.

Thistle's late run of eight wins in their final nine matches, with eventual champions Beith the only team to beat Davidson's side in the run-in, saw them finish ahead of Pollok in sixth place on 50 points and Darvel in seventh on 45 - two teams with much larger budgets than the Barrfields men.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Largs and Beith will be North Ayrshire's only two representatives in the top flight next season after Irvine Meadow followed in the footsteps of two of the area's other big guns, Kilwinning Rangers and Kilbirnie Ladeside, in suffering relegation to the First Division.

Thistle scored 53 goals during the course of their league campaign and conceded 39 - the third best defensive record in the league, bettered only by Talbot and Clydebank.

Writing in the final home programme of the season, manager Davidson said: “I have mixed feelings about how the season has gone.

"I think we’ve played pretty well over the piece but maybe not got the results we deserved, particularly before Christmas.

"The boys have been brilliant; it’s been great to work with them and I think they will only get better.

"We don’t have as big a squad as some in the division, but it’s a tight knit group and we’ve managed to compete with more affluent clubs through the hard work we’ve put in.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Superb second goal for Lewis Davidson saw off Auchinleck Superb second goal for Lewis Davidson saw off Auchinleck (Image: Largs Thistle FC)

“Our good run over recent months came to an end in a tight match against Beith a fortnight ago, a match we were unlucky not to get a point from.

"To play so well against the likely champions was a real sign of the progress we’ve made this season.”

Largs Thistle’s Player of the Year Night takes place on Saturday May 18 at St Columba’s Parish Church, along with the 2008s side. Email for your ticket.

* You can see Largs Thistle's U16s in action at Barrfields on Thursday at 7pm as they take on Irvine Meadow.

(Pictures: Richard Kreider/Largs Thistle FC)