RHU Amateurs manager Stewart Maule hailed his players' "magnificent" display after they dumped holders Giffnock North out of the Douglas Smith League Cup on Saturday.

Having won their opening two First Division fixtures in convincing fashion, Rhu held the Premier League leaders to a 1-1 draw in the first round tie at Ardenconnel Park – before going on to hold their nerve in the penalty shoot-out that followed, winning 5-4 thanks to five expertly taken spot-kicks and a superb save by keeper Callum Ainslie.

Rhu started well with great one touch play from the team, moving the ball about, and within 15 minutes the hosts created their first great opportunity when Kyle Sharkey was put clean through on goal, but he couldn't convert in a one-on-one battle with the Giffnock keeper.

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The hosts should have found the back of the net midway through the half, only for Callum Smith to miss a close range header, before a corner found Lee Dickson at the back post, but yet again he couldn't take the chance.

The let-offs spurred Giffnock on and some nice play from the visitors saw them create a few decent opportunities, but Ainslie saved well and some great defending by the hosts from crosses kept the away side at bay.

Rhu had the ball in the back of the net 10 minutes before the interval, when a fine ball down the line by Ali Maule found Smith, and he played a one-two with Adam Sharkey before finishing well – only for the referee to disallow the goal, adjudging Smith to have been offside.

Not to be deterred, just before the half was finished, Smith found space on the left and finished well with a low shot across goal and into the bottom corner to give Rhu a 1-0 lead at the interval.

Giffnock came out fighting after half-time, as you would expect from a team of their quality, but a huge defensive team effort from Rhu kept the visitors' attackers away from goal – and even when Giffnock did manage to create opportunities, keeper Ainslie matched them well.

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Rhu had a few isolated breakaways, but were unable to create many clear-cut chances as they concentrated on trying to hold on for the win.

But with 10 minutes left the home side's hopes of a shock result suffered a major blow when a shot from a corner was blocked on the line, and the loose ball was rifled into the net by Giffnock striker Nicky Kane.

Rhu, however, knuckled down and saw out the closing stages without any further scoring at either end, taking the match to a penalty shoot-out.

Rhu's spot-kicks were converted by Cameron, both Sharkey brothers, Toms and Dickson, while Ainslie pulled off a superb save to keep out Giffnock's second spot-kick and ensure the home side's place in the next round of the competition.

Manager Maule said afterwards: "The boys were magnificent on Saturday. Their work rate, desire and quality is a joy to work with."

Squad: Ainslie, Cameron, Brodie, Dickson, Maule, A. Sharkey, Grant, Toms, Stillwell, Smith, K. Sharkey, McKell, Harkin, Holborn, Gorman.

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Rhu's plans to return to league business this week were dashed when their Caledonian League fixture away to Viewfield Rovers on Tuesday night was postponed.

A post on Rhu's Facebook page stated that the call-off was due to the grass at the Lochwinnoch club's home pitch not having been cut.

The Amateurs' league campaign is due to resume this Saturday, August 24, away to Doune Castle.