Bo’ness ace hopes cup can ease pain of title loss

Ross Philp, left, saw his old club Kelty win the title after he left for Bo'ness
Ross Philp, left, saw his old club Kelty win the title after he left for Bo'ness
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BO’NESS UNITED’S Ross Philp is desperate to end the season with silverware to keep his former Kelty Hearts team-mates quiet.

The midfielder, who joined Bo’ness last summer from this season’s Super League champions, has borne the brunt of the joke since the Fifers pipped the Newtown Park men to the title.

Philp was offered the chance to remain at Central Park but opted to depart Thomas Courts’ men at the end of his contract to join last season’s league winners – a choice which he felt was a no-brainer considering Kelty had to stave off relegation via the play-offs.

Kelty secured the title without playing earlier this month when Bo’ness lost 1-0 away to Hill of Beath, and Philp revealed his former team-mates didn’t delay in rubbing it in. The BUs travel to Camelon in the semi-final of the Fife and Lothians Cup tonight before hosting Dundonald Bluebell in the last four of the East of Scotland Cup on Wednesday evening.

“I had to turn my phone off the night they won the league, I couldn’t handle it,” he said. “I got a phone call from one of them, phoning from an unknown number and they left a message – I don’t know who it was – and that was it, Facebook, Twitter and everything went off. I texted a few of them to say well done and to enjoy their night and they were alright about it.

“I spoke to them [Kelty] in January last year, but at that time we were still down at the bottom and I didn’t really know what was happening. I didn’t want to sign and then, had we got relegated, I would’ve been playing in the league below, so I held off.

“Because we had a lot of games I never really spoke to him [Courts] about it and when it came to the end of the season, I’d spoken to Allan [McGonigal, the Bo’ness manager] and decided that Bo’ness was where I wanted to go, so I told Kelty before the play-off that I’d be leaving.

“Folk have said to me since, ‘Did you regret it?’ Obviously going away and them winning the league is not exactly a good thing, but we’ve had the games in the Scottish [Cup] at the start of the season in front of big crowds and it was a great journey. We were always playing catch-up in terms of being games behind.”

Camelon may be down at the other end of the table, but Philp isn’t underestimating them. The Mariners have gathered a bit of momentum in recent weeks and reflecting on their two meetings earlier this season, the former Alloa youngster is expecting a tough encounter at Carmuirs Park.

He said: “They got a good win the other night and although you never know what your going to get with them, it’s always going to be a hard game through there.”

Bo’ness are still without injury striker Darren Gribben, although Andy Scott and Stuart Hunter are fit again.