Thistle welcomed Abbey Vale for what has now become a regular fixture in the pre-season calendar, this time though the clubs were playing for the inaugural Tommy Jamieson Memorial Cup, in memory of local man Tommy who had strong ties with both clubs.
With the exception of the goalkeeper – where Lee Moss once again stood in and played very well – Larkhall had what was probably their strongest starting team out so it was a good chance to see how they played together before the start of the competitive fixtures.
Two goals in the first three minutes from Matty Clarke gave Thistle the perfect start and looked to be a sign of things to come. The Jags went 3-0 up in under 10 minutes when Scott Nicholl swung a great cross onto Josh Payne’s head and he fired into the corner.
David Reid then made it four midway through the half with a low drive after the keeper had saved the initial shot and Clarke rounded off the first half scoring to complete his hat trick.
Half time: Larkhall Thistle 5 Abbey Vale 0
Hugh Kelly started the half in place of Ryan Innes in the centre of midfield and despite the big lead there was no letting up and some strong words from the manager at the early missed chances.
McKeever, Doyle and trialist Liam Mushett came on for Payne, Clarke and Reynolds after an hour but it took Thistle nearly 20 minutes of the second half to add to the lead when Reid finished after good work by Gracie on the left.
Mushett made it 7-0 when Brian Jack hit him with a cross from the byeline but Abbey Vale pulled a goal back right away with a free header from a corner.
A good show from Thistle and some very good passing moves and a scoreline that could easily have reached double figures with a bit more clinical finishing, especially in the second half.
Full time: Larkhall Thistle 7 Abbey Vale 1
Scorers: Clarke (3), Payne, Reid (2), Mushett
Moss; Brown, Reynolds, Nicholl; Payne, Innes, Jack, Canning, Reid, Gracie, Clarke. Subs: Kelly, McKeever, Doyle, Mushett
Holt; Ruddick, Edgar, Connelly, Love, Cameron, Telfer, Kennedy, Kerr, Thom, Malin. Subs: Mellon, Pirrie, Turner