Carluke started this game knowing that their opponents had beaten them on all four occasions last year when the two teams had met. So beyond the customary rivalry between the two teams there was the added pressure on the Rovers not to allow that losing run to continue.
Ultimately it would be the visitors to the Royal Burgh who would carry the trophy home to Carluke.
As the first half got underway it was Lanark who pressed the hardest and highest, as the Rovers struggled to cope with the pace of their opponents.
On the the 20 minute mark the Carluke defence was finally breached when Lanark’s Fraser picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Rovers box and rifled a shot through the crowd of players and past the unsighted Terry in the Carluke goal.
The loss of the first goal seemed to finally spur Carluke into playing the passing football which manager Wilson demands of them.
On the half hour mark Carluke were rewarded for their endeavours. A Rovers free kick on the left of the home box was fired in by McKenna. The headed clearance was snapped up by Lafferty just inside the box. He easily moved past the oncoming defenders and fired his shot low and hard past Murdoch in the Lanark goal.
The visitors continued to have most of the possession and continued to threaten the home side goal, but the first half finished with both teams level.
HT Lanark 1-1 Rovers
The second half had barely started when MacNeill played a long ball through to Lafferty, who once again easily dismissed the attentions of the Lanark defence. Unfortunately with only the keeper to beat he fired his shot high over the bar.
Carluke continued to press for the lead. The breakthrough came with 20 minutes left on the clock. A long ball out of defence from Byrne found the industrious Lafferty who controlled the ball and sprinted clear of the Lanark defence and passed selflessly to the unmarked Louden who slipped the ball into the empty net.
The home side were gifted a chance to find an equaliser when the main threat from the visitors, Lafferty, was dismissed for a second yellow card with 15 minutes to go.
The home side took advantage the extra player and pressed hard for the equaliser.
As the game edged towards 90 minutes Lanark’s extra man advantage was wiped out when in the 89th minute, Gracie in Lanark defence was red carded for a “last man” foul on Byrne.
When it appeared as though the Rovers may hold on for the victory, Lanark’s Lawson took advantage of slack defending in the Rovers box and slotted home the equaliser in the 92nd minute.
FT Lanark 2-2 Rovers
The final was decided on penalties and there is no doubt that the Rovers were deflated as they approached the first spot kick.
The depression deepened when the first two Rovers kicks were missed by Cassidy and McDonald.
The mood however was lifted considerably when Terry in the Carluke goal managed to keep out the first two Lanark attempts.
When MacNeill and Byrne slotted home their kicks with only Imrie scoring for the home side, it was left to Greirson to slot home the Cup winning kick for the Rovers.
The Clydesdale Cup would be carried back down the A73 for the first time since 2015.
Photography by Kevin Ramage