Amateurs: Newtongrange win thrilling final

Newtongrange Star A
Newtongrange Star A
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Newtongrange Star ‘A’ produced a great comeback as they won an action-packed Ronnie Travers Memorial Cup Final, 7-4 after extra time.

NEWTONGRANGE STAR ‘A’ produced a great comeback as they won an action-packed Ronnie Travers Memorial Cup final, 7-4 after extra time.

With Redpath Albion finishing mid-table in the lowest rung of the LEAFA – Edinburgh Central – it was a shock to see them race into an early three-goal lead over Lothian East title-chasing Newtongrange.

The cup final at Ainslie Park was well attended, with most support for underdogs Redpath – and they were treated to a superb first-half showing by the Leith side. Just 12 minutes in, Redpath’s Robbie Scouse converted a precise cross from Alan Marr. Five minutes later, Redpath captain Gregg Murray nodded in a corner from a crowded penalty box.

After 25 minutes, it looked like game over for Newtongrange as Redpath scored again, Scouse grabbing his brace by rounding the goalkeeper to score.

Newtongrange were shell-shocked but began to dominate possession with Garry Bennett drilling a free-kick against the crossbar. But Paul Hunter squandered a glorious chance to pull one back as Darren Wallace saved his penalty.

However, Newtongrange did score just before the half-time whistle when Bennett’s free-kick hit the post and Dale Syme reacted first to make it 3-1. They struck another just three minutes into the second period, Michael Campbell bursting down the left wing, entering the box and finishing off past Wallace at the near post for 3-2.

The second half was dominated by Newtongrange and Redpath’s Wallace made a string of saves to deny them, most notably three in the space of as many minutes to prevent Craig McIntyre and Campbell twice.

On 75 minutes, Redpath were down to ten men, Aidan Reilly dismissed after bringing down Campbell right on the edge of the area, when he would have been one-on-one with Wallace.

It only took the Midlothian side ten minutes to get the equaliser with the man advantage, McIntyre converting from a corner on the left with five or so minutes remaining.

Regular time finished with both sides on three goals and Newtongrange were quick off the mark in extra time as they took the lead for the first time through David Beattie’s 94th-minute strike – Campbell racing through again in space and cutting back to Beattie for a simple finish.

Incredibly, the ten men of Redpath – who understandably looked exhausted at this point – got back on level terms. The ball was worked from left to right to Chris Riley, who cut in and hit a shot with the side of his foot into the corner of the net for 4-4.

Beattie then restored Newtongrange’s lead from the penalty spot, sending Wallace the wrong way after the linesman had informed the referee of a foul in the box.

Just before half-time in extra-time they went further ahead. McIntyre’s chip was tipped onto the crossbar by Wallace, but he could not prevent John Jenkin from nodding in the rebound for 6-4.

In the second period of extra-time, Newtongrange scored again, as substitute Craig Bonar finished well from just inside the box to make completely sure of the game and the trophy for his side.