Amateurs: North Merchiston Vale break the Bank

North Merchiston Vale
North Merchiston Vale
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North Merchiston Vale produced a battling performance to see off Bank Of Scotland Strollers 1-0 at Harrison Park, putting them into the semi-finals of the Miller Cup.

With the sunshine beaming down on the pitch, Strollers got proceedings underway but it was Vale who were on top early on. Alan Bannon’s free-kick from the right wasn’t cleared by the opposition, allowing Ryan Stewart to stab the ball in at the front post.

Although they got their noses in front, Vale took their foot off the gas and allowed Strollers to build some momentum. The match could have been level at the break but Paul Armstrong saw his shot from the edge of the box well saved by Vale goalkeeper Martin Pyper.

After a stern talking to at the break from coach Scott Newby, Vale again began brightly but, with Strollers goalie Ross Allan in inspired form, it looked like they would have to see out their one goal lead.

Strollers looked to cause some problems late on but, between Pyper and his back four, Vale managed to see out the efforts of strike partnership Dean Thomson and Connor Preston.

• Danderhall Miners into final

Danderhall Miners reached their first-ever South Of Scotland Cup final thanks to Darren Anderson’s goal against Carluke Hearts at Albyn Park.

Having already beaten their opposition 5-1 in the Scottish Cup this season, Danderhall had every reason to be confident going into the game but it wasn’t to be as easy this time round.

The Midlothian side rode their luck a little early on as Hearts hit a post but, on the 25th-minute mark, the game’s decisive goal was scored.

Colin Lawson sent Grant McMillan down the left-hand side and he cut inside to square the ball for Anderson to turn home.

It was a tight affair after that with neither team looking to take too much of a gamble in attack and so the half finished with the scores unchanged.

Danderhall had to be on their guard in the second half to stop Hearts and when they were exposed, goalkeeper Thomas Cordery came to the rescue.

Danderhall could have made sure of their final spot but Hearts goalkeeper Stuart Leishman stopped efforts from Grant Aitchison, Richard Todd and Mark Brown. However, it wasn’t to prove costly as Danderhall kept it tight to seal victory. They go on to face holders Shotts Victoria at Hamilton’s New Douglas Park next month.

• Meadowbank win Edinburgh Cup

Mark Griffiths scored a dramatic injury-time winner as Meadowbank lifted the Edinburgh Cup with a 2-1 victory over Tranent Athletic at Paties Road.

Sunday Morning League side Tranent were looking for another scalp, having already eliminated three teams in the leagues above, including North Merchiston at the semi-final stage.

But Meadowbank looked bright from the off and took the lead with barely five minutes on the clock thanks to Ross Grant’s composed finish in the area following a mix-up in the Athletic defence.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, though, and Athletic came back into it, deservedly grabbing an equaliser midway through the half. Dan Black’s header looked to be heading in from Steven Love’s cross but John Brash made sure from two yards.

It was all to play for in the second 45 and, although both sides threatened, it looked like the game was headed to extra time. But Meadowbank found a late, dramatic winner as both substitutes combined. Jordan Davidson squared the ball in the area for Griffiths to blast in, prompting jubilant scenes among his team-mates.