Bonnyrigg Rose midfielder Jonny Stewart capped a memorable weekend as the New Dundas Park men effectively secured the Super League title with a dominant 5-0 away win at Carnoustie Panmure.
Rose can only be denied their first title since season 2011/12 by Kelty Hearts on goal difference, although they would have to lose their last two league matches and the Fife outfit would have to overhaul Bonnyrigg’s 20-goal advantage.
Former Hearts youngster Stewart is hoping to secure three trophies in a week. He manages local amateur outfit Loanhead Parish and led them to the Buckstone Roofing Cup on Friday night with a 3-2 victory at Rose’s New Dundas Park ground. A point will be enough to secure Rose the title on Wednesday night at home to Camelon, before Stewart leads his Loanhead side into another cup final against Fairmilehead on Friday evening.
“It’s been a decent weekend so far,” said Stewart who has donned the armband in recent weeks with club skipper Ross Archibald sidelined with a hamstring injury.
“It will top off a great week if we go and win the league on Wednesday, then my amateur team have got another cup final on Friday so it could be three trophies in a week.
“I don’t know if Archie is going to be fit for Wednesday. We’ll wait and see, but it would be nice to wear the armband if that’s the case. He came into the changing room just before we went out with the full kit on and the armband, he was having a bit of a joke, but it doesn’t matter who lifts the trophy everyone has played their part this season, it’s been a real team effort.”
Backed by a large visiting support, who travelled high in expectation that they could lift the title for the second time in Carnoustie – Rose having secured the league at Laing Park in 2012 – they got off to the best possible start.
Home keeper Chris MacPherson’s poor kick-out landed right at the feet of striker Wayne McIntosh on the edge of the box. Rose’s top goalscorer doesn’t waste opportunities handed to him on a plate and he lashed home on seven minutes.
Robbie Horn’s men maintained their early momentum and they made it two after 17 minutes. Left-back Ruaridh Donaldson delivered the kind of cross strikers dream of, the ball whipped in onto the head of striker Keiran McGachie who powered into the top corner.
If Rose’s merry bunch of travelling fans weren’t already in a jubilant mood, they were singing and dancing as news filtered through from Carmuirs Park that Camelon had taken the lead against Kelty – cue cries of “championees”.
A killer third soon arrived on 38 minutes. Rose’s goals haven’t just come from their two main striker’s all season, they possess goalscoring prowess all over the park – midfielder Adam Nelson knocking home after McIntosh was denied when put through by Scott Gray’s incisive pass.
Defender Kerr Young came closest to a fourth after the interval, his fierce effort from inside the area punched clear by MacPherson. Chris Liversegg tried to pull a goal back for the hosts but his well-placed header lacked the power to beat Michael Andrews.
Horn and his assistant David Burrell were calling on their players to increase the tempo and a fourth goal duly arrived on 73 minutes. Stewart couldn’t have hit his effort any better, the ball falling to him on the edge of the box from a corner as he lashed home a fizzing volley into the back of the net.
By the time centre-back Dean Hoskins chipped in with a fifth – a bullet header from Gray’s corner in added on time – it was clear that they wouldn’t mathematically secure the title with Kelty leading 3-1, but with just a point from six needed, they’ll postpone their title party until Wednesday night at least.
Carnoustie Panmure: MacPherson, Cook (Smith), MacDonald, Millar, Buggins, Roberts, McCabe, Scott, Gersok, Gray, Liversegg.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Horne, Donaldson (Brown), Stewart, Young, Hoskins, Gray, Turner (Kidd), McGachie (McLaren), Nelson, McIntosh.