Capital boxers play ball to do Sean Collins’ memory proud

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Bonnyrigg ROSE emerged 2-1 winners over AC Midlothian in the Sean Collins Memorial
Cup in a match that was 
blighted by torrential rain.

With a spell of heavy rain prior to the scheduled 2pm kick-off, New Dundas Park was 
unfortunately declared unplayable and the match was relocated to the nearby Poltonhall Sports Complex.

At least the artificial surface was fit to stage a match that featured four of Edinburgh’s professional boxers. Alex Arthur and Jason Hastie turned out in the red and white hoops of Bonnyrigg Rose, whilst Craig McEwan and Stephen Simmons donned the blue of AC Midlothian in honour of Sean Collins, who at 21, suddenly lost his life in October 2009.

It was Hastie who fared best, the 25-year-old slotting into the right back position and showing great composure across the Bonnyrigg rearguard. Two goals in the first half from Rose’s Gordon Paterson and Alex Scullion handed Hastie and Arthur, – a late sub – the initiative over AC.

Hastie said: “It was a close game and could have gone 
either way, especially with our side getting a player sent off near the end. It was certainly competitive but great to be part of.”

Bobby Collins, assistant manager of AC Midlothian and uncle to Sean, was thrilled by the turnout of the supporters and is already plotting bigger and better things for the match next year. His side did manage to reduce the deficit in the second period through Darren Borthwick’s penalty but Collins was quick to highlight what a special occasion it had been for himself and his family.

“It was great but it was disappointing we couldn’t play on the grass.” Collins said. “But the real winner is the charity. It’s been a good day for my family to remember Sean by having this match.”

It was also a special day for match official Gary Mackenzie, who was selected to referee in light of this year’s nominated charity the Edinburgh Diabetes Clinic. Mackenzie sadly lost his wife to the condition but admits he relishes such occasions that not only prove invaluable to the receiving trusts, it also assists in raising a general awareness.

Mackenzie said: “My two daughters are so supportive of me and in the last six weeks I think I have done about five charity games. If the money is going to help somebody else then that’s great.”