Dunfermline edge out Spartans in cup final

Donal Henretty gave Spartans the lead just before the interval
Donal Henretty gave Spartans the lead just before the interval
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Hosts Spartans and Livingston finished second and third respectively in the four-team tournament as Dunfermline lifted the Ronnie Swan Challenge Cup at Ainslie Park.

In Saturday’s semi-finals, Livingston first lost to a solitary strike by the Pars’ Ross Forbes before Dougie Samuel’s Spartans defeated a young Falkirk outfit 4-1.

Kevin Motion gave the Lowland League champions the lead before Cameron Blues equalised ten minutes after the restart.

Motion’s spectacular 25-yard strike restored the home side’s advantage and a brace by new signing and substitute Matty Cunningham sealed a comfortable win.

In yesterday’s ties, a double by Danny Mullen and a Michael McKenna goal ensured John McGlynn’s men secured third spot ahead of Falkirk with a 3-0 triumph and, in the final, Dunfermline edged past Spartans 3-2 on penalty kicks after an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Donal Henretty gave Spartans the lead just before the interval with a neat header, but Ross Drummond put Dunfermline back on level terms five minutes after the break.

The East End Park side went ahead in the 89th minute from Gavin McMillan before Craig Stevenson restored parity in the last minute and send the match straight to penalties.

Missed spot-kicks by Stevenson, Mike Bruce and Kevin Sivewright handed the trophy to the SPFL League 1 outfit.

Elsewhere, Whitehill Welfare put up a brave showing against Premiership newcomers Hamilton Accies but were beaten 5-3 at Ferguson Park.

Mickey Lawson’s men had former Porto and Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy in their line-up as a guest – he is married to a friend of the sister of Welfare player John Hall – and the South African drew Whitehill level with a terrific header minutes after Jaison McGrath had given the visitors the lead.

Kerr Dodds put the home side 2-1 up before he made it three after half an hour.

But another effort by McGrath after the interval, a double by Eamonn Brophy and a fifth by a trialist ensured an impressive comeback.