E&L amateur scene again proves a haven of drama

LBC Lochend

LBC Lochend

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The Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur football season is arguably one of the best in the business with such enthusiastic committee members working tirelessly behind the scenes. With a total of 11 league competitions, not forgetting the 20 local cup competitions that run over the course of the Saturday and Sunday sections, there were sure to be a few twists and turns as the 2011/2012 season drew to a close.

Sandys FC, of Saturday Premier Division One, finished league champions after some sterling performances, a feat they were able to replicate on their way to reaching the East of Scotland Cup final, but were convincingly defeated by Stirling-based side Doune Castle 3-1 at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium. The side also came up short in the other cup fixtures they contested.

LBC Lochend Amateurs proved they will be a force to be reckoned with come the start of the new season next month. Not only did they clinch the Lothian West league title, they also managed to secure a further three accolades, winning the Centenary, Ian McDonald and Victory Cups and playing some superb football in the process. There were also celebrations for Midlothian-based sides Mayfield & Easthouses and Dalkeith MW. The former underlined their supremacy with the achievement of a league and cup double, taking home the Edinburgh East title, the Robertson Cup after defeating Musselburgh Windsor, and the Anderson Cup after an epic 5-4 battle with Links United at Ainslie Park.

However, they were on the reverse of the same score line against rivals Dalkeith MW in the final of the Miller Cup in the hot sun at New Victoria Park, where victory rounded off a memorable week for Dalkeith, who only three days prior, overcame Sandys to win 3-2 and lift the Blaikie Cup. West Lothian outfit Uphall Station proved to be a valuable asset to the association and produced some resounding performances on their way to a cup double. Victories over Lochend and Loanhead in the Logan and Challenge Cups respectively, handed manager Stevie Clark and his players the rewards they deserved.

Links United and East Linton swept up the remaining end-of-season awards to send them into the summer break with a spring in their steps. Firstly, Links overcame the despair of losing 5-4 to Mayfield & Easthouses in the Anderson Cup to overpower divisional rivals Cramond 4-0 and lift the Dunedin Cup, while East Linton recorded a 3-1 win over the reserves of Edinburgh University in the final of the Holyrood Cup with both fixtures played at Ainslie Park.

Musselburgh Amateurs, despite not winning the Scottish Amateur Cup, deserve enormous credit for their efforts. The East Lothian side reached the quarter-final stage of the competition before losing to this year’s worthy winners, Hurlford Thistle, and can take heart from their achievements. In the Sunday section, Liberton Thistle completed a memorable treble, winning the Premier Division Two Championship in addition to the Presidents Cup and Colin Campbell Sports League Cup and will be confident of further success in the coming campaign.

Cramond may have topped Premier Division One by just two points to take the league title, but it was sixth-placed Lothian Athletic who clinched the League Cup, defeating The Jolly 3-1 in the final.

The Jolly were on the end of another disappointing cup final defeat when divisional rivals, Roslin Da Vinci, netted two late goals to turn the tie on its head and lift the Edinburgh Cup with a 2-1 victory.

Jubilation ensued for the Roslin players, who made up for a disappointing league campaign after finishing third from bottom.

Dilligaf and Haddington United both secured their respective division League Cup titles. Dilligaf, in their first season of competition, put in a battling performance to defeat the Standard 1-0, while Haddington United beat Mayfield 3-1, adding the League Cup to their championship-winning accolade.

The Pavilion proved too strong for the Standard in the final of the Stead and Simpson Cup and, against all the odds, Fountainbridge emerged victorious in the final of the Sunday Morning League Cup, defeating league champions Stables 1-0 in the final at Paties Road.