HUTCHISON VALE and a Celtic/Rangers select produced a thrilling 6-5 encounter in memory of Craig Gowans in yesterday’s annual charity fixture at Saughton Enclosure.
A bumper crowd turned out to honour 17-year-old Craig, the Edinburgh youngster who was tragically killed after a freak accident at Falkirk FC’s training ground almost eight years ago.
However, it was Craig’s former youth team, Hutchison Vale, who emerged victorious over their Old Firm opponents in a match that switched from end-to-end.
Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae had given his side a 1-0 lead courtesy of a blistering strike from the edge of the box, but Gordon Parks equalised with a neat finish before the break.
Mark Burchill restored the Celtic/Rangers side’s advantage when he knocked in from close range moments into the second half after Bobby Petta’s cross from the left. Ex-Rangers player Ronnie Yule then diverted a cross into his own net to the level the match at 2-2 before Hutchie ran riot over the next 15 minutes, netting on three occasions to make it 5-2 after a Jon McInally double and Andy Daniel’s clever finish.
Unable to resist the temptation to turn on the flair, the ex-pros were able to claw their way back to 5-5 with Rae claiming his second with a tap-in and Burchill completing his hat-trick with two quality finishes.
However, Hutchie snatched victory in the final minute as Daniel blasted into the top left corner from a tight angle.
Upon the presentation of the trophy to the winning squad, Craig’s father John said: “I would like to say on behalf of my wife, Sheila, two sons Dean and Darren, and my daughter Lyndsay, that without everyone this event wouldn’t be possible and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”