Bo’ness partied in the rain last night after their 5-1 demolition of Lochee secured a fifth East Super League title in five years.
The West Lothian side had always looked on course to clinch the championship before this Saturday’s last-day clash with nearest rivals Linlithgow, and they made sure there was to be no nervy finale as they blew away the Tayside outfit in front of a bumper crowd at a drenched Newtown Park.
Two goals in the first five minutes eased any pressure on Bo’ness and they went on to enjoy a straightforward evening before getting their hands on the trophy. Beaming boss Alan McGonigal said: “This was our target at the start of the campaign and although it took us a while to get our noses in front we always felt the title was ours for the taking.
“We’re a big club now and we have to deliver. We won some big matches this season and that’s what big teams do. It’s been a long season but this is the rewards we get for all the hard work. There is an adventure for us ahead in the William Hill Scottish Cup next season and that’s something the club have enjoyed in the past.
“I’m delighted for my assistant, Stevie Kerrigan, as this is the first major trophy he’s won all his time in football and he’s just as excited as the players.”
Darren Gribben set up full-back Stewart Devine to net the opener in the second minute. Then three minutes later they had doubled their lead when Steven Hislop sidefooted home Nicky Walker’s cross from six yards.
Bo’ness were dominant and Gribben, Hislop, Walker and Stuart Hunter all went close. It was no surprise when the third goal came just after the half hour mark, as Gribben dispossessed Chris Hay before racing in on goal and slotting home.
Lochee clawed a goal back a minute into the second half when John Voigt slammed in the rebound after Bo’ness keeper Mark Peat made a great block to deny Scott Gates. The goal rattled the hosts and Lochee took control for around 20 minutes.
However, Gribben got Bo’ness back on track when he lashed home a low shot after a good passage of play involving sub Kieron Anderson and Ian Nimmo. By now, Bo’ness knew the title was secure and the celebrations started all round Newtown Park.
Yet there was still another goal to come, with sub Kieron Anderson putting the icing on the cake with a fifth goal a couple of minutes from the end. When the full-time whistle went, the party kicked into full swing. Suddenly the pitch was full of home supporters singing and dancing before the East Super League trophy was presented to the Bo’ness players. Players taking “selfies” with the trophy was the order of the day.
Club captain Will Snowdon said: “Over the season we have proved to be the best team by the number of goals, most wins and least goals conceded, so we have to be proud of that achievement.
“The gaffer told us at the start of the season the aim was to win the league and a cup. I’ve been here seven years and not won a cup but we have a chance of winning a cup when we play Linlithgow in the Fife and Lothians, so that’s the second part of our target.”
Bo’ness: Peat, Snowdon, Devine, Scott, Hunter, Campbell, Walker, Sloan, Hislop, Donnelly, Gribben. Subs: Anderson, Miller, Murphy, Nimmo, Baillie.
Lochee: Fotheringham, Hay, Kirk, Hagen, Tawse, Percy, Gallagher, Voight, Brian, Cavanagh, Gates. Subs: Fraser, Wood, Gray.