Narrow win sees 14s lift Pilmar Smith Cup again

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Liberton United 14s left it late to seal Pilmar Smith Cup glory as they beat Cramond 3-2 in the final in difficult conditions at Saughton Enclosure.

Referee Philip Duncan deemed the pitch playable after a late inspection, but the tricky playing surface proved a hindrance to both teams’ passing game, with thick mud making things extremely challenging.

Despite both sides creating opportunities to gain the upper hand in the opening 35 minutes, the tie remained goalless at the break.

Liberton, however, did open the scoring early in the second half when Terry Pearson got on the end of a terrific cross from the right to place the ball past Cramond goalkeeper Sam Philip.

Cramond then equalised, 
arguably against the run of play, as Owen Logan’s cross was turned in by Connor 
Pearson from close range, 
before the tie was turned on its head as Callum Dickson’s surging run up the right produced a fantastic cross for Mark Mackay, who produced an acrobatic kick to fire the ball high past Ronald Stevenson.

Liberton were back on level terms after being awarded a penalty for a foul in the box and Daniel Bastianelli made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 2-2.

With the match edging towards extra-time, Liberton had other ideas and struck the winner in the closing moments as Sean McColle teased the Cramond defence before sending a perfectly-weighted pass through to team-mate Darren Maltman, who showed great composure to angle a shot into the right corner of the net, sparking jubilation among the Liberton ranks.

Liberton’s Moray Dickson said: “This is the second year we’ve lifted the Pilmar Smith Cup. The whole team worked really hard so to pick up a 
trophy and have your name 
engraved for the second year running is great.”

Rose boost

Bonnyrigg ROSE 17s kept their Division 2 title bid alive with a 2-1 victory over Inch Colts Star at a snowy Meggetland. Rose currently sit top of the table, but, with third-place Newcraighall Leith Victoria only five points adrift and with five games in hand, the 
Midlothian side are far from certainties to win the league.

Euan Casey had given the visitors a first-half lead when he finished off a move from the right before substitute Daryl Wallace added a fine second as he held off the presence of a couple of defenders before angling his shot into the right corner of the net. However, with ten minutes remaining, Inch Colts created a nervy ending for Rose as a cross from the right was turned into his own net by defender Danny Judge.

Rose’s John Henderson said: “I think Newcraighall are favourites to win the title, to be honest. They have got enough games in hand to see them through so the best we have to look at this moment is second unless they slip up. We only have three league games left so it’s a shame they are running out for us.”

United’s joy

Edinburgh United Juniors 19s shocked runaway Division 1 leaders Musselburgh Windsor with a 3-1 triumph at Pinkie St Peters to advance to the final of the Bob Bankier Trophy.

Conal Boyle opened the scoring for the Division 2 visitors in spectacular fashion when he cut in from the right side and fired an unstoppable 25-yard effort into the top corner.

However, Windsor, who were struggling with player availability, equalised before the break through the prolific Jack McIntyre. Adam Spencer then regained United’s lead in the second half when he was left unmarked at the back post to knock in from close range after a corner.

Murray McCallum then wrapped up an unlikely victory and a place in this year’s final when he flicked the ball on before rounding the Musselburgh No. 1 to coolly slot home.

United will now face either Currie or Bonnyrigg Rose in the final, an occasion coach Tony White says his players thoroughly deserve.

White said: “We didn’t expect to win, but we decided we were going to have a good go. We’ve had to beat three Division 1 sides to get to the final, so it’s been a tough draw.”