What has turned out to be junior football’s most infamous stag do ended up having little bearing on the destination of the East of Scotland Cup as a full-strength Sauchie side defeated Arniston Rangers 4-1 in Saturday’s final
Sauchie had requested to have this match rearranged to an alternative date due to 12 of their players being pre-booked on a stag weekend, but the East of Scotland junior authorities declined the plea. In a further twist, it had transpired that the Clackmannanshire outfit’s secretary made an error in his original letter to the authorities, requesting the weekend of June 7 off rather than June 14, and thus the attempt for a postponement or a kick-off two hours earlier that 2.30pm was declined on those grounds.
In any case, it was a happy ending for Sauchie – whose players were transported via minibus paid for by the club to Manchester after the match for their festivities – and a sore defeat for Arniston, who, ironically, were shorn of five first-team players for the match, a problem the Gorebridge side had kept quiet ahead of the kick-off.
Sauchie took the lead in 20 minutes through a Darren Cummings strike, but a piece of magic from Tadg Moriarty brought the scores level. Sauchie, however, went in front again in 35 minutes when Cummings headed home.
Arniston took control of the second half, but couldn’t find a way through a stuffy Sauchie defence. Arniston were pushing hard for the equaliser and were caught short at the back when Collin Samuel played in Calum Hardie to score a third for Sauchie. Then, with the final kick of the ball, Samuel himself grabbed a deflected fourth.
Arniston boss Stevie Osborne was disappointed with the result. “We didn’t create and I thought we should have had a penalty in the 2nd half,” he said. “The boys have been brilliant this season, beating some big teams to get to this stage. Anyone who was at this game will know the score line flattered Sauchie, but that’s football.”
Sauchie: Halliwell, Monro, Syme, King, Kiczynski, McCulloch, Martin, Stevenson, Hendrie, Cummings, Samuel. Subs: Tully, Bonnes, Docherty, Jackson.
Arniston: Ritchie, Brady, Forbes, Callaghan, Moriarty, Garden, McInally, Thomson, Court, Kataleza, Moffat. Subs: Aitken, Lucas, Newall, McCaul, Marshall.