Tynecastle Under-17s edged out Leith Athletic 4-2 to win the Craig Gowans Memorial Trophy at Ainslie Park.
Midfielder Brendan Edwards was the hero for Tynie, scoring two second-half goals to complete a hard-fought victory, in the cup final that commemorates the tragic Craig Gowans, who sadly lost his life in 2005, just two weeks into a professional contract with Falkirk FC.
Tynecastle boss Douglas Ormiston was delighted, but admitted his side were made to work for their victory. He said: “It was a very competitive game and the goals probably fell for us at the right time. We battled hard and, over the course, I think we deserved it.”
Tynie came out the traps early and were certainly the more hungry in the early going, a tactic that paid dividends seeing them go two goals up inside five minutes.
The first goal of the evening came after three minutes when the ball fell to Dylan Rintoul inside the area. The wide-man made no mistake as he clinically dispatched his volleyed effort high into the roof of the net.
And things got worse for Leith just two minutes later when Tynie grabbed a second.
After a needless foul by Leith midfielder Omar Merzouki, big centre-half Calum Edwards stepped up and powered a free-kick towards goal that skipped up off the 5G surface and past despairing goalkeeper Reece Smail.
Tynie continued to be in the ascendency in the first half and looked dangerous from midfield forward, with Brendan Edwards and Kern Hutchison regularly supplying attacking threat.
And Hutchison almost made it 3-0 on 25 minutes, but his strike from the edge of the area was deflected just over the Leith crossbar.
Leith struggled to create many opportunities in the opening period, but were clinical when they did and scored with their first real chance.
Winger Ross Dray bombed down the right flank on 33 minutes before cutting the ball back to the penalty spot to find the on-rushing Ryan Ward, who had the simplest of tasks to tap home into an empty net. This seemed to breed confidence in Leith and they were to square the game up shortly after the restart through a freak goal. After Tynie thought they had cleared a corner, the ball smashed off the head of forward Sean Melvin, resulting in the ball crossing the line for the equaliser.
Tynie began to push hard to regain their advantage, but all too often they found a resolute Leith back line, with Llyndon Learnard in particular standing out in an old-fashioned sweeper role for his side. The Gorgie outfit thought they has restored their advantage on 55 minutes when Hutchison struck at goal, only to see his effort rebound off Smail’s right-hand post.
But they did retake the lead on the hour when Brendan Edwards notched his first of the evening with a fine header. After an in-swinging corner from the right, the pint-sized midfielder rose highest to power the ball into the back of the net.
Three soon became four as Tynie wrapped up the match ten minutes later, again through Edwards. This time the move started from a superb switch of play from Liam Conaghan who found Kevin Dyet on the right-flank. Dyet then found the supporting Kern Hutchison, who was able to square the ball to his compatriot Edwards for an easy tap-in to cap a fabulous move.
The Tynecastle front-line impressed throughout, all sporting a fantastic first touch and a thirst for scoring goals, which proved the decisive factor in the end.
Despite Leith’s best efforts they came up just short on the night, but manager Leighton Jones was not disheartened.
He said: “We gave them two goals and after that we were chasing the game. The boys put in tremendous effort and I’m happy with the way they played. I was absolutely positive we were going to win, but we switched off for a period of ten minutes and conceded four goals.”
Tynecastle: Neil Fairnie, Ben Hughes, Jamie Tubby, Daniel Graves, Martin Innes, Mark McCracken, Liam Peden, Kevin Dyet, Liam Conaghan, Dylan Rintoul, Jamie Henderson, Keiran Muirhead, Kern Hutchison, Sean Alexander, Brendan Edwards, Calum Edwards.
Leith Athletic: Reece Smail, Sean Paterson, Jack Brien, Sean Davidson, Jordan Forbes, Darren Gallagher, Callum Mein, Ross Davies, Sean Melvin, Ross Dray, Conway Hunter, Omar Merzouki, Llyndon Learnard, Ryan Ward, Kieran Davidson.