Spartans FC Reds 17s won the Victor Paris Cup after beating Hutchison Vale 17s 4-1 in the final at New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg.
Although Hutchie looked the better of the two sides at the half-way stage, Spartans produced a dominant second-half display to triumph.
Thrilled Spartans coach Steven O’Neil said: “I thought we were deserved winners on the day. It was a tight and cagey first half, which it can be when playing Hutchie, but the goal kicked us into life and it gave us confidence.
“With that we never looked back, as we started the second half well and dominated. At the break we reassured the lads that they were doing well despite not having a lot of the ball. We told them to believe in themselves and keep going. They were confident having scored though and that was the turning point.”
Spartans had the first shot on goal in the 15th minute when Murray Hand tried a speculative long-range effort, but it was well blocked by Harry Pullar.
As the half progressed, Hutchie began to take control and they when Liam Willis’ 25-yard strike was well parried by Spartans keeper Jamie Mitchell. The ball broke free inside the box but no Hutchie attackers were around to capitalise.
Spartans’ Josh Williamson then sent a looping header just over the bar, but Hutchie looked the more likely to score and they did so with five minutes of the half to play. Willis had tried his luck from the edge of the area again with little joy, but it was a case of third-time lucky as he rattled the ball into the bottom left corner after receiving Ross Watters’ pass. It was no more than Hutchie deserved but Spartans hit back almost immediately, just before half time. Matthew Brady had looked a threat for his side throughout the first 45 and he got up the highest to nod in Oran Hosey’s cross from the left.
It epitomised the spirit shown by Spartans, and they rallied in the second half to grab three more. Five minutes into the half, Michael Allan edged them ahead when he rounded off a quick breakaway by cutting in from the left and sending an arrowed shot into the bottom right corner.
Spartans’ tails were up and they extended their lead five minutes later when Cameron Dawson scored an incredible 60th goal of the campaign as he rose to head in Hand’s corner.
Hutchie desperately tried to turn around their fortunes but Spartans kept it tight at the back and broke upfield for a fourth as Mark Mackay chested the ball down in the area before side-footing in to seal the trophy. It was a courageous effort from Spartans and they’ll be hoping to take confidence from the game into the other three finals they have to come.
Spartans FC Reds 17s: Jamie Mitchell, Daniel Sutherland, James Pringle, Jake McCreadie, Oran Hosey, Josh Williamson, Lewis Hall, Murray Hand, Ryan Farrell, Michael Allan, Dillon Floyd, Cameron Dawson, Liam Currie, Mark Mackay, Jack Murray, Matthew Brady.
Hutchison Vale 17s: Fraser Britton, Harry Pullar, Callum Mackie, Euan Maguire, Owen Richardson, Bruce McCrorie, Murray Rose, Callum Fitzpatrick, Jay Kilboy, Liam Willis, Ross Watters, Jamie Watson, Cameron Paton, Cameron Walker, Lewis McKay, Fareid Yassein, Kris Harley.