Forward Yrick Galantes secured the South East Region Cup for Newcraighall Leith Vics 14s as they edged out Tynecastle 14s 1-0 in a closely-fought final at Hallhill.
With 32 minutes on the clock, the No.9 made his moment in front of goal count with a neat turn and finish in the box. It would prove to be the winning strike for the boys in black-and-white as despite a spirited performance from Tynie, they weren’t quite able to find a way back into the game.
After a quiet start to the final of the competition, both sides began to battle hard for the silverware on offer. A midfield skirmish broke out with neither team unable to create anything too constructive in the final third. It took until 19 minutes in for the first opening of the game to come about and it was a real chance for Tynecastle to get ahead. Liam McCue played a perfectly weighted pass ahead of Paul Smith, but Tyler McGee was alert to the danger, just getting ahead of the striker to slide in and send the ball out of play.
The Vics had been gradually edging themselves into the game and they were the next to threaten. John Robertson’s free-kick from the left hand side was well executed and Mark Tenant made a late run at the back post, coming inches away from heading his side ahead.
Tenant’s side were keen to get ahead, but off the ball they made it difficult for Tynecastle to find an opening the in the final third, restricting them to shots from range. Thirty minutes in the boys in maroon’s strategy almost paid off when Charlie Green’s 25 yard strike flew just wide of the right-hand post.
With both sides keen to keep a clean sheet before the break it seemed destined that the scores would remain unchanged before half time. However a moment of brilliance from Galentes was to give the Vics a slender lead to take in at the interval. Arran Bathgate’s free-kick from deep found its way through to the forward and he took the ball down in the box before spinning and rifling into the bottom corner.
Tynie came out in the second half looking rejuvenated. With a spring in their step they made their intentions clear to get back into the game from the kick off. Ross Young almost gave Tynecastle the perfect start to the second half when he stepped up to take a free-kick from the edge of the box. Unfortunately for the No.6 the ball wouldn’t stay down for his side and it flew over the bar.
It was a difficult chance for Young, but what followed was a golden opportunity for Tynie to equalise. Liam McCue sent a ball across from the left to the backpost and Cameron Russell, with space and time to shoot, steered the ball wide of the mark.
McCue then had a chance himself to turn around Tynecastle’s fortunes, but although his free-kick cleared the Vics wall, the ball ended up wide of the desired target.
As the clock ticked towards the full time whistle Newcraighall had chances to put the game to bed. With Tynie bodies pushed upfield, the Vics countered down the left through Galantes and he whipped the ball into the back post where Tynecastle’s Alex Adam just got ahead of James Smith to thwart a goal.
With moments to go before the final whistle, Tynie desperately pushed bodies forward, but were unable to find an equaliser as Newcraighall showed resolve at the back to see the game out and become South East Region Cup champions.
Newcraighall Leith Vics 14s: Tyler McGee, Josh Sharkey, James Henderson, Dan McKinlay, Arran Bathgate, Fynlay Connor, Jordan Daly, Campbell Notely, Yrick Galantes, John Robertson, Sean Ward, James Smith, Brandon Blair, Mark Tenant, Andrew Mackay, Louis Flucker.
Tynecastle 14s: Aiden Black, Alex Adam, Blair Ross, Christopher Finnie, Sean Macdonnell, Ross Young, Rhys Campbell, Cameron Russell, Paul Smith, Liam McCue, Craig Turnbull, Charlie Green, Harvey Lyne, Matthew Dillon, Daniel Lock.