Newcraighall Leith Vics 13s made it a debut season to remember after winning their fourth accolade of the year by defeating Hutchison Vale 4-1 in the final of the SPORTSassist South East Region Cup at Dunbar.
It was a quite scintillating performance from one talented youngster in particular, Vics striker Yrick Gallantes proving he is destined for the big stage after scoring all four of his side’s goals.
Victory rounded off a great season for the Vics squad in what is their first term since making the step up to 11-a-side, their success underlined by securing the Division 1 championship crown in addition to winning the Stewart Brien and Lothian Buses Cups.
“In fairness Hutchie are a good team, but we hit them with the punches,” coach Andy Coventry said. “It’s been a great season for a team like Newcraighall and to get this far is just superb. Yrick was fantastic and scored four cracking goals. I just hope we can keep it going into next season.”
Despite three games having taken place the previous day, the New Countess Park surface was in pristine condition to welcome both teams onto the park. Although Vics made an assertive start, Hutchie threatened first when Brandon Blair’s first-time effort was well saved by Tyler McGhee and the goalkeeper reacted instinctively to deny Daniel Lock’s follow up.
It didn’t take long for Gallantes to make an impression, however, notching his first goal after nine minutes from Sean Ward’s corner, heading past Cairns from close range with tremendous composure.
Vics’ John Robertson’s audacious attempt from a free-kick 25 yards out wasn’t a million miles away from extending the league champions’ lead before Luke McMahon’s shot at the other end was firmly held by McGhee.
Robertson then jinked his way infield from the touchline before seeing his effort deflected onto the crossbar and, just 60 seconds later, Sean Ward’s header smacked off the bar.
It was Hutchie Vale’s turn to be denied by the frame of the goal just after the interval, Blair’s strike clipping the top of the bar on its way over as the Vics defence invited pressure.
But five minutes had gone in the second half when Gallantes made it 2-0 with a deft header at the near post after escaping his marker to convert Jordan Daly’s cross.
Gallantes then showed a maturity way beyond his years as he collected the ball just inside the Vale half and outpaced three opponents before firing an unstoppable effort into the top right corner from 20 yards – his team-mates rushing to congratulate the player on his hat-trick.
Luke McMahon reduced the scoreline to 3-1 and it was a composed finish from the No.7 after receiving a pass from Declan McFadden.
But it was the figure of Gallantes who had the final say, grabbing his fourth of the match from a tight angle after a pass from substitute Colin MacKinnon.
Newcraighall Leith Vics: Tyler McGhee, Josh Sharkey, James Henderson, Joe McGinty, Arran Bathgate, Fynlay Connor, Jordan Daly, Louis Flucker, Yrick Gallantes, John Robertson, Sean Ward, James Smith, Colin MacKinnon, Mark Tenant, Andrew MacKay, Adam Taylor.
Hutchison Vale: Ciaran Cairns, Thomas Sweeney, Nathan Hill, Eden Paterson, Ross Young, Luke McMahon, Rory Campbell, Lewis McCann, Luis Malcolm, Brandon Blair, Daniel Lock, Declan McFadden, Jay Peat, Scott Latto.