St Bernards were crowned winners of the Robertson Cup with a 4-0 victory over Dunedin Athletic at Ainslie Park.
After Mark Cowan headed his side ahead on the stroke of half-time, the yellow and blue outfit upped the ante in the second 45, adding three more through Ryan Pollock, substitute William Mitchell and David Paver.
Manager Ryan Dinse was delighted. “We were brilliant; we won 4-0 which speaks for itself. Myself and Gary built this team from scratch, at the beginning of the season these lads were a bunch of strangers so this is quite an achievement. I’m absolutely chuffed.
“We got more settled as the game went on and after the break we played our normal game and scored three more,” he said.
St Bernards could have gone ahead sooner than they did, if not for some last-ditch defending by their opponents. Six minutes in Steven Clee latched onto Brad Hainey’s low cross from the right but, eight yards out, Dunedin’s Stewart Hurd got in front of the striker to block his first-time shot.
The Saints continued to go in search of an opening goal and once again they had an opportunity in the area. Hainey’s corner from the right-hand side found the head of Steven Wilson but his effort didn’t trouble Darren Berwick in the opposition goal.
Dunedin then could have taken the lead moments later when they were awarded a free-kick on the right. Martin Bews swung the ball in and it was headed clear by the Saints rearguard but only to Terry Philbin who hit a first-time half-volley that came inches away from hitting the target.
A goal just before half-time can often be crucial and it proved to be that way on this occasion. Just as Dunedin began to build up a bit of momentum,, the Saints knocked the wind out of their opponents’ sails with a goal 30 seconds before the break.
A hopeful free-kick into the box from 30 yards found Cowan and his header at the back post past the outstretched hand of Berwick. When play resumed St Bernards began to dictate proceedings, knowing fine well Athletic were chasing the game. They doubled their advantage on the 65th minute when the ball broke to Pollock just outside the area and the No.11 smashed it in.
Despite Dunedin’s best efforts to fashion a response, they were left wanting as the Saints kept it tight at the back.
After Wilson wasted an opportunity to seal the win for his side, St Bernards found two more goals late on. Mitchell found a goal from nowhere as he hit a half-volley with the outside of his foot from the right that found its way over the head of Berwick and just under the bar.
Then, with only injury time to be played, the Saints grabbed a fourth. Cowan was knocked over in the box and after a consultation with the linesman, the referee awarded a penalty. Paver took the ball and put it on the spot before dispatching an effort far into the bottom right corner, putting the icing on the cake for his side. With that, the final whistle was blown and St Bernards were crowned winners.
St Bernards: Graham Clee, William Mitchell, Frankie Finlayson, Lee Hart, Steven Clee, Bernie Mathews, Jason McGinness, Gary McKinlay, Lee Orr, David Paver, Ryan Pollock, Mark Cowan, Jordan Hill, Steven Wilson, Brad Hainey, Ronald McKellar.
Dunedin Athletic: Arthur Martin, Nicky Thompson, Graham Donnachie, Lee Jackson, Terry Philbin, Jay Rodger, Joe Gibbons, Darren Berwick, Paul Munro, Stewart Hurd, Josh Anderson, Colin Chalmers, Chris Taylor, Scott Downie, Martin Bews, Lyall Menzies, Tom Smith.