Hill Of Beath triumphed over Bo’ness in a pulsating East of Scotland Cup final played in very blustery conditions, 4-2 winners after a dramatic penalty shoot out.
Bo’ness boss Alan McGonigal had to play a patched-up squad and admitted: “It was too much to ask of the players. They have played a huge number of games in the recent weeks and with key players out injured and not having time to recover the job of winning today was just too far away. The players have been terrific all season and deserve all the credit but it was too many games in quick succession.”
Bo’ness club captain Will Snowdon echoed his manager’s words, saying: “We would loved to have won this cup for our supporters but today we didn’t have the best of it. We had too many of our big players out injured for the second biggest cup final in Junior football.”
There was a strong wind and driving rain as the game kicked off. Bo’ness were so depleted they had central defender Stuart Hunter playing as a striker and he made his presence felt with some super headers. Andy Scott, playing in midfield, had a chance to score but blasted the ball high and wide. Hill Of Beath bounced back and turned up the heat on goalkeeper Stewart Baillie who was looking shaky at times in the blustery wind. Twice he fumbled the ball when the save looked comfortable giving the Fifers a hope of making a breakthrough.
Hill Of Beath started the second half strongly with the wind at their backs. Rikki Dair should have done better when presented with a glorious chance only five yards out but he blazed the ball over the bar. Bo’ness striker Kieron Anderson had a blast from ten yards but failed to open the scoring and Beath’s Darren Smith let fly from 35 yards but his shot just flashed past the post far post as the game drew to a close. In the dying minutes of the 90, McGonigal threw on substitutes Will Snowdon and Darren Gribben, both injured, for the shoot-out.
Hill Of Beath’s Adam Moffat scored the first and Stewart Devine and did likewise for Bo’ness. Calum Adamson put Beath in front but Chris Donnelly’s effort was brilliantly saved by Stuart Hall. Darren Wright scored for Beath but again keeper Hall saved Robert Sloan’s effort. Alan McKenzie’s kick was superbly saved by Baillie. Will Snowdon scored to reduce the deficit but it left Michael Gemmell the opportunity to win the cup for the Fifers – which he did.
Hill Of Beath: Hall, Leishman, Smith, McKenzie, Dair, Connors, Wright (Fleming), Gemmell, Hay, Moffat, Adamson. Subs: Millar, Adam, McCulloch, Bryce.
Bo’ness: Baillie, Murphy, Devine(Snowdon), Campbell, Lieper (Gribben), Scott, Sloan, Philp, Anderson, Donnelly, Hunter(Nimmo). Subs: Robb, Peat.