The SERYFA Charles Porter Memorial Cup final between Bonnyrigg Rose Reds and Dalkeith Miners CYP will be remembered for a long time to come.
The Under-14 clash, which ended in a 4-4 draw, simply had everything. It then took 22 spot kicks to decide the penalty shootout with Dalkeith finally winning by the narrowest of margins.
Bonnyrigg opened the floodgates after nine minutes in spectacular fashion when Kieren Brand launched the ball over Dalkeith goalkeeper David Risien from fully 35 yards.
The Reds of Bonnyrigg were dominant in the opening 20 minutes. With 14 minutes played, Jonathan Crutcher dribbled past the Dalkeith back line, but his shot was saved by the legs of Risien.
Keiran Lunn should have equalised nine minutes later. A mix-up in the Bonnyrigg defence allowed Lunn through, but his shot went wide of the left post.
Dalkeith pushed for an equaliser and Aidan Gallagher’s shot was deflected into the side netting after a good strike. Then, Scott Broughton’s long-range effort was tipped over the bar by Bonnyrigg goalkeeper Lewis Deveney just a minute later.
However, the score was level after 35 minutes. Macauley King played the ball to Lunn who took the ball round Deveney with his first touch and stroked the ball into the net from seven yards.
Bonnyrigg came out of the blocks quickly in the second-half and three goals were scored in the space of just seven minutes, in a burst that looked like it would ensure Bonnyrigg cup glory. Crutcher scored from close range after Cameron Allen’s free-kick caused problems for the Dalkeith defence.
Then, Cameron Allen got his name on the score sheet, hitting a free-kick into the top of the net from long range, and scored his second goal just two minutes later. Leighton Griffin’s shot was parried by Risien but Allen’s follow-up from the edge of the area went into the bottom corner to give Bonnyrigg a 4-1 lead.
Dalkeith never gave up, though, and pulled a goal back five minutes later when Lunn’s shot from the edge of the penalty area found the bottom left corner of the net after a quick counterattack. They brought the score to 4-3 seven minutes later after Lucas Mason received a long ball and placed it low into the goal.
Dalkeith could sense an extraordinary comeback was on the cards and kept pushing for the equaliser. Lunn’s shot from ten yards was tipped wide of the post with eight minutes remaining. The leveller finally came with two minutes to spare. Lunn, who had had a fantastic match, completed his hat-trick with a well placed shot from 12 yards.
With both teams having given their all in regulation time, extra-time brought a lull in the amount of chances available and the match went to penalties. In keeping with the rest of the match, the penalty shootout was absolutely thrilling. Every player on the pitch, including both goalkeepers, took a spot kick with Dalkeith finally prevailing 8-7 winners.
Bonnyrigg Rose Reds coach Calum Clark was pleased with the progress his team has made this season. “We lost a few players at the start of the year and have had to play with just 11 players sometimes.”
Dalkeith coach Ronnie Stuart hopes his side can add some more silverware before the season ends. “It was a great game to come back from 4-1 down. We’re still in with a shout with another few trophies so hopefully we can win them,” he said.
Bonnyrigg Rose Reds: Lewis Deveney, Cameron Allen, Robert Allen, Ben Caven, Nathan Cormack, Keith McEwan, Jack Shaw, Aidan Steel, Kieren Brand, Stuart Cockburn, Jonathan Crutcher, Samar Ali, Fraser Clark, Lewis Darling, Leighton Griffin, Kai Dishington
Dalkeith Miners CYP: David Risien, Ciaran Lawrence, Jonathan Louden, Aidan Gallagher, Jack Allan, Macauley King, Keiran Lunn, Taylor Stuart, Rhys Young, Scott Broughton, Dean Pryde, Lucas Mason, Lyle Thomson