Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 21s lift Chalmers League Cup in thriller

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A high-scoring final ended in Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 21s lifting the Chalmers League Cup by beating Newtongrange Star Youth Development Academy 5-3 on their own patch at New Victoria Park.

Rose came from behind twice in the early stages, Josh Elliot and Connor Dyet putting Star 1-0 and 2-1 either side of Jack Fairgrieve’s equaliser.

Liam Taylor equalised again before Fairgrieve scored a second to put Bonnyrigg in front for the first time.

A lovely finish from Chris Drummond made it 4-2 before Mark Scott gave Newtongrange hope with 14 minutes to play.

However, Jonathan Crutcher’s header in the closing stages sealed the trophy for the Rose.

The match burst to life straight away with Newtongrange’s fast attacking play bringing them a goal after seven minutes. A well-worked move ended with Dyet laying it inside for the onrushing Elliot to side-foot low into the net.

Dre Horsburgh almost levelled when his strike from the edge of the box was tipped over by Craig Kinnear, but from the resultant corner did come the equaliser, Fairgrieve meeting Jonathan McVie’s delivery to head in.

It was enthralling end-to-end stuff and only three minutes after the equaliser the work was undone.

After Connor Burke was tripped in the box, Star were awarded a penalty and Dyet stepped up to coolly place the ball in the bottom corner.

Bonnyrigg scored on 20 and 30 minutes to take a lead into half time.

Firstly, a delightful clipped ball over the top by Horsburgh sent Taylor scarpering clear of the defence and despite Kinnear getting in the way of his first effort, he slammed in at the second attempt.

Then the same combination that brought the first goal stepped forward again – McVie’s in-swinging corner from the left reaching Fairgrieve at the back post for a glancing header.

Burke was presented with a chance to bring Star back into it when the ball bounced fortuitously towards him in the box, but Tommy McArthur was out from his goal quickly to clear.

McArthur was called into action again before the break, stretching to make a great save from Sean Devine’s powerful header.

Coming out from the break, Rose appeared to take confidence from having the lead and had several chances to add to it.

Kinnear got out to block Fairgrieve after a clever ball by Sean Selkirk, and Selkirk then volleyed wide when the ball sat up nicely for him following a corner.

The two-goal cushion was finally achieved when Drummond escaped down the left and dispatched a finish oozing technique into the far corner.

The cup seemed to be slipping from Newtongrange’s grasp, but they responded.

A couple of free kicks won in promising positions came to nothing before Cameron McNab found McArthur in the way of his low strike.

On 76 minutes they gave themselves a fighting chance when Scott followed up to get the rebound after McArthur had saved from Dyet.

However, their hopes were dashed with only four minutes left on the clock when Bonnyrigg scored from yet another corner. They had brought on another towering forward in Crutcher and he stooped to meet Taylor’s delivery.

Desperate Star continued to throw everything at it and McNab was denied by McArthur yet again and the keeper made sure the final finished with a two-goal deficit with another breath-taking stop from Jack Allen after more good play by Dyet.