Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn once again hit out at Junior football’s scheduling after his team’s season came to an end with a 3-0 defeat by Super League champions Kelty Hearts.
Rose were playing their 12th match in four weeks and had only tumbled out of title contention last Wednesday when they lost to Linlithgow Rose, handing the league honours to the Fife side. Bonnyrigg’s congested fixture list had come around due to success in cup competitions, mainly the William Hill Scottish Cup, where they made the fourth round before losing to Hibs, and Horn has been vocal in the past few weeks about how the authorities have handled their backlog.
Speaking after his shattered players lost out at Central Park, Horn said: “We have had a huge workload on the players and, I’m not making excuses, there should be something better than what happened to us.
“We’ve played 12 games in four weeks while Kelty have had two weeks off to prepare for this game. They looked fresh and deserved to win, but it doesn’t seem fair for being successful. We had a great run in the William Hill Cup and we’re paying the price on a local level.”
Kelty started the game with pace and they took the lead in the tenth minute when Scott Dalziel scored from a tight angle. Ten minutes later they doubled their lead when Dalziel headed back to Brian Ritchie and he converted from close range.
Bonnyrigg tried hard to get a foothold on the game in the second half, but they looked a spent force. Their task wasn’t helped by a referee who constantly blew for silly free kicks and upset Horn refusing a blatant penalty. “I was angry at the referee for refusing that penalty and was it fair to have a Fife referee in this game?” he lamented.
Kelty’s third goal came in the 80th minute when, after a spell of pressure, the Rose defence failed to clear their lines and substitute Archie Campbell drove a low ball into the net.
The final whistle could not come quick enough for the Rose and it was a welcome sound when the referee drew the game to a close, allowing the Kelty supporters to celebrate winning the Super League title with a flourish.
Kelty Hearts: Marley, Carstairs, C Courts, O’Neil, T Courts, Husband, Thomson, Greig, Dalziel, Ritchie, Nel McCabe. Subs: Leighton, N McCabe, Campbell, Wilson, Manderson.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Horne, Brown, Young, Moyes, Turner, Gray, McIntosh, McGachie, Nelson, Kidd. Subs: Archibald, Jamieson, McGraw, Barclay, Patarek.