Ryan Barry grabbed a hat-trick as Hillfield Swifts 19s brushed aside Musselburgh Windsor 96 19s 5-0 to lift the Division One League Cup at New Dundas Park.
In what was expected to be a closely-fought final in Bonnyrigg, the boys in blue-and-yellow broke the deadlock through the right winger half-an-hour in and never looked back, adding four more in the 90 minutes through another couple from Barry, as well as goals from Scott Russell and sub Cameron Cook.
Hillfield set their stall out from the off, dictating the play and looking to find an opening at the heart of the Windsor defence. Three minutes in they almost got off to the perfect start when John Francis whipped in a free-kick from the left that was inches away from finding David McNamara at the back post.
The Inverkeithing side were having some joy in and around the penalty box, with Ciaran Chalmers who looked to create. He dinked the ball over the top to Russell, but Windsor keeper Craig Hunter was alert to the danger.
Musselburgh had been quiet so far in attack and with 20 minutes on the clock they were still finding it difficult to break down the Swifts, who fought hard, chasing the ball wherever it went. Five minutes later the East Lothian side finally got away their first shot on target, Scott Chapman striking a half-volley that looked set for the top corner, but James Donaldson watched the effort well to pluck the ball from the air.
Hillfield rallied once again and found an opening goal minutes later, and it was no more than they deserved. Chalmers brought the ball down the left and he squared it to Daryl Healy, who played in Barry to prod the ball past Hunter.
The quick one-touch style of play was the key to unlocking the Mussy defence and the strategy paid off once again ten minutes later. After some quick interchanging play in midfield, Aidan McGuire played a pinpoint crossfield ball from the left to the right and Barry showed pace and power to charge forward and hammer in Hillfield’s second.
Seconds after conceding, Hunter was once again picking the ball from his net after Hillfield sprung another quick-fire assault with Windsor looking dispirited. Chalmers’ initial shot from the edge of the box was well palmed away by the Musselburgh keeper, but only to Russell, who followed up to make it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time.
With a comfortable lead at the break it would have been understandable if Hillfield showed some complacency after the restart. However, they instead picked up where they left off and stuck to their gameplan. Musselburgh, on the other hand, had to change something to find a way back into the final. The introduction of Thomas Meldrum, James Rogers-Jones and Gavin Birrell gave them some additional firepower and it was in fact Meldrum who almost gave his side a way back into the game on 54 minutes. A corner in from the right hand side wasn’t initially cleared by the Swifts and the No.9 steered the loose ball over from six yards out.
As the half went Hillfield continued to press, grabbing two more to emphasise their superiority on the day. Yousaf Asam sent a well-weighted crossfield ball to Barry, who leathered the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards out, completing his hat-trick.
Sub Cameron Cook then got his name on the scoresheet with a simple tap in from close range.
Hillfield Swifts 19s: James Donaldson, Marcus Hall, David McNamara, John Francis, Mark Higgins, Aidan McGuire, Daryl Healy, Yousaf Asam, Scott Russell, Brodie Hamilton, Blair Springhall, Ciaran Chalmers, Cameron Cook, Euan Aitken, Ryan Barry
Musselburgh Windsor 96 19s: Craig Hunter, Shaun Lawrence, Calum Marr, Scott Siegal, Scott Walker, Darren Handling, Brandon Cameron, Thomas Meldrum, Dean Ballantyne, Stuart Tragis, Joe Turner-Law, Stuart Mackay, James Rogers-Jones, Gavin Birrell, Sam Rintoul, Scott Chapman