Tynecastle FC 98s remain on course for a league and cup double after comfortably defeating Cavalry Park Colts 3-0 in the Under 14s Ian Mackay Cup final at Saughton Enclosure.
With Tynecastle 98s only four points adrift of Fernieside and with eight games in hand over the current leaders, the boys in maroon are eyeing further glory between now and the end of the season.
An eerie mist surrounding the centre pitch made it a chilly evening for the spectators who had gathered in good numbers for the clash between the South East Region Division Two clubs. Tynecastle 98s coach Jim Greechan was delighted with his side’s work rate but was quick to praise the level of opposition. “I think Cavalry are a much improved team since the beginning of the season as they defend well and work as a team. They are well organised and a nice bunch of boys but we got the ball down the flanks and this worked to our advantage so I’m delighted with the victory. We’re still in the driving seat for the league but we are going to have to play a lot better than we did.”
With both sides struggling to retain possession in the early stages, there was little goalmouth action with the majority of play restricted to the middle of the park. However, Tynecastle 98s began to underline their authority as the first half progressed and it wasn’t long before Cavalry goalkeeper Euan Lennox was called into action.
He did well to prevent Sean Butters from opening the scoring from close range but from the resulting corner, Tynecastle 98s edged in front.
Ross Cairns’ excellent delivery from the left was met by the unchallenged Blair Donald who had escaped his marker and powered a header high past Lennox.
Cavalry tried to force their way back into the contest prior to the half-time whistle but were restricted to very few opportunities with Daniel Matthews leading a very stubborn Tynecastle 98s defence.
If the Duddingston club had hopes of a more fortunate outcome after the break, they were dealt a huge blow only minutes into the second period.
Great play from Butters down the left flank provided room for Dillin Cairns who managed to sidestep his marker before curling an exquisite right-footed shot into the top corner via the underside of the bar.
Great intervention from Aaron Nugent maintained his side’s two-goal lead as he managed a last-ditch block to clear Charlie Boyle’s cross with striker Dan Hanna ready to pounce.
Cairns was once again on the prowl and he should have added a third after Donald had cleverly found him in space in the six-yard box. The goal scorer of Tynecastle 98s’ second strike, however, was unable to reproduce his killer instinct this time around as he shot straight into the arms of Lennox. Tynecastle 98s continued their surge on the Cavalry goal, pressing for more opportunities in a bid to increase their goal tally. Cairns then notched his second goal which matched the efforts of his first with a quality solo run and shot.
The No. 17 picked up the ball from just inside the opposition’s half and made his stride towards goal. With the Cavalry defence static, Cairns raced into the box, weaved in and out two defenders before having the time to place his shot back across goal and into the bottom corner of the net to settle the tie.
Cavalry Park manager Alistair Currie was realistic in his assessment of Tynecastle 98s’ triumph but is optimistic his side can still achieve success before the season draws to a close.
“They played a lot better than us on the big park but I can’t fault the boys for the effort they put in.” Currie said. “I’m disappointed to lose the goals the way we did but all credit to Tynecastle as they played well and thoroughly deserved the victory. We’ve still got another shot at silverware this season so we just need to pick the boys up.”
Cavalry Park Colts: Euan Lennox, Liam Currie, Joseph Moorhead, Daniel Hay, Freddie Gibson, Stephen Peat, Dan Hanna, Fraser Young, Lewis Shortell, Alexander Tait, Ben Christian, Elliot Mannion, Charlie Boyle, Michael Thomson, Nathaniel Harvey, Cameron MacLeod, Stephane Murray.
Tynecastle FC 98s: Jack Buchanan, Ross Cairns, Daniel Headspeath, Aaron Nugent, Daryl Henderson, Daniel Matthews, Jake Hughes, Dylan Fagan, Sean Butters, Cameron Hogg, Darren Blacklock, Andrew Scott, Murray Drew, Blair Donald, Dillin Cairns, Liam Lynch.