Ben Lomax scored a double hat-trick for Bonnyrigg Rose Reds 15s as they defeated Seton CFC 15s 9-8, in what was an incredible first round John McConnell Memorial Cup tie.
In searing heat at Poltonhall Playing Fields, Seton got the game underway and after both sides began to threaten in the final third, Bonnyrigg took the lead six minutes in. Daniel Mackie showed a turn of pace down the right before feeding Lomax in the area to dodge a challenge before smashing into the roof of the net for 1-0.
To their credit though, Seton remained focused and scored an equaliser just five minutes later. Ryan Lang was chopped down on the edge of the box but the referee played the advantage, allowing debutant Aidan Andrews to pick up the ball and blast in from close range.
It was end-to-end stuff with both sides focusing solely on their attacking responsibilities, rather than defending. It meant that, with 15 minutes on the clock, Bonnyrigg went back ahead. Louis Barrie saw Seton goalie Alan Rodgers off his line and he proceeded to send a lob over his head and into the back of the net for 2-1.
It continued to be an open contest and Bonnyrigg were next on the scoresheet. Lomax twisted and turned in the Seton box before sending a composed finish one-on-one with Rodgers.
The onus was on Seton to again pick themselves up and they did, reducing the deficit with a second of the game. Andrews chased a ball down the left before cutting inside and whipping the ball into the bottom right corner.
Once more though Bonnyrigg extended their lead through a smart finish from Lomax for his hat-trick, but only for Seton to again grab another through Lang, making it 4-3 to Bonnyrigg with not even half an hour gone.
On his first start for Seton, Andrews was causing all kinds of problems for the Bonnyrigg defence and he scored his hat-trick and his side’s fourth, as he cut in from the right with pace to slot in and make it 4-4.
It was anyone’s game going into the second half and with 10 seconds into it Seton, incredibly, went ahead for the first time in the cup tie. Lang took aim from 35 yards and the ball flew over the head of goalie Lewis Cameron and in for 5-4.
It was still anyone’s cup tie though and Bonnyrigg responded with their fifth of the game as Lomax buried the ball from close range only for the man of the moment Andrews to reply immediately and make it 6-5 to Seton.
Clearly, defending wasn’t on the list of priorities for either team and it was going to be a case of who could score the most goals. Andrews put his side a step closer to victory as he again got in behind to give his side a two-goal cushion, only for Lomax to reply with his fifth and Bonnyrigg’s sixth.
Seton were 7-6 in front but Bonnyrigg got another to make it 7-7. Lomax drilled the ball across goal and Ciaran McMullan blasted in at the right-hand post.
Sol Watson was then the architect for what looked like the winning Bonnyrigg goal into the last ten minutes. He ventured down the left before whipping in a cross for McMullan to rifle in for 8-7. Then, Lomax made sure of the victory for Bonnyrigg with five minutes remaining as he raced in behind to make it 9-7 with a tidy finish.
Lang curled one in late for Seton but it was too little too late as Bonnyrigg held on to win 9-8 in a breathtaking game of football.
Bonnyrigg Rose Reds 15s: Lewis Cameron, Ryan O’Donnell, Callum Mckean, Jack Grieve, Gregor Hutchison, Joseph Stappleton, Euan Borthwick, Mujo Prozora, Ben Lomax, Jay Withers, Louis Barrie, Ryan Kilpatrick, Jack Forbes, Ciaran McMullan, Daniel Mackie, Sol Watson, Sam Gardner.
Seton CFC 15s: Alan Rodgers, Lewis Mulholland, Calum Blyth, Ben Jenkinson, Jack Scott, Mustafa Abbas, Calum Stevenson, Cameron McDairmid, Danny Lawson, Finn Higgins, Aidan Macfarlane, Declan Bellany, Ryan Lang, Aidan Andrews.