North Merchiston Under-15s were rampant in the rain as a superb second-half display helped them to a 6-2 league victory away to Edinburgh City Whites.
The opening period had been a tight affair, with Whites twice taking the lead, only for Merchie to go in 3-2 at the interval thanks to a Jamie Underwood double. The visitors then pulled away after the break to notch a comprehensive win.
Whites made a great start when Tommy Walker bundled home in two minutes after Merchie goalkeeper Jude Mothersole failed to hold a free-kick. The away side levelled five minutes later, when Jamie Carlyle netted from a Calum Hope cross.
Mothersole made amends for his error at the first goal when produced a great save from a long-range free-kick on 12 minutes. The keeper could do nothing to stop Whites regaining their lead, however, as Lewis McAndrew got on the end of a through ball before rifling into the bottom corner after 15 minutes.
Merchie pulled it back to 2-2 nine minutes later with a well worked goal. From a throw-in, Jack Mein set up Underwood with a backheel down the left flank, and there was no stopping the midfielder as he burst down the wing before cutting inside and curling a shot past Callum Miller.
City went close to taking the lead once more from a Sam Thompson header, and then Merchie went ahead just before half-time when Underwood rose highest to nod Mein’s corner into the net.
Michael Murphy came close to an early second-half equaliser for City with a dipping free-kick, but Mothersole alert to tip it over the bar. It proved a turning point as Underwood completed his hat-trick to put Merchie 4-2 up when he calmly slotted the ball under Miller on 55 minutes.
City refused to throw in the towel, but despite creating chances they couldn’t find their way past Mothersole who was in inspired form for Merchie.
Twice in quick succession the stopper clawed away what looked to be goalbound efforts. He first saved from Murphy, before tipping Thompson’s top-corner bound strike wide.
As the rain fell relentlessly making the surface awkward for the players, Merchie secured the win with two late killer blows.
Hope had pulled the strings in midfield all afternoon and he displayed his shooting prowess with a wonder strike from 25 yards, which flew into the net with ten minutes remaining.
Carlyle then completed the scoring when he curled a delightful free-kick into the top corner from outside the penalty area. City’s woes were compounded late on when Murphy was shown his second yellow card and a red, after he kicked out at Merchie’s Frank Gill.
Meanwhile, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic ‘A’ Under-21s shocked Division 1 leaders Lochend as they ran out surprise 4-0 winners in the quarter-final of the Stuart Brown Memorial Trophy.
Lochend, who are two points clear of second-placed Leith Athletic in the league, had been expected to oust lowly Rose with ease in their last-eight clash.
Rose, second bottom of the division with only one league win all season, had other ideas however, as they produced their finest performance of the campaign.
Had it not been for the performance of Lochend’s goalkeeper, Rose would have enjoyed an even healthier win.
Darren Leslie scored the first of three first-half goals for the home side when he cut in from the right wing, skipped past a defender and slid the ball home.
Duncan Weir then got in on the act with a marvellous solo goal, when he beat four defenders before finding the back of the net. It was three before half-time as Gary Nicholson got on the end of a cross to head in, wrapping up a magnificent first-half from Rose.
The Midlothian side, who won the Under-21s First Division last season but saw a raft of players leave due to being over-age, got a fourth in the second-half when Leslie hammered in the rebound after his initial shot was saved.
Elsewhere, Penicuik Athletic Under-14s were comfortable 4-0 winners in their Division 4 League Cup Section A tie at home to Musselburgh Windsor Colts on Sunday.
After a goal-less first half, Penicuik took the game to their league rivals in the second-half. Jack Wann opened the scoring when he curled the ball into the far top corner after a short corner was taken.
Wann got his second shortly after when he got on the end of an Aidan Walters through ball before chipping over the head of Windsor’s goalkeeper.
Walters, who had threatened to score all afternoon, got a goal of his own to make it three, before John Barclay sealed the victory for Penicuik.