The final of the Scottish Under-15 Shield was an intriguing match between two of the SFA’s Performance Schools – and Broughton High eventually came out on top against Grange Academy at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.
Cheered on by a lively crowd, the Edinburgh boys made a fast start. After just two minutes, Broughton had taken the lead with a fantastic swerving shot by Matty Combe.
But, by midway through the first half, Grange had taken a 2-1 lead and it was looking good for the Ayrshire team.
But Broughton refused to let their heads go down and equalised not long before half-time through Michael Riley, who had an outstanding game at right-back.
The second half was a very tight affair. There were a few close calls at both ends before Broughton broke the deadlock.
Joao Balde ran down a lost cause into the corner, fighting off an opposing player and crossing into the box for Matty Combe to control.
The ball bounced around for a few seconds and fell nicely for Kris Gaff to take a first touch and sidefoot with his left into the far corner of the goal.
The final 20 minutes were stressful for both sets of fans – and a Grange shot ricocheted off the crossbar with two minutes remaining. But that proved to be the last chance for the Kilmarnock team. In the end, Broughton ran out well-deserved winners
“I am very proud of all the boys,” said Broughton coach Robert Ure. “It has been a pleasure watching them perform and represent the school. The sheer grit and determination they showed even when they are losing is fantastic. They truly do not know when to quit, and as a coach you cannot buy this desire.”
l It’s going to be a fun Friday at Spartans’ ground this week with a double header of Lothian Schools’ Cup finals sponsored by the Haymarket-based Omar Khayyam Indian Restaurant.
In the Under-16s (kick-off 5:14pm) it is Ross High School versus Leith Academy and the senior final (kick-off 7:30pm) is James Young High School against the Royal High School. James Young High beat league champions Dalkeith High in the semi-finals.
Spectators are most welcome for both matches.
Broughton High School squad:
Chris Peden, Ryan MacKenzie, Michael Reilly, Fynlay Connor (captain), Owen Barnes, Kris Gaff, Cammy O’Donnell, Luke Cunningham, Craig Henderson, Matty Combe, Joao Balde, Robbie Ashdwon-Adams, Jude Zietara, Joe Coats, Callum Reynolds, Joe Jeffrey.
James Young High School: Luke Williams (captain), Greg Forrest, Neil Atkinson, Cameron Donaldson, Connel Gibson, Scott Hay, Dominic Foulkes, David Hendry, Aaron Anderson, Jamie White, Cameron O’Brien, Connor Nicol, Darren Cassidy, Neil Pyper, Calum Dunn, Rhys Lochead, Izaac Stenhouse, Shaun Ritchie, Jacob Skeldon.
Royal High School: Charlie Brice, Calum Brown, Joe Beaton, Cameron Paton, Gregor Jack, Ali McCann, Aidan Quinn (captain), Mathew McKenzie, Oran Hosey, Mario Falsone, Callum O’Neill, Ben Martin, Nathan McCulloch, Leo McNei, Ben Morrish.
Ross High School: Rhys James, Chris Innes, Owen Golightly, Shaun Dick, Joshua Fitzpatrick, Declan Glass, Ryan McMurdo, Cameron McBeth, Jason Pattison, Lomond Gray, Kyle McFadden, Thomas Harker, Robbie Stirling, Harry Thomson, Ryan Steel, Jake Beverage.
Leith Academy: Ben Cargill, Jake Montgomery, Ewan Farmer, Bobby Balloch, Kane O’Connor, John Webley, Ruairi Lamb, Dominick McCann, Shaun Farrow, Jack Enguidanos, Matthew Salkeld, Callum Dawson, Jamie Balloch, Josh Andrews, Thomas Dobbie, Luke Dunn.