GRANGE took possession of their fourth Scottish Cup trophy after a remarkable comeback against Edinburgh rivals Inverleith at Glasgow Green. Bill Robson’s charges certainly contributed to their own downfall.
Having led 2-0 at the interval, they allowed Grange back into the contest to level by the end of normal time, and finally lost 2-0 in the resulting penalty shoot-out.
The shoot-out was hardly a dramatic occasion. It would appear that Inverleith had not practised the art of the running penalty as, in turn, Derek Salmond, Adam Mackenzie, Lewis Gibson and finally Stuart Hatton all failed to find the target. In contrast, Grange kept their heads. Jaume Ventayol scored, his Spanish compatriot Nani Malgosa did miss the goal when it would have been easier to score, but then teenager Hamish Imrie calmly found the net for a 2-0 winning scoreline.
Perhaps it was the occasion or the fact it was a local derby, but the opening exchanges were extremely unremarkable with no real flow to the game. Few chances arose, a cross by Matt Connor just eluded the outstretched stick of Grange’s Martin Kelly, while at the other end Haddyn Cartmill embarked on a solo run but his resulting shot sailed wide of the target.
The game awoke midway through the half with a combination of luck and opportunism. A harmless ball into the Grange circle came off the foot of Rob Barr, everybody stopped waiting for the whistle of the inevitable penalty corner, but the umpire waited for advantage as Phil Hall pounced on the loose ball and fired a powerful shot past Sean Hadfield for Inverleith’s opener.
Before Grange could recover from the setback they were two down. A cross from the left was met by the diving Cartmill who deflected the ball past Hadfield. The quick double put a spring in the step of the Inverleith players as Grange’s heads went down, but there was no more scoring by the interval.
Seven minutes into the second half there was perhaps a whiff of a change of fortune. A poor ball out of defence by Mackenzie fell to Imrie, but the chance was lost when the teenager misshit his effort. However, Grange were back in the hunt a few minutes later at their first penalty corner of the contest, when Ventayol’s vicious drag flick flew past Neil Durno to give Inverleith the jitters. Grange were beginning to cause the Inverleith defence some serious concerns and they were lucky to survive when Frank Ryan hit the side boards with his effort. The equaliser was only delayed a couple of minutes. Andrew Brogdon drove along the right bye-line and his pass broke to Ryan who found the net with a reverse stick shot.
The denouement became a little tense. Inverleith’s Gibson and Grange’s Imrie both had their efforts blocked by the respective keepers while Malgosa spent some time in the sin bin, but the contest finished level.
Inverleith will rue the missed opportunity, but Grange coach Colin Clarke will see the cup victory as a real boost for the European Club Champions Trophy in Cagliari in two weeks’ time.
Sam Judge’s University side completed the Edinburgh double with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Milne Craig Clydesdale Western in the women’s final to win the first piece of silverware in the club’s history. “The girls are delighted to have won the cup, it caps off a good season for us,” said Judge. “I think we always looked threatening going forward and defended our circle well, so it was a great all-round team performance.”
Any student nerves were settled in the opening four minutes, as a speculative shot by Louise Campbell fortunately cannoned off the stick of Western defender Anne Eadie and rolled into the net. Edinburgh confirmed their superiority midway through the half, when a reverse stick shot by Mairi Drummond eluded Louise Duffy in the Western goal. However, within a couple of minutes, the Glasgow side had pulled one back, Fiona Bruce’s initial penalty corner shot was blocked by Lucy Camlin and Anna-Mae Morton followed up to force home the rebound.
Edinburgh moved 3-1 ahead with a rather soft goal, a shot from a narrow angle by Heather Lang somehow finding its way into the Western net.
After Bruce failed with another penalty corner attempt four minutes into the second half, it was all Edinburgh and the students scored again when a pass from the top of the circle was destined for the far post only to be deflected into the roof of the net by captain Camilla Lyttle for 4-1 and Judge’s charges finished worthy victors.