Currie girls give a five-star show

GIRLS from Currie High School and their opponents from Oban brought a new dimension to football when they played their Scottish Schools' FA Cup quarter-final on the 3G pitch at Saughton Park.

This cup tie was played in the most pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere possible and spectators on both touchlines also contributed to what was a super game with their non-stop encouragement and enthusiasm.

It was, in many respects, a funny game, with the visiting side getting off to a good start before Currie went 1-0 ahead against the run of play with Shannan Lamb winning the ball in a challenge with Oban keeper Kerry Colthart. The visitors kept up their momentum and they got their reward when Rachael MacKenzie ran on to a ball over the Currie defence to find the back of the net with a low shot to make it 1-1.

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But Emma Watson put Currie back in front with a superb goal following a very good run at the Oban defence.

Going 2-1 behind really put the visiting side down in the dumps and Currie took full advantage to take control of the game.

The constant pressure on the Oban goal brought corner after corner until Lamb notched her second goal when she finished off a lovely passing move to score with a low shot past Colthart. The score at half-time was still 3-1.

Due to the severe weather experienced in the Oban area over the past three or four months, the visiting side had only managed to play three games and their lack of match practice contributed to their downfall.

Currie looked much sharper in all areas and went on to add another couple of goals in a very good second half. Oban still looked jaded on the restart and they were made to suffer again when Bianca Murphy scored the best goal of the game, running up the left before cutting in and beating several defenders on her way to the bye-line to the left of the Oban goal.

When Colthart came off her line to cut down the angle, the Currie No.16 cleverly placed the ball through the keeper's legs into the far corner of the net.

The Oban coach and parents who had made the trip to Edinburgh to support their girls continued to offer great encouragement to the visiting side in a bid to raise their spirits, but then they were knocked back again when Watson sent in a 25-yard shot that zipped up off the surface in front of Colthart and the ball raced past her into the net to increase the margin to 5-1.

But, instead of throwing in the towel, Oban raised their game and regained a lot of their early composure and confidence to attack the home goal. The home side were punished when the referee awarded an indirect free-kick when keeper Gael Anderson picked up a pass-back. The home goalmouth was packed with players when Alison MacVicar touched the free-kick to Eileen Hulse but her lovely chip over the out-rushing Currie defence hit the top of the crossbar before going behind for a goal-kick.

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Oban kept up their attacks and they were frustrated when another good effort went wide.

The late surge continued right up until the final whistle with lovely passing moves, but time ran out on the visiting side and it was Currie who celebrated reaching the semi-finals.

Coach of the side is Louise Young, one of the many talented players in the current Spartans side that is doing so well in the Scottish Women's League.

She has a very good squad of players, with several of them excellent prospects to go on to play at a higher level if they want to.

This game, however, was all about the players on the pitch and no-one on the sidelines was critical at all, in fact, the level of encouragement was quite exceptional.

Currie High School: Gael Anderson, Shannan Lamb, Kirstin Irons, Clare Laverty, Mairi Rorke, Natalie Irons, Lisa Howden, Lucy Evans, Emma Watson, Rebecca Mchardy, Louise Rorke, Eileen Hulse, Sarah Laverty, Bianca Murphy.

Oban: Kerry Colthart, Jodie Dalcron, Sarah-Jane Ferguson, Eilidh Heggarty, Claire MacCluish, Meehan MacIntyre, Beth McLellan, Ashley MacMillan, Alison MacVicar, Rachael MacKenzie, Beth McPhee, Caroline Smith, Lauren Stewart, Linzi MacVicar.

Referee: Peter Burns.