Joy for Athletic – agony for Hutchison Vale
Leith Athletic 17s secured a second trophy in five days as they held on to beat Hutchison Vale 17s 2-1 in the Tom Wilson Memorial Cup final at New Dundas Park.
After beating the boys in black and yellow 4-3 in the Prison Officers Cup final last Sunday in Dunbar, Athletic again narrowly edged out their opponents. Brandon Archibald fired Leith ahead 63 minutes in and Sam Laverty doubled the advantage with some quick thinking in the box.
Keiran Young reduced the deficit for Hutchie but Athletic just managed to hold on at the death in a tense finish at Bonnyrigg.
On a sun-bathed evening in Midlothian the two sides went head to head once again. Hutchie were keen to respond from their defeat last time out and they looked threatening early on with Stewart Johnston having joy down the left hand side. The number four almost carved out the opening goal of the final when he whipped the ball into the area but Ryan Fox could not quite stretch to nod the cross in.
It was a let off for the boys in black and white who had taken time to gradually settle into the occasion. But they wasted no time in looking to respond with an attack of their own. Harry Davis broke free of Johnston on the wing before drilling a low ball into Sean Waterston. Byron Gibb in the Vale goal was alert to the striker’s presence though and he made sure to snuff the ball out in the nick of time.
Both keepers were in fine form and it was Leith’s McIntosh who next shone in the final as he kept the scores level with 15 minutes of the half remaining. Arran Currie went on a mazy run into the box before drilling an effort which McIntosh palmed away. Fox followed up the rebound but again the Athletic man between the sticks dealt with the danger, palming the ball wide.
Minutes later Hutchie came on the offensive again only to be foiled by the Leith goalie. Fox played Currie in behind but McIntosh got down well to hold onto the number seven’s shot.
It had been an entertaining opening 45 and more of the same was to come after the restart. Leith began the brighter of the two teams when things got underway once more. Archibald managed to carve an opportunity out of nothing when he took the ball past two Hutchie players before firing at goal from a tight angle on the right of the area, but it was too easy for Gibb.
Vale should have heeded the warning as ten minutes later it was the number 12 once again who looked to cause problems, however this time he had the finish to match. Archibald latched onto a hopeful ball down the right hand side before bursting past his marker and slotting into the far corner from the right hand side of the area.
Minutes later Leith thought they had doubled their advantage but, after Gibb spilled a shot from Davis and Waterston followed up the rebound, the linesman stuck his flag up for offside. It wasn’t to matter though as Athletic found another minutes later to make it 2-0. Archibald’s free kick from 25 yards ricocheted off the wall and fell perfectly to Laverty in the box to fire in.
Hutchie were desperate to find something in reply and they pulled one back late on. With two minutes to go Young sent a powerful header in from eight yards to give his side a glimmer of hope. The boys in black and yellow continued to press but, with the clock against them, it was too little too late for Tam Smith’s side as Leith held firm in injury time to be crowned champions.
Leith Athletic 17s: Jamie Chapman, Ross Aitchison, Alexander Simpson, Niall Kane, Harry Davis, Callum Sandison, Sam Laverty, Brandon Archibald, Sam McLaren, Morgan McIntosh, Sean Waterston.
Hutchison Vale 17s: Byron Gibb, Cameron Milne, Sam Birch, Stewart Johnston, Cameron Begbie, Arran Currie, Jack Cowan, Ryan Fox, Keiran Young, Elliot Taylor, Jordan Mungell, Lewis Swaney, Reyce Kay, Adrian Shala, Tommy Simpson.