Strollers take the applause

AN EXTRAORDINARY cup final took place in front of a big crowd at the main pitch at the Civil Service Sports Ground in Muirhouse.

Two brilliant under-12 sides were applauded off at the finish of a game that can only be described as being of "total football".

From beginning to end of the East Region Development Under-12 League's Capital Embroidery Cup final between Civil Service Strollers A and Tynecastle FC, the passing and movement of the players produced spontaneous applause from the big crowd.

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The final scoreline was 5-3 in favour of Civil Service Strollers A, but the result, in many ways, was unimportant. It was the high standard of football skills that was on show that amazed everyone.

CSS went into a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute when

Alex Harris set the standard of what was to follow when he finished off a great move with a wonderful shot past Tynecastle goalie, Michael Ross.

Tynecastle got back on level terms in the 22nd minute, their goal coming from a cross from the left that was brilliantly put away by Lewis Crosbie.

And it was the Tynie outfit that went into a 2-1 lead before the break when Crosbie scored his second following a lovely cut-back from Callum Paterson.

But the game swung back in favour of CSS at the start of the second half when Daniel Handling came back on after treatment for a knock. It was the pace and skill of this tremendous young striker that Tynecastle found too hot to handle - but not until after the boys in maroon had gone 3-1 ahead with another superb goal from Paterson.

Handling then took centre stage, and ultimately picked up the player-of-the-game award. He raced on to a glorious through pass from Shaun Ford to get a foot to the ball to guide it into the e net to make it 3-2.

Ross Brady had two great efforts at the Tynecastle goal, before Handling struck again, coming in from the wing at tremendous pace to finish off brilliantly - 3-3.

CSS really had the bit between their teeth after that and Callum Donnelly used his speed to put his side 4-3 ahead with a great goal. Almost inevitably, it was Handling who had the final say, completing his hat-trick to make it 5-3.

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Civil Service Strollers A: Lyle Sloan, Chris Deignon, Marcus Brown, Mark Jeffreys, Shaun Ford, Todd Smith, Blair Hunter, Craig Newall, Ross Brady, Callum Donnelly, Scott Gray, Alex Harris, Daniel Handling, Conor Berry, Blair Henderson.

Tynecastle FC: Michael Ross, Taylor Aitchison, Lewis Crosbie, Jamie Forsyth, Joesph Greig, Thomas Kidd, Fergus Lockhart, Mark McConnell, Daryll McLaren, Ross McNaughton, Callum Peterson, Euan Rodgers, Craig Sutherland, Dylan Yardley.

Referee: Peter Rowan.