Glasgow Rocks' Kieron Achara returns as Stirling High win cup

Stirling High School's close association with the Stirling Knights Club paid dividends with a 103-54 win over Hillhead High School in the boys' Open Cup final at the Oriam in Edinburgh.

The triumphant Stirling High School team.
The triumphant Stirling High School team.

It was very fitting that 
Kieron Achara, the Glasgow Rocks player and Team GB Captain, was at Heriot-Watt to present the Cup.

Achara is a former Stirling High pupil – he helped the school win the same cup in 1998 – and he inspired one of the school’s current stand-out players, Shaun Craig.

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Shaun, a Scotland under-18 squad member, was a star of the final, scoring from all angles and many breakaways.

“I was a mascot at a Rocks game, saw Kieron play and that was what made me take up basketball,” he explained.

“I started playing in primary seven at Bromstone Primary School. Now I want to go on and play professionally.”

All but one of the Stirling High squad play for the Knights, the exception being Sam Hird but the popular player was given a brief run out in the final by delighted coach Neil 

Portobello High, in the boys’ Open Plate and the girls’ Open, and Wallace High – boys’ and girls’ Under 15s – were double winners on finals day.

The Open girls’ final was an Edinburgh derby between Portobello and St Thomas of Aquins High School, both having strong links to City of Edinburgh and Boroughmuir Blaze respectively.

It was a close match, with St Thomas leading 42-38 at half time. But Portobello opened the third quarter with an impressive run to jump in front and headed into the final period ahead by 61-55.

St Thomas got the fourth underway with four straight points, the game swinging back into St Thomas’s favour.

But Portobello kicked into gear and went on a great run to take a double-digit lead and eventually won 87-75.