Tynecastle kids finish with a trophy as seniors beckon

TYNECASTLE under-14s signed off their season in style by beating Hutchison Vale 96 3-1 to win the Lothian Buses South East Region Youth FA's Kenny McLean Cup.

Many of the players who took to the pitch at Bonnyrigg Junior's New Dundas Park will now ply their trade at senior teams after their respective clubs enjoyed a sterling campaign.

As the occasion marked a final swansong for so many, it was perhaps unsurprising that a fiercely-competitive contest began at such a high tempo.

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Tynecastle's Sean Burns fired over from outside the box early on then Kieran Thrall created a chance for Hutchison Vale, escaping the Tynecastle defence but, under pressure from a backtracking defence, hitting a tame shot that was collected by goalkeeper Cameron Tulloch.

Midway through the first half, Tynecastle thought they had taken the lead. Burns flicked a delightful ball through for Blake Wales, who managed to put his shot beyond the goalkeeper. However, the Vale defence covered back and blasted the ball against their own crossbar before eventually clearing.

Tynecastle pushed on after this chance and created the opening goal five minutes before half-time. A crossed ball found Connor Brydon who stuck the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. Hutchison Vale keeper Rian McDermott got his hands to it, but it was not enough to deny Brydon.

Tynecastle then almost created a two-goal cushion before half-time. A chipped pass found Burns on the edge of the Vale box but his effort narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Just as Tynecastle looked to be heading into the break with the lead, Hutchison Vale equalised. A free-kick from the right-hand side was whipped in by Nick Mortimer and Ryan Clarke applied the finish from six yards to round off a well-worked goal.

The second-half started slowly and both teams had their fair share of possession, but neither side managing to find that killer pass. That was the case, at least, until 60 minutes when the first clear-cut opportunity led to a Tynecastle goal. Brydon played a brilliantly-weighted pass beyond the Hutchison Vale defence and into the path of Burns. The striker still had a lot of work to do but, after skipping past McDermott with the ball, Burns calmly stroked it into the open net with his left foot.

Vale continued to threaten and Tynecastle were given a scare when Jamie Dishington beat one player and fired his shot towards goal. However, his shot was saved confidently by Tulloch.

With minutes to go, Tynecastle sealed the victory with their third goal. Vale's keeper McDermott received a pass back and didn't make contact with the ball as he attempted to clear his lines. Man-of-the-match Brydon capitalised by pouncing on the loose ball and finishing off. It was very unlucky for McDermott, who'd had a flawless game up until that point.

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Alex Suttie, the Hutchison Vale secretary, said afterwards: "The game really should've finished 2-1 – the mistake at the end was unfortunate.

"However, I'm really pleased with the lads. They took the game to a highly talented and strong Tynecastle team and we played outstandingly."

Meanwhile, Tynecastle secretary Allan Smart said: "It was a hard-fought win. It was only when we got 3-1 up did I think we were definitely going to win.

"It's been a hard but successful season. We are delighted as a team. The enthusiasm has been high throughout and that has contributed a lot."

Hutchison Vale 96: Rian McDermott, Mark Stein, Shaun Miller, Lewis Brown, Gavin Birrell, Tony Hepburn, Thomas Meldrum, Lee McGregor, Cameron Atwell, Daniel Pacitti, Nick Mortimer, Kieran Thrall, Ryan Clarke, Fraser Sutherland, Fraser Eddington, Darren McCowatt, Jamie Dishington.

Tynecastle: Cameron Tulloch, Taylor Black, Neil Martyniuk, Gregor Lockhart, Bradd Campsie, Euan Lannon, Connor Brydon, Cameron Young, Sean Burns, George Hunter, Blake Wales, Sean Elliot, Dylan Thomson, Andrew McBride, Mikey Hamilton, Aidan Thomson.