The Henry Dolan Cup final brings together two of the top sides from the Dave Pullar League. Having already lifted the Elwood Trophy and clinched the league title, East Craigie are looking to make it back to back domestic clean sweeps, while Kirrie Thistle are looking to end the campaign that has seen them finish third in the league on a high.
Ahead of the final, YFS caught up with Kirrie boss David Brown and East Craigie manager Steven Fallon to find out about their runs to the final and previous meetings.
Here’s what they had to say:
Kirrie have secured a third-place finish in the Dave Pullar League, and with only three defeats in the league this season, manager David Brown is delighted to see his side reaping the rewards for their hard work over the years.
He said, “Our team is made up of 17 boys mostly from Kirriemuir but a couple from Forfar and Alyth. The majority of the team have been together since under nines.
“This season we wanted to be more competitive throughout the whole year and have a good cup run.”
Kirrie’s run to the final began with a win over neighbours Forfar Boys, before victories over Brechin and Monifieth sent them to the final. Brown is pleased with how his side have navigated the ties.
“A local derby kicked off the cup run, and a good solid performance resulted in a 2-0 win. Next, we encountered Brechin and had a comfortable victory.
“On to the semi-final where we took an early lead against Monifieth only to be pegged back in the second half, but the team dug deep and secured their final berth.”
Two of Kirrie’s league defeats have come against East Craigie, both by four goals to two, and Brown is expecting another tough match in the final.
“As always it will be a difficult game against a top-quality side who play the game in the right manner.”
Ahead of their big day, Brown had this message for his players.
“Believe in yourselves and let everyone see how good you can be. Enjoy the day and create lifetime memories.”
East Craigie Swifts
Having already clinched two pieces of silverware over the past few weeks, East Craigie go into the match as favourites, but manager Steven Fallon will make sure his players take nothing for granted.
He said, “Cup games are unpredictable, so we will just aim to go out and do our best. Boys have experienced both winning and losing finals, however we certainly know what experience we enjoy more.”
East Craigie’s run to the final started with a 6-0 win over Partan Craig before beating Celtic Boys 5-0 in the quarter-final. A 2-0 win over Dryburgh booked their place in the final, and Fallon was delighted with his side’s defensive showings in these matches.
He said, “We haven’t lost a goal in any of these games which shows our strength defensively. Performance wise we have played better in other cup games but can’t argue with the results we have had and with reaching another final the boys should be proud of themselves.”
With two 4-2 wins from their previous meetings with Kirrie, Fallon is expecting a competitive final.
“It was a tough game away from home against Kirriemuir. It was 2-2 at one point but we managed to pull it back with two late goals.
“It should be a great final and hopefully we do ourselves justice and play to the best of our ability.”