Currie Star came from behind to beat St Bernard’s in an open, yet entertaining, Polar Foods Cup final.
Charlie Nicholl had given his side an early lead within the first 10 minutes, but two goals from Cameron Elmslie and one from Matthew Darlington, all within the last 10 minutes of the first half, turned the final on its head.
After the break Currie increased their lead thanks to goals from Daniel Findlay and Zach Neil which helped them secure a comfortable final win over their Division 4 rivals.
Although Currie found it comfortable in the end, St Bernard’s started the game like a side who, so far this season, have been unbeaten in the league and took the lead after only 10 minutes.
Midfielder Nicholl received the ball on the left edge of the box before shifting it onto his right foot and firing a powerful shot into the top right corner. Currie goalkeeper Rory McGeogh got a hand to the shot but the ball slipped through his fingers.
Even though there was a heavy downpour before the match, creating wet and slippery conditions, McGeogh would have been disappointed with his error. However, the goalkeeper redeemed himself soon afterwards with a number of saves to keep his side in the game.
Zak Manson made a strong run down the right side of the pitch and got to the byline before cutting it back into the box. Striker Niall Kemp scuffed his shot but it fell to Jay Stevenson who was arriving from the left. McGeogh was on hand, however, to save his low shot.
St Bernard’s were constantly finding space when going forward and, driven on by the pace and energy of Manson, carved out a number of chances.
The best of them fell to Manson who broke free from the Currie back four before rounding the goalkeeper and beating the covering defender but, with the angle tight, he could only shoot into the side netting.
After that scare Currie began to grow into the game. Matthew Darrington, playing behind central striker David Findlay, started to find space in the middle of the park and created several openings thanks to his precise through balls.
Findlay was usually the target and was twice denied by St Bernard’s stopper Sam Whitson after the striker had been played through on goal.
Midfielder Cameron Elmslie then did well to beat two men down the right before clipping a pass into the box. It found Darrington, who rounded the keeper, but he was challenged by a defender as he was about to pull the trigger.
Currie eventually levelled the game in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Darrington’s low, inswinging corner from the left evaded everyone but found its way to Elmslie at the back post who tapped in.
They then took the lead only a minute later. Darrington was again the architect, splitting the St Bernard’s defence with another ball through to Findlay who unselfishly squared the ball to Emslie to score his, and his side’s, second of the night.
With only a minute left to play, Currie scored again to seal an impressive first half comeback. Again the St Bernard’s defence was caught square as Cameron Scaife slipped in Darrington who chipped the ball over the keeper with his weaker left foot before wheeling away in celebration as it rolled in off the left post.