It took extra time to finally decide the destiny of the Wallace Gemmell trophy at Dam Park. After their comeback heroics in the semi-final Bellfield almost faced one of their own as a dogged Dalrymple side chased them down at Dam Park. Three goals in extra time eventually brought the Royals side their second trophy of the season, with a treble now a realistic prospect.
Dalrymple had mounted a brave comeback to level the tie in regulation. Goalkeeper Joseph Kerr had proved a rock at the back in a first half dominated by Bellfield, to just about help his side weather the storm and go in just two goals down.
Royals had also lost danger man Jamie Fowler to injury in the first half, which was to blunt their attack as they reorganised. It all gave Dalrymple just the sniff of a heroic recovery. One goal back and who knows?
But Bellfield looked to be well on course for more silverware in the first half, establishing an early two goal lead and playing at a tempo Dalrymple struggled to match. Taylor McIntyre and Fowler were the twin threat with quick balls in behind to catch out the Dalrymple back line.
The opener arrived in the 14th minute, after a period of sustained Bellfield pressure. Rhys Osborne’s corner swung in from the right and Lewis Baird nipped in at the far post to nod past Kerr.
Just a minute later and Royals had extended their lead. A fine ball through beat the Dalrymple defensive line with David Sawyers clean through to beat Kerr from close range.
Two such quick goals would have knocked the stuffing out of most teams, but Dalrymple collected themselves and pushed out to create a few chances of their own in response, with David McMenemy a constant danger down the right with his pace. After good play by the winger Iain Stevenson might have done better with a free header inside the box.
And goalkeeper Kerr kept their hopes just alive as Fowler went on a dazzling run on 30 minutes, beating three defenders, but a good rush out from his line blocked the shot. Shortly later Bellfield suffered a blow as Fowler pulled up with a ligament strain and had to be substituted just before the break.