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The best in the West arrived in Airdrie to settle a riveting Scottish Cup campaign as the champions Campsie Black Watch looked to secure a second consecutive trophy in their fourth straight final to complete a league and cup double whilst their opponents had spent the season snapping at their heels to finish second behind them in the league and knock them out of the Golden Goals cup on penalties and were hoping to snatch another trophy out from under their noses.
Kicking off in front of a raucous support Goldenhill were straight on to the attack and early efforts from Kieran O'Brien and Daniel Gibson showing early intent but Campsie are rarely so easily shaken and they began to assert themselves after a period of pressure with Stephen Aitken glancing a Kieran O'Hare header goalward before O'Hare himself saw a shot blocked before being cleared in a hectic opening quarter of an hour.
Richard Henry would then nip in ahead of his marker for Goldenhill to create space from a corner but his shot was deflected and cleared and moments later Nicholas Prentice was sent racing though for Campsie but was just levered off the ball as both sides exchanged possession and momentum.
Play would often be stopped in the first period to allow for free kicks and throw ins to further enforce the competitive nature of the contest with the majority of the play taking place in the middle third of the park, Goldenhill attempting to make the best of the running through players like Gibson and Marc Morrison and Campsie playing their way out of danger more often than not through their composed back line which was shepherded well by Martin Storey in goal.
It would be Morrison who came closest for Gowdie as the first period came to an end, the ball breaking to him on the edge of the box and his right foot effort narrowly zipped over the bar but that would be the last action of note in a breathless opening 45 minutes.