Holyrood Secondary (Glasgow) Under 16s vs Holy Rood HS (Edinburgh) Under 16s
Lloyds TSB Scotland U16 Shield Final
Ian Mackay reports...
THE Scottish Schools Under-16 Shield final at Almondvale really had the ‘wow’ factor and it would be fair to say the game also had crash, bang and wallop in to the bargain. This wonderful final between Holyrood HS (Glasgow) and Holy Rood HS (Edinburgh) had them all - in abundance. The game had to be halted for almost 20 minutes in the second half when Edinburgh school. Star, Lewis Vaughan, was treated for a dislocated elbow on his left arm and it was not until paramedics arrived before the unfortunate young footballer was taken by ambulance to the Sick Kids. He was expected to go through an operation to get his elbow back in place. Lewis picked his sore injury when he challenged for a high ball in to the Holyrood goalmouth and he went down heavily after heading wide of the goal. The Edinburgh school also suffered another blow in the second half when Brad Hainey, a star in central defence for his side, had to be helped off after picking up another sore knock.
But these two injuries were not the only painful things the Capital school picked up in this tremendous game as the Glasgow outfit fought back after going 1-0 down to deservedly win 3-1. Goodness me, it was fantastic to see the passion and commitment of the players on the pitch and this final was blessed by a tremendous referee in John McCrossan from Wishaw. He and his two assistants were almost perfect at Almondvale. The Edinburgh school kicked off the game at whirlwind pace and it was only a matter of time until they opened their account. Big Sean Alexander played out of his skin in leading the attacks on the Glasgow goal. Liam Peden on the left wing and Marcus Campanile on the right also tore in the Glasgow school’s defence. Brendan Edwards was also prominent and Lewis Vaughan was just outstanding.
The air of excitement and enjoyement at Almondvale was at fever pitch with groups of each team’s schoolmates making a hell of noise. Into the bargain, it was a glorious night and the pitch at Almonvale was in superb condition for what was a memorable final. Sean Alexander will remember his opening goal - although the Glasgow goalie will possibly want to forget it. Alexander, who was on fire in the early part of the final, kept going after the ball and he won it from the keeper and scored from a very tight angle to the right of the post. The Edinburgh players and their fans were in ecstasy. The attacks on the Glasgow goal were kept up and everything looked good for the school based in Duddingston in Edinburgh. Liam Peden sent over a perfect cross from the left but Campanile just could not get enough on his header and the chance was missed. The Glasgow goalie missed out when he went for another cross in to his goal and it took a great header clearance off the goal-line to stop the Capital kids going 2-0 up.
Then the tide started to turn. The Glasgow boys clicked in to action and they took the game to the other end and Neil Fairnie had much more to do in the Edinburgh goal. Th4e pace quickened and so too did the skills level. Gary Duggan, wearing the No 8 in the Glasgow line-up led the assaults on Fairnie’s goal. Jewar Ali was involved in setting up good moves for the Glasgow outfit and it took great defending by Kieran Muirhead to clear the danger for the Capital school. Lewis Vaughan showed what a great competitor he was when he won the ball iin another tremendous midfield tackle. Charlie Duffy was a powerhouse both in defence and also in attack as the pressure on the Edinburgh goal mounted. Duggan just got better and better as the game wore on. But the Glagow side had much more in the tank, as it were, and when a free-kick - one of many - soared from the right in to the Edinburgh goal it was rammed in to the net by Conor Maguire to make it 1-1 just before the half-time whistle.
Losing that goal proved to be another hammer blow to the Edinburgh school team. It was however a tremendous first half of great action. At the start of the second half, Josh Goldforb in the Glasgow goal was beaten to a great pass through he middle but Alexander shot went agonisingly wide of the left hand post. And then Duggan really took hold of the game. A great run by this talented young football on the Edinburgh goal was only halted by a group of defenders. The next goal came from another free kick, from the right again and there was Maguire again to score in a mass of players in the Edinburgh goal. That made it 2-1 and the Edinburgh side were really hard pushed as Haiden Ali and Aidon McGinley stepped up the pressure on the Edinburgh school defence. Shots rained in on Fairnie’s goal. But it was Vaughan who raised the hopes for his side when he delivered a great ball to Liam Peden but the Glasgow defence had really closed up shop at the back and the danger was cleared. A massive clearance from Fairnie caused problems for the Glasgow defence but they managed to clear the dnager.
The team from the West of Scotland went on to take control of the game with Mark McKenna another star on the night. When the Edinburgh side managed to mount attacks, they were well defended and the play was switched to the other end. Free kicks to both sides brought more goalmouth action and the game was livened up even further when Duggan went on another of his wonderful runs and, once again, that was cleared up by another superbly timed tackle from Kieran Muirhead. Still the knocks kept coming with players going down injured in tackles, but it was not a dirty game at all, just very competitive. Indeed! The referee was outstanding and he played the adantage rule to perfection. Vaughan was given another chance to score an equaliser for the Edinburgh side, but his free-kick in a promising position to the left of the Glasgow goal was charged down by a wall of defenders. Vaughan followed that up with a cracker of a drive but the ball crashed over the Galsgow crossbar.
The loss of Brad Hainey was another sore point for the Edinburgh school and they had to rearrange their defence in the process. But worse was to come for the Capital kids and that came when Vaughan went down heavily in the Glasgow goalmouth. When the unfortunate Edinbugh star was taken to hospital, the game restarted and it was the Glasgow contingent who celebrated again when a mass raid in Fairnie’s goal resulted in the ball landing nicely for Duggan to whip a low shot in to the right hand corner to make it 3-1 for the Glasgow school. Neil Fairnie was then injured when he made a stunning tip over his bar to deny the Glasgow school a fourth goal. The Edinburgh boys lifted themselves and went on the attack with good moves up the left and right. They won two corners in succession but there was no way through the Glagow defence. And, each time the play switched to the other end of the lovely pitch, there was Duggan & Co waiting to cause more problems for the Edinburgh school’s rearguard. A surging run from Maguire ended with a stunning shot that raged wide of the target.
Duggan was a total inspiration in the closing stages and he went close again to scoring from a free-kick that simply crashed just over Fairnie’s crossbar. In the closing stages Peden was denied what looked like a certain goal for the Edinburgh boys by a great block by Goldforb. Then, in the very last minute, Daniel Greaves and Glasgow’s inspired Declan O’Callaghan both suffered head knocks following a free-kick in to the Glasgow goal. The final went with both these young players receiving attention. The deserved winners of this memorable Under-16 Shield final were Holyrood HS from Glasgow. After a wonderful start to the game Holy Rood HS from Edinburgh were simply beaten by a better side on the night. It was a classic final full of incident, good sportsmanship, excellent football and amazing bravery from all the young players who took part. Here the names of the players, every one of them a true hero.
Holyrood Secondary (Glasgow) - Josh Goldfarb, Daniel Beattie, Jordan Wilson, Charlie Duffy, Declan O’Callaghan, Conor Maguire, Lee Barton, Gary Duggan, Andrew McLaughlin, Haiden Ali, Aidon McGinley, Jewar Ali, Mark McKenna, Liam Brannan, Stefan McNair, Jordan Brolly.
Holy Rood HS (Edinburgh) - Neil Fairnie, Ryan Agate, Kieran Muirhead, Daniel Graves, Brad Hainey, Jack Brien, Lewis Vaughan, Liam Peden, Marcus Campanile, Brendan Edwards, Sean Alexander, Dylan Mya, Jamie Henderson, Jake Welsh, Max Rowell, Dylan Sorely.
Referee - John McCrossan (Wishaw)