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Clinical Hoops beat Gourock to clinch cup

Celtic BC G&W 2

Coutts 20, Cameron 65

Gourock YAC 0

  • Saturday, 31 May 2014
  • Keanie Park, Johnstone
  • Under 15´s
  • Gilbert Baird Cup - Final

Darren Carrigan | YFS West Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Celtic BC and Gourock met in the final of the Gilbert Baird Cup and as the sun belted down the lads kicked off an absolute classic. Right from kick off both sides looked threatening, Regan Talbot burst forward on the left from Celtic and his off the ball movement almost allowed him an easy cross from the byline.
This was a sign of things to come in the game, but Gourock had set up to frustrate the creative Bhoys, allowing them no space on the ball at all and playing to hit on the counter.
Jack Purdue and Lee Bartlett provided amazing attacking chemistry they moved the ball with pace on every attack and were 100% committed to every scrap that came forward. Bartlett was rewarded for his tenacity in the first half after a long cross in from sweeper Aidan McKay’s free kick bounced at the back post between Celtic stopper Sean Baxter and the Gourock striker. Bartlett took it well, despite the awkward bounce but a terrific reflex save tipped it over the bar when it looked destined for the net.
Celtic took renewed enthusiasm from the close call, and Talbot’s ability to leave his marker in the dust with a quick touch allowed chance after chance for the Bhoys. Corner after corner was won by Talbot and despite the massive height difference for Celtic; Lewis Cameron was unable to beat Kieran Devlin’s gloves or the bar.
Talbot continued his star performance by beating 2 Celtic midfielders and slipping a lovely reverse pass through the back for the run by Cameron only to be denied again by Dylan Norman who seemed to be the only one capable of dealing with Talbot’s creativity and dribbling.
Gourock kept playing their counter however, forcing two more saves from Baxter who was impressing with some brilliant stops and safe hands. This time it was Andrew Ellis who broke away from deep, only to be denied by a great dive to the bottom corner.
When the first goal came it was the Green and White fans left grinning, Shaun McCourt broke down the left and played it back, but the deflection took it onto the foot of Anthony Coutts whose curved effort hits the inside of one post before crawling across and over the line to make it 1-0.
The first half continued its frantic pace but Gourock seemed to be getting the better of Celtic with great play through the middle loosing Purdue and Bartlett who seemed to be loving the quality of Ellis’ passing.
Celtic looked to double their lead on the eve of half time but some goalkeeping heroics denied that chance. A 25 yard free kick by Jamie Mulligan looked destined for the top right corner and every photographer’s highlight reel only for Kieran Devlin to push it over the bar with a phenomenal mid air save – he almost seemed to float in the air to get to it.
Half time came around, bringing the close to a terrific half where Celtic lead 1-0 nothing. The first half was the definition of end to end football and Gourock had 2 or 3 chances. Behind only by a fantastically worked goal the Goruock fans and players would feel a bit hard done by.
However the first half was really The Talbot show for Celtic; he absolutely dominated the opening 40 minutes. In the red camp however it was difficult to choose a standout performer as the way they set up needed a huge amount of teamwork and communication, Dylan Norman was the star of the back with some great tackles and blocks denying Talbot more joy than he had.
In the midfield Ellis was able to play through his strikers time and again whilst Purdue and Bartlett were unlucky not to have scored a few.
Not forgetting both goalkeepers who had kept this game from being 6-5 in that first half, both Baxter and Devlin were showing how important a keeper is at the end of a tournament when you’re going up against teams who can and will score from almost nothing.
  • Half Time:
  • Celtic BC G&W
  • 1-0
  • Gourock YAC
The second half was a case of more of the same form both camps. Talbot came a lot more central in this half allowing for McCourt to take his place down the left side. While this allowed Talbot to control the pace of the game it also meant Celtic would have Talbot playing through balls instead of getting on the end of them. This concern proved to be largely superficial as almost immediately he played through Nathan McGairvey in a one on one that almost beat Devlin.
Gourock also found a new lease on life as Adam Houlihan found more space centrally, creating chance after chance much as Ellis was in the first half. Coupled with Gourock’s excellent defensive play the reds looked to be the better team for the majority of the second half. Purdue was almost a one man strike force with his ability to time runs for Houlihan’s long balls and his skill in taking on multiple defenders, he was doing everything but the finish. Purdue hit the side netting twice and countless over efforts came just as close.
Celtic seemed to be buckling under the pressure until a break from full back Michael McLaughlin switched to Talbot who laid it off out wide for McGuigan whose early cross floated towards the spot where an onrushing Cameron managed to get enough on it to tip it over the gloves of Devlin. Celtic had doubled their lead with 15 minutes to go and the joy rippled through the crowd.
Gourock were not content to let them rest easy as a long shot from Ross Montgomery deflected off Mulligan and troubled Baxter. Purdue was on top of the rebound immediately only to be crowded out by Celtic, nerves started to fray as the Gourock boys attacked the deep defending Bhoys.
It was an all in move as Gourock brought on two more strikers in Tom Semple and Ross Mackay, taking off the exhausted Gallacher and Bartlett.  Purdue and Semple were completely in sync with lovely one touch football and clever turns shredding the Celtic back four. Purdue seemed a man possessed as we came to the closing stages beating the left back for pace every time Gourock came forward.
It was a very brave effort and it was plan heat and exertion were taking their toll, but twice he almost found Semple in the danger area and on another day Semple might have made it to the drilled crosses and equalized.
On this day it was Celtic who came out champions, a brilliant game from both teams made for 5 star entertainment for the neutral.
As the whistle went you saw just what it meant to all 22 boys, it was everything a final should have been and the passion that every player on the park showed highlighted that.
  • Full Time:
  • Celtic BC G&W
  • 2-0
  • Gourock YAC


Celtic BC G&W
Gourock YAC

1. Sean Baxter
2. Thomas McGuigan
3. Michael McLaughlin
4. Fraser Cooper
5. Jamie Mulligan
6. Stephen McVey
7. Regan Talbot
8. Nathan McGarvey
9. Euan Howat
10. Anthony Coutts
11. Ryan Love
12. Shaun McCourt
14. Lewis Cameron
15. William Charters
16. Stephen O Hare
17.Adam Williamson

21. Kieran Devlin
2. Callum Rush
3. Daniel Anderson
6. Adam Houlihan
5. Dylan Norman
7. Ross Montgomery
8. Andrew Ellis
9. Mark McLachlan
10. Jack Purdue
11. Lee Bartlett
12. Lewish Gallacher
14. Tom Semple
16. Ross Mackay
17. James O'Shea

Star Player
Celtic BC G&W
Gourock YAC
Regan Talbot, caused massive problems on the left for the first hald, driving past the wing back and creating chances with his square balls. In the second he continued his great form as a playmaker in the centre of mdifield
Jack Purdue, was an absolute workhorse in the final third, he hassled the back four timed his runs perfectly all game and was able to get past his marker with ease.
Magic Moment
Celtic BC G&W
Gourock YAC
The goal that clinched the cup - the atmosphere was electric with Gourock putting pressure on and almost equalising until suddenly Cameron made it 2-0, the reaction was priceless.
Kieran Devlin's free kick save. Absolutely phenomanal, there are no words to describe how perfect the free kick was hit, yet somehow the Gourock keepr still kept it out.
Club Views
Celtic BC G&W
Gourock YAC
Regan Talbot said: "It was a great performance today, it was important to keep our concentration with a player who could get in behind us like Purdue and we did that today."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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