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Holyrood hold out for Celtic Park Cameronian Cup win over Bearsden

The home of the Scottish champions, Celtic Park, played host to a vintage Cameronian Cup final between Holyrood Secondary and Bearsden Academy on Monday evening.

Successive trophies were lifted at Parkhead in the two days prior to the showpiece event and on a sunny Glasgow evening, it was Holyrood who became the next side to pick up silverware on the hallowed turf.  

Anton Sweeney’s calm finish just before the half-hour mark was enough to separate the sides in a tight tussle which entailed some heroic goalkeeping to keep the score down.

Photo courtesy of Craig Dunn

A hotly contested opening few minutes involved several strong challenges as both sides looked to assert their dominance in the game, and Holyrood did so to the greatest effect, the opening few chances falling in their favour.

Logan Quigley played a sublime ball over the top of the Bearsden backline, but Patrick Gallagher couldn’t quite get onto it as Rory Macaskill held well.

The team in blue then had some defending to do, Quigley putting in a crunching challenge on Andrew Wilson as the Academy winger looked to press.

A quarter of an hour into the game and apart from Quigley’s ball, there wasn’t much to shout about from an attacking perspective. But on 25 minutes, the best opportunity of the match up until said point fell to Liam McVey. Anton Sweeney got free on the left-hand side and set up the midfielder who fired just wide.

This chance was a sign of things to come because just before the 30th minute, Sweeney got the break of the ball in the box and he couldn’t really miss, sliding it past Macaskill to give his side a deserved lead.

Photo courtesy of Craig Dunn

Bearsden looked to respond a few minutes later and some nice combination play on the edge of the Holyrood box saw Andrew McGeough get a chance to shoot but Liam O’Connor held strongly.

Archie Nicol then played an inviting cross into the box right on Lewis McEwan’s head, however, his effort was straight at the keeper.

The referee blew the whistle for half-time shortly after with Holyrood possessing a slender lead, much to the satisfaction of teacher-turned-coach Mr. Nolan.

As the teams re-emerged for the second 40, the sun had taken a drastic shift West, but there was no let-up in action.

McGeough took a shot from the edge of the box which whistled just wide of the post before Bearsden went forward. O’Connor, though, was quickly off his line.

Moments later, Holyrood then had the opportunity to extend their lead. Left-back Junior McQuilken found some space, but Andrew Barlow was alert.

Pressure from the team in blue was mounting but Bearsden would have been level had it not been for a heroic O’Conner save on the 50-minute mark.

Clearcut chances were becoming a theme as the minutes ticked away and Macaskill was being well worked. A few shots came in from range but the number one was on-call; some of his saves would not look out of place in a Manuel Neuer compilation.

Into the closing stages, despite being one ahead, Holyrood were pushing for a second. Sweeney found some space in the box after a well-worked sequence of play but yet again, Macaskill was equal to the near-post effort.

A late surge from Bearsden in the dying embers showed some signs of promise although Holyrood professionally held on to seal a Parkhead victory that the players will remember for the rest of their lives.

Bearsden Academy Player of the Match: Rory Macaskill

One could have easily mistaken Bearsden keeper Rory Macaskill for Joe Hart the way he was throwing himself about the Celtic Park goal. The number one commanded his box amply, effectively played the ball out from the back, and made several key stops to keep his team in the game throughout the 80.

Holyrood Secondary Player of the Match: Anton Sweeney

On the wing for cup winners Holyrood, Anton Sweeney was a thorn in the side of the Bearsden defence. His influence on the game was widescale whether it be manufacturing opportunities for his teammates or proving a goalscoring threat; he bagged the solitary strike of the final.

Bearsden Academy Magic Moment: Macaskill Wonder Save

As Holyrood looked to put the game to bed, Rory Macaskill pulled out a heroic save, acrobatically diving to his near post to prevent Sweeney from bagging a Parkhead brace and all but sealing the cup for his team. His antics between the sticks gave the Academy hope but, in the end, they weren’t enough to prevent a heartbreaking loss.

Holyrood Magic Moment: Sweeney Winner

The only goal of the game came courtesy of Holyrood winger Anton Sweeney on 27 minutes. The tricky number seven was a constant threat and opened the scoring in the first half with a smart finish which rounded off a well-worked move.

Bearsden Academy U18s

1. Rory MacAskill

2. Alastair Gibson

3. Archie Nicol

5. Andrew Barlow

4. Ruben Komolafe

8. Andrew McGeough

7. Lewis McEwan

6. James Murray

9. Ewan Russell

10. Ewan Valentine

11. Andrew Wilson

12. Sam Smith

13. Ewan Paul

14. John Mullaney

15. Justin Olayide

16. Tanaka Mabweazara

17. Leyton Webster

Holyrood Secondary U18s

1. Liam O’Connor

12. Scott Ritchie

4. Logan Quigley

3. Stephan Crossan

11. Junior McQuilken

5. Corey Chatham

14. Joseph Lamb

10. Rasti Hussein

15. Josh Fraser

9. Patrick Gallagher

6. Liam McVey

8. Mark McCaffrey

7. Anton Sweeney

16. Kieran Duffin

2. Sean O’Donnell

17. Kyle O’Donnell


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