The U13 Logie Cup Final between St. John's HS and Craigie HS proved to be an absolute classic. The pitch at St.James' Fairfield Park was in excellent condition and the sunny evening drew a good crowd to cheer on both sides.
Craigie looked to create chances from the start but it was St.John's who struck first after 10 minutes when Liam Clarke hit the top corner, 1-0. Play moved up and down the park on a regular basis and both sides had chances but there was only the one goal in it till five minutes from halftime when Kyle Anderson fired in a Craigie equaliser from out on the left, 1-1. With nothing between the teams the 1-1 halftime score was about right.
Half Time: Craigie HS Under 13s 1-1 St John's HS Under 13s
The yellows then took the lead with Kyle Anderson on the scoresheet again right after the interval, 1-2. St.John's substituted to good effect, Nathan Scott coming on to give the Craigie defence a good test. St.John's thought the ball had crossed the line as the Craigie keeper scrambled at his left post to palm the ball away, but play carried on.
St. John's continued to look for an equaliser and, after some concerted pressure had put the Craigie defence in difficulty, Nathan Scott shot on the turn from 15 yards into the back of the net, 2-2. Not long after it was Nathan Scott again from the edge of the box who controlled the ball and smashed it this time with his left foot past the keeper's left hand into the corner to put St.John's back in front, 3-2.
The blues were now in command and nearly added to their lead but the Craigie keeper produced a good save at the expense of a corner. But instead of securing the victory St.John's let Craigie back into it in the latter stages of the game and were made to pay with about five minutes left - Kyle Anderson broke quickly through the inside right channel, took the ball beyond the defence before rounding the advancing keeper and firing into the empty net to equalise and complete his own hat-trick, 3-3.
Indeed Craigie nearly won it late on with a long-range effort which hit off the bar to shouts of "Goal" from the Craigie ranks but the referee adjudged the ball not to have bounced over the line.
Full Time: Craigie HS Under 13s 3-3 St John's HS Under 13s
So an even game was destined for extra-time and this had as much drama as the regulation time. The first period had just started when St.John's went back in front for the third time - Dean Currie struck a ferocious shot from out on the right which the keeper got hands to but could not stop as the ball bulged the net on the far side, 4-3. Craigie then had a couple of chances to level, before St. John's ended the half with a shot narrowly past the far post.
The second half continued in the same hectic fashion and as time wore on it looked as if St.John's would hold on to win, but in the last minute Craigie grabbed their third equaliser of the night when Kyle Anderson raced down the right, drew the keeper and rifled his shot into the far corner for his own and Craigie's 4th goal, 4-4.
The final whistle sounded to end the extra-time and everybody prepared for the penalty shoot-out. Craigie stepped up first and scored confidently, St. John's also netted. The first five penalties all went in, then St.John's third shot was stopped by the legs of the diving Craigie keeper to give Craigie a 3-2 lead.
With both teams scoring their fourth kick it was down to Craigie to score their fifth spot-kick to win the cup, and another convincing spot-kick wrapped up a 5-3 win on penalties. With St.John's clinching the DFCSS U13 League a couple of days later both teams can be happy with their work this season.