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Tynecastle Football Club under-13s produced a remarkably good TEAM display on their way to beating a very good Loanhead combine in the final of the Peter O’Neill Cup. It is rare indeed to see such young boys play in such a way as Tynecastle did in the final at New Dundas Park in Bonnyrigg. Every player in the Tynecastle colours was exceptionally good against a hard-working Loanhead team and those of us up and early on Sunday morning to see the game being played (in the rain) in Midlothian were even treated to a spectacular display of celebration from a Tynecastle player that included a couple of backward somersaults. Oh, to be young again!
It was indeed, lovely to see, in a game played in such wonderful, genuine and honest manner. What a great credit both clubs were to youth club football. Of course, in a team game, some players were that bit better and in this final, Tynecastle had better players than Loanhead in all areas of the big pitch at Bonnyrigg. And, none, better on both sides than Tynecastle No 8, Daniel Purves. This is a boy with huge natural talent in my humble opinion. A young footballer who knows when to pass the ball and, my, how well Daniel passed the ball in this game. Loanhead, too, had good players but one or two of them could possibly take a lession from Daniel Purves and NOT get caught on the ball. Remember I said Tynecastle had an almost faultless team game, well Daniel and all the others in the maroon jerseys were streets ahead of Loanhead on this occasion.
Good football was in evidence in what was surely a great opening spell with Stuart Robertson, the referee, allowing the game to flow. Did I say it was a team game? Well to illustrate that comment, Tynecastle No 4, Jordan Purves (yes, from the same address) was brilliant in the Tynecastle defence. I just cannot remember if Jordan even wasted one ball out of defence. But, it is possibly wrong of me to pick out individuals among the boys in maroon, as they were all so good in this wonderful example of under-13 boys club football. The coaching and encouragement from both touchlines at Bonnyrigg was top class. It was indeed a brilliant wee game of football. Loanhead were caught offside in early raids on the Tynecastle goal and for a while, it was the team from the football hot-bed of talent in Midlothian who looked in the mood to go in front. But, gradually, Tynecastle forced their way in to the game with studied, brilliant football. It was, for me, a morning of enlightenment! Loanhead No 7, Matt Reitvelt, went close to opening the scoring with a shot that whizzed just wide of the Tynecastle left-hand post.
As the Midlothian outfit continued their raids on the Tynecastle goal, they came up against another star in a maroon jerseys, No 2, Robbie Telfer. Loanhead No 3, meanwhile, Matt Crosbie, was brilliant for his side and his tackles took my breath away. Great play, Matt! Oh, here I go again, Tynecastle No 10, Dylan Brown, showed up so well on attacks on the right while Matt Rietvelt, (No 7) was working his magic for Loanhead. What a super game it was to watch! Declan Glass (No 10) slammed in a good effort that was well saved by Tynecastle keeper, Jordan Brown.
Then, possibly against the run of play, Tynecastle went in front. And guess who scored the goal. Yes, it was the mercurial No 8, Daniel Purves, who scored a tremendous goal at the left-hand post to put his side 1-0 up. I have to add Loanhead had done nothing wrong up till then. On the restart, Dylan Brown (No 10) led another Tynecastle attack but, once more, Matt Crosbie, produced a well-timed tackle to win the ball and clear the danger.
The Loanhead goal survived another good attempt that flew just wide of the target. The pace of the game and the skill on view from both sets of players was quite exceptional (I think I have already said that). And so Tynecastle’s attacks built up with, ahem, you know who (Daniel Purves) looking better and better on the ball. At the other end, Kyle Brockie (No 14) was sent tumbling in a Loanhead raid on the Tynecastle goal, but the referee awarded a free kick to the chagrin of the Loanhead fans. Declan Glass sent in a good free-kick at the Tynecastle goal, but Jordan Brown saved well. A through ball for Kyle Brockie to chase went behind for a goal-kick. Loanhead had upped their game but on this occasion Tynecastle were in brilliant form as a team. Another good move at the Loanhead end saw the ball passed from Ciaran McKenzie to Callum Bremner then on to Craig Ferrier, but the Loanhead defence did well to clear and it was still only 1-0 at the half-way stage.
Half Time: Loanhead Miners 0-1 Tynecastle FC
On the restart, Tynecastle scored a second goal when a mistake in the Loanhead defence left the goalie exposed and Craig Ferrier sent a well-controlled header in to the empty net and Tynecastle were then two goals in front. More brilliant play from Tynecastle almost produced another goal as play zipped along. When Loanhead broke, Ciaran McKenzie (No 5) was on hand for the Edinburgh side to clear the danger. Another super young talent, dare I say! Loanhead set up their own good passing moves and, in the process, won several free-kicks. Two corners as well, but no goals.
Then it was the turn of the Loanhead keeper, Bryan Cairns, to be under pressure again when Tynecastle attacked in force. In a bizarre moment, Dylan Brown, sent a soaring shot away over the Loanhead crossbar and the only living beings in danger were some birds flying over New Dundas Park. Enter stage right again, No 8 Daniel Purves, with a cracker of a shot that was blocked by the Loanhead defenders. Aaron was prominent in the next Tynecastle attack while Matt Reitvelt (No 7) shot wide from a good position at the other end.
What a superb game! Then another mistake in the Loanhead rearguard allowed Dylan Brown to fire in a good effort - straighht at goalie - Bryan Cairns. The fortunes in this final changed again when Declan Glass sent a 26 yard rocket of a shot in to the Tynecastle net to make it 2-1. That was followed with another great attempt from No Matt Reitvelt who brought out the best from Tynecastle keeper, Jordan Brown. And play, simply, roared on. Lots of free-kicks to both sides but no more goals. Callum Bremner it was who sent in a good shot at the Loanhead keeper while Declan Glass produced another magic moment with his close skills and he let fly with a powerful shot that belted up against a team-mate. It was that kind of day for Loanhead.
Then Glass won a corner but that was also cleared by the on-form Tynecastle defence. Something had to break and it was the Loanhead defence once again. A real sucker punch of a goal it was, too, with a Loanhead free-kick cleared away up the left and the ball was taken on a run by Craig Ferrier who then sent over a truly precise cross to the back post for Dylan Brown to score with a great header. Surely, a goal fit to win any game of football?
There was a moment of light relief when referee’s assistant, Philip Duncan, went flying on the far touchline and he looked to have hurt himself. But it was only Philip’s pride that was bruised in the fall, although his outfit was mud-splattered! Nice one, Philip, my boy! Hee, hee, hee, ho, ho ho! Just before the final whistle, Tynecastle won a corner on the right and No 12, Aaron Wilson sent over a great in swinger of a ball that appeared to me to go right in to the back of the net without any assistance. But No 16, Lewis Alexander, claimed the last touch.
Whatever, that made if 4-1 at the final whistle at this exemplary game of under-13 football. It was a sheer pleasure to watch all the players in action. A great game of football indeed. Well done, Tynecastle and so, too, Loanhead. It was a day when all the players could walk tall and be proud of their input in to such a good Peter O’Neill final and each team got a bag of goodies for the players from sponsor John Green (Edinburgh City). Yes, indeed, it was quite a wonderful Sunday morning for everyone at New Dundas Park.
Full Time: Loanhead Miners 1-4 Tynecastle FC