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Everything comes to he who waits...
That is a very true saying and in my case, the Willie Bauld Under 14 Final at Tynecastle was played in sunshine... to rain! But it could have rained all it wanted to as I and lots of other lucky people were under cover. In Edinburgh and under cover, how is that for such a special occasion? Mind you, there was a wee hail storm about an hour before the start just to remind us of where we live.
But this is an easy match report for me as I just have to record what happened throughout this glorious example of all that is good in youth club football and leave the rest to your imagination!. Tynecastle scored a dramatic (I’ll say) winner in the very last minute to run out 3-2 winners against Hutchison Vale. It could not have got any closer than that and to make it worse for Vale, I thought they were the better side in this final!
Now, it is time to step up to the mark Ian and let people know just how good these boys were in the Willie Bauld Final.
Hutchison Vale attacked from the start and Tynecastle were forced to defend their goal. A cross in to the Tynecastle goal was headed in at the left-hand post by No 4, Kacper Balaban, with only two minutes on the clock! The Tynecastle players looked a wee bit shocked at losing an early goal! A magnificent free-kick soared through the air in to the Vale goalmouth, but that was cleared. Then Vale were awarded a free-kick about 40 yards out in the centre of the pitch and that too was cleared, but only as far as the waiting No 8, Calum Watson, but his shot went straight through to Tynecastle keeper, Fraser Briton. Good play from the boys in maroon up the left; then even more good play from Tynecastle on the right, but the Vale rearguard gave nothing away.
In another Tynecastle attack, No 8, Liam Willis, went down in a tackle in the penalty box! The referee waved play on against a background of roars from the stand! Then Vale No 14, Euan McGuire, fed a lovely pass in to the path of Lewis Hall, but the Craigmount HS pupil, could only lob the ball in to Briton’s hands. Callum Crawford (No 7) set off on a good run towards the Vale goal, only to be halted in his tracks, then Liam Willis, was shunted off the ball by Vale No 6, Alistair McCann. This cracker of a final raged on with good play from Vale No 4, Kacper Balaban and then it was Tynecastle again as they made tracks for the Vale goal. Willis got in a good header but his net-bound shot was cleared off the line by Vale No 6, Alistair McCann.
What a game it was! Good players showed up in all a areas of the big pitch and I will be forgiven if I mention Vale No 3, Lewis Hall, again. He was just outstanding, but maybe I am a wee bit biased as Lewis is a member of the Craigmount HS under-14 squad that will play Braidhurst (Motherwell) in the final of the SSFA Shield at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie, next Monday night, May 20th. Good luck, Lewis! You will need it I think! Euan McGuire and Robbie Polson combined for Vale in another raid on the Tynecastle goal, but Willis cleared up that dangerous move.
The biggest player/person on the pitch, Tynecastle No 9, Cameron Dawson, came off second best in a challenge with Hall in another magical moment in this game of games. A good effort from Polson was blocked by Tynecastle keeper, Briton, and Girdwood’s good effort to score from the rebound came off a Tynecastle defender, spun up in to air and in to the waiting arms of Fraser Briton. Goodness me, talk about thrills galore! There were so many in this final!
Callum Crawford gave the fans an example of his individual skills and Vale went on the attack again. No way through the Tynecastle defence, however. Dawson was chopped down in a tackle and Tynecastle were awarded a free-kick, some 25 yard out and to the left of the Vale goal. Up stepped the ‘long haired lover from Liverpool' (words of a song), Murray Rose, and what a magnificent free kick from the Tynecastle No 6, and skipper! Glory be, Rose fired an unsavable shot in to net at the right-hand post and the teams were level again at 1-1. That was in the 25th amazing minute of this stunner of a final, And the Tynecastle fans in the main stand rose as one to acclaim the goalscorer. Vale went looking for another goal and it took a very brave (indeed) block by Briton at the feet of Blair Conway to stop the No 9 scoring! Play speeded up - honest!
There was no hiding place for any of the great young players at the home of Hearts FC! A good passing move by Vale No 6, McCann, No 14, McGuire and No 16, Jamie Mackay, won Vale a corner on the right. Polson delivered the corner to the near post, but Mackay headed wide. A great surging run from Tynecastle No 2, Brok Robertson, came unstuck, when Brok lost control of the ball. Blair Conway was back in defence for Vale as the pressure built up - and so, too, did the roars from the main stand! Play, as they say, raged from end to end. Girdwood was caught offside at one end, while Rowell went close for Tynecastle at the Vale end. It was still 1-1 at half-time.
Half Time: Hutchison Vale 1-1 Tynecastle FC
The noise in the main stand subsided for a while during the break, but rose to a crescendo in the maelstrom of action that followed on the restart. Conway got Vale off to a good start with a run at the Tynecastle defence but Murray Rose, again, dealt with that very well. Mackay hit another good effort over the Tynecastle crossbar. A promising move by Tynecastle’s McCrorie, Dawson and then Willis, was halted by McCann (what a super game he had). Free-kicks and corners produced more great goalmouth action at both ends and it took a great saving tackle from Mackay to clear up good move featuring Rowell and McPherson. I felt like ‘johnnie-come-lately’ as I tried to jot things down in my notebook and in so doing, took my eyes off the game! No moment of this final was to be missed, indeed!
The tension on the pitch built up while the noise from the main stand increased to full pitch. It was bedlam. Sheer wonderful bedlam! It was, therefore, like an explosion, when Vale went back in front in the 17th minute of the second half. Calum Watson was the goalscorer for Vale and the No 8 disappeared under a mound of celebrating players. I think a lot of spectators would like to have got in on the celebrations as well, but they were stuck in the stand! Hall then brought down Tynecastle No 10, Murray Hand, on the edge of the 18 yard box and it was squeaky bum time for all in the Vale camp. But no free-kick and I was amazed as it looked a certain foul on the Tynecastle player. Their fans in the main stand were less than pleased, I can tell you! Howls of protest and Ronnie Lauder’s parentage was called in to question. But it was not only the fans who exploded in this game, the final itself built up to a deafening finale.
In the 22nd minute of the second half, Tynecastle scored another equaliser to make it 2-2. The goal came when Crawford won a free-kick for Tynecastle and it was, indeed, squeaky-bum time for all the Vale contingent when Murray Rose strode forward to deliver a great ball in to the danger area in front of the Vale goal and with bodies all over the place, it was big Cameron Dawson who managed to force home Tynecastle’s second goal! That brought a response with the Tynecastle fans’ very own version of the Hallelujah Chorus!
It is difficult for me to write what followed as it was much better just to be at Tynecastle to see the action, commitment and downright bravery, from all the young players on the pitch. It was sensational and it was in the very last minute when the proverbial ‘roof fell in’ on Hutchison Vale. Both goals had survived so many great attempts but it was to be Tynecastle BC’s lucky night and when the Vale defence got in a tangle in yet another all-out raid on their goal and it was No 4, Ben Voy, who managed to force the ball over the Vale goal-line at the right-hand post. As the Tynecastle players descended on top of the goalscorer, I could swear I saw the old main stand at Hearts FC’s ground tremble. Everything, indeed, had come to he who waits. The male and female Tynecastle BC fans, players, coaches and others.
That then, is my match report. I do not know what anguish Hutchsion Vale went through after losing the goal so late in the game, neither do I know just how relieved Tynecastle were to win the beautiful trophy bearing the name of the legendary Willie Bauld. I can only guess! And there to present the Cup and individual awards was one of Willie Bauld’s team-mates from the glory days at Tynecastle - JIMMY MURRAY! It was, a wonderful end to a truly great night for football. Well done, to Tynecastle, and hard, hard luck to Hutchison Vale. ‘The stars at night were big and bright, deep in the heart of Gorgie!’ Ah, they don’t have songs like that anymore!
Full Time: Hutchison Vale 2-3 Tynecastle FC