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Tynecastle under-17s produced another marvellous display on their way to beating Hutchison Vale 4-2 in the final of the Prison Officers Cup at Bonnyrigg. And Tynecastle had to fight back after losing two early goals in what was the last youth cup final of the seaaon at New Dundas Park, the home of Bonnyrigg JFC. Work is scheduled to take place, starting this weekend, preparing the pitch and installing a drain at this popular venue in time for a new season in Junior football in the Midlothian town. The fans were out in good number to see this game unfold and once more, as far as I was concerned, Tynecastle were in superb form again, following their 2-1 win against Spartans in what was a wonderful Craig Gowans Memorial Cup Final at Tynecastle.
But what a start it was from Hutchison Vale and they led 2-0 after only nine minutes played. Both goals came from No 7, Jordan Combe, who came in from the right on both occasions to fire low shots past Tynecastle goalie, Billy Taylor. These two quick goals possibly should have given Vale all the confidence in the world to go on and lift the cup. But this current Tynecastle under-17 squad are no ordinary team! All of us at the final were treated to a wonderful example of disciplined team play and in the end, Tynecastle were worthy winners of the handsome cup, presented by Pauline Greig, an official at Bonnyrigg JFC and also the neice of Rangers legend, John Greig. I don’t think I have to set the scene at the game with Vale 2-0 in front.
It was going to take something special for Tynecastle to get back in to contention. And what followed was quite special indeed. Referee Steve Cochrane came in for a good deal of barracking from Vale fans who appeared to think they had a rough deal. Needless to say, there were good players in abundance on view at this final. Vale, early on, had impressive performances from No 17, Aaron Flynn and Dylan Moore (No 8) was in my view, Vale’s best player on the night. The busiest player on the pitch was Vale keeper, Daniel Kerr. What a night he had in goals! As the game surged back and forward, up and down the big playing surface, Tynecastle simply sparkled in the dull overhead conditions.
Vale, still on a high after scoring two early goals, made a real game of it and the action at both ends of the ground was nothing short of fantastic. Gavin Stevenson, No 17 for Tynecastle, was superb when involved. I have to add, No 3, James Redpath, and the brilliant No 19, Bradd Campsie to the list of good Tynecastle players. Why do I not take the chance to name all of their heroes on the night?
Ross Anderson produced many good tackles in this final, with the one in which he robbed Lockhart of the ball on a great run, possibly the best of them all. Tynecastle mounted tremendous pressure on the Vale goal and shots rained in on Daniel Kerr and the Vale keeper did exceptionally well to weather the storm. The Vale defence were at full stretch time after time, and how well did they all play? Big Gaving Stevenson was some handful for the under-pressure Hutchison rearguard. It was thrilling to watch! Connor Brydon on the right for Tynecastle was involved in raids on Kerr’s goal and I felt the Vale defence just would not be able to keep Tynecastle out.
All the players in maroon jerseys appeared to want a piece of the action, including No 2, Darren McCowat. Kerr did well to punch another dangerous cross away and Dylan Moore used all his super close skills to set up counterk-attacks on the Tynecastle goal. However, their goalie, Billy Taylor, just got better and better as the game went on. Euan Lannon was totally committed in midfield for Tynecastle and, once more, a very good prospect indeed. Somehow, don’t ask me to explain, but Vale still led 2-0 at the break.
Half Time: Hutchison Vale 2-0 Tynecastle FC
The second half belonged to Tynecastle!
Four minutes in to the second half, James Redpath (No 3) drilled home a low, powerfully hit free kick and that made it 2-1. The Tynecastle bandwagon was up and rolling. Incidentally, it was Redpath who lit up Tynecastle Stadium in the Craig Gowans Memorial Cup Final with the goal of this season, last season, next season and any others you can think of with his incredible goal from a free kick away out on the right touchline. However, that is enough about Mr Redpath for now, although he did test Kerr with another cracker of a shot. Kicking down the slope at New Dundas Park, Vale were pinned back in to their own half as the busy, busy Tynecaslte outfit set about them. I lost count of the number of times Vale No 8, the talented Dylan Moore, tried to get his side going, but it was all in vain.
A free kick to Tynecastle, delivered by No 8, Euan Lannon, into a mass of players in front of Kerr, but it was Tynecastle’s No 16, Liam McNeill, who got up to head the ball past Kerr and the final was all square again, at 2-2. Ah, but not for long! In the 10th minute of this fantastic second half show from Tynecastle, their No 7, Connor Brydon, hooked a shot from 20yd out in at the left hand pos and that put his side in front for the first time in this final at 3-2.
Vale lifted themselves and attacked the Tynecastle goal, with Devin Burnside prominent. Vale were unlucky when a clearance in a packed Tynecastle goal, rebounded off another defender and the ball went straight in to the arms of the waiting Billy Taylor. In a good spell for Vale, they won two corners on the left and it was with difficulty, Tynecastle escaped without losing another goal.
Aaron Flynn was a real hero for Vale as Tynecastle attacked once more. Lannon crossed for Ure to head wide of Kerr’s goal. Okan buzzed about on the left for Tynecastle and in the 66th minute of all-out action, Tynecastle scored what turned out to be the clinching goal of the final. Brydon - I can’t keep him out of it, can I - it was who fired another free kick, low down past Kerr and Tynecastle led 4-2. In the frantic, frenetic action that followed, neither side was able to score again, and how some fans raged at the match referee when they disagreed with his decisions.
On then to the presentation and Pauline Greig did the honours, including handing over the lovely trophy to Tynecastle. They were deserved winners. Vale worked so hard, but the two goals early on was what I can only say was a ‘false dawn’ for them. These two goals came too easy and they just lost the pace of the game from then on. Well done, to both sets of players, for the wonderful sportsmanship shown at the finish. And well done, indeed, to Bonnyrigg Rose JFC for allowing finals to be played at their lovely ground once again.
Full Time: Hutchison Vale 2-4 Tynecastle FC