Hosted by Caledonian BC (CBC) who earlier in the season won the prestigious Barrhead Tournament, against strong opposition.
Format was each team playing 3 round robin matches, with top two team playing in cup final and next two playing in a plate final. St Cadoc’s were being managed for the first time by their new management team of Paul Gillan and John Hamilton.
First up were the hosts who play in the Central Ayrshire YFA where they acquitted themselves well, ending up highly placed in the league. With both teams looking to play football on the ground, it looked like a good close game would be had, which turned out to be the case. St Cadoc’s took an early lead through Jason Lindsay and held on to half time 1-0 up, probably deserved although it was close. 2nd half CBC came back strongly and probably edged the half overall. Both teams created chances but neither could take any, so St Cadoc’s held out for a closely fought win.
Next up were EK Burgh Black from the Lanarkshire League. St Cadoc’s were better team in first half but took a while to take the lead through Husnain Mansoor. 2nd half was a tighter affair with EK Burgh creating half chances before St Cadoc’s gained a 2 goal lead through Robbie Hannah. Although the game was close from here, St Cadoc’s never looked in danger of losing and game ended 2-0.
Last game in round robin was against Rossvale Milan from the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth League. Having played them earlier in the season in a friendly, we knew it would be a hard game, as they won with a strong team performance on that occasion. However St Cadoc’s started this game strongly with their best possession football of the tournament in the first half. Not too many chances created by either team but St Cadoc’s Robbie Hannah took one of ours and we went into the break deservedly 1-0 up. 2nd half Rossvale Milan showed plenty of fight and came back strongly, equalising and then going into a 2-1 lead midway through the half. Then it was St Cadoc’s turn to show character, fighting back in the game before captain Max McLuskie equalised and that’s how it ended. A draw probably not too far off the mark.
The final was against Gourock YAC, fresh from a strong league performance and a good Scottish Cup run. Both teams know each other well, having both been in the Paisley & District Division 1 for the last 3 seasons. Both teams have had wins and draws against each other, however last game was a convincing home win for Gourock. So St Cadoc’s were out looking for revenge. Gourock started quickly and took the lead early on with a well taken goal. However in a close fought battle, St Cadoc’s equalised before half time through Robbie Hannah. The 2nd half again was a again a tight affair with both teams creating some chances, however St Cadoc’s took one of theirs through Joe Leach and went on to hold onto this lead, winning the match and the trophy with a narrow victory.
Fantastic team performance over the day, with some great defensive displays, including key saves from goalkeeper. Midfield fought hard and passed well and up front some tireless running and fine ball retention and some pretty decent finishing. Many committed displays with some boys playing through the pain barrier with injuries, knocks and cramping legs.
Well done to all the boys and the new coaches, great way to end the season. Big thanks to Caledonian BC for their invite and for the well ran tournament. St Cadocs are looking forward to meeting them again in the Barrhead Tournament, when they will hope to defend their trophy.