It was Kirrie Thistle that triumphed in this year’s Ellwood Cup final against Forfar at North End Park, in Dundee. Kirrie found themselves ahead early on, only for a wonder goal from Forfar to level the tie. Kirrie would regain the lead, just before the break, and then went on to add two further goals, in the second half, to wrap up the victory.
The game got off to the perfect start for Kirrie. After winning the ball back in the Forfar half, Nathan Hamilton played in his strike partner Mark Dallas, who kept his composure and put his side ahead just 14 seconds into the game. A dream start for the boys in blue.
Forfar responded well to the setback, Dylan Brown saw his effort deflect out for a corner after five minutes. A frantic start to the game saw both sides win corners, and look dangerous with the long ball over the top.
On nine minutes, Forfar were level. A loose ball came to the feet of Cameron Thomson 25 yards from goal, and the midfielder fired the ball high into the top corner of Andrew Smith's goal. It was no more than Forfar deserved for their early efforts in the match.
The game continued in an end-to-end manner, with both sides creating half chances but both failing to worry either goalkeeper. The best chance came the way of Kirrie, when Forfar goalkeeper William Milligan stepped out of his penalty area with the ball in his hands mid-kick, resulting in a Kirrie free kick on the top of the box. Robbie Bannerman could only send his low effort wide of the post, sparing Milligan’s blushes on this occasion.
It would be the Dallas and Hamilton combination that continued to trouble Forfar’s backline. This time it was Dallas that sent Hamilton through on goal, but the forward couldn’t get away from defender David Pearson, and sent his shot straight at Milligan.
They say that if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, and that’s exactly what Hamilton did. Following a long ball into the box from a free kick in the 39th minute, Joe Black controlled the ball well, before slipping the ball into Hamilton, who unleashed a fierce strike across the goal and into the top corner of the net from a tight angle. Even more impressive than the finish was the strikers backflip to celebrate putting his team back in front.
Forfar, again, responded well to the setback. Some nice footwork from Barry Duggan allowed him to get a shot away, but it didn’t trouble Smith in the Kirrie goal. Kirrie could have been further ahead at the break, but Dallas couldn’t hit the target from Black's cut back.