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Five goal Gardiner seals treble for East Craigie Swifts

East Craigie Swifts 8

Faulkner 3', 77', Gardiner 6', 14', 28', 32', 57', McLaughlin 75'

Forfar Boys 0

Andrew Creegan

Andrew Creegan | YFS East Region Multimedia Journalist
Articles by Author | Contact Author

Keir Gardiner found the net five times as East Craigie Swifts blew Forfar Boys away in the final of the Queens Jubilee Cup. As well as Gardiner’s goals, a brace from Ewan Faulkner and Josh McLaughlin’s strike completed the treble for East Craigie, who finish the season unbeaten domestically.

East Craigie’s first cup final of the season against Fairmuir was cancelled as their opponents couldn’t field a team, and the Maryfield League winners wasted no time as they opened the scoring after three minutes.

Keir Gardiner saw his effort saved by Aaron Morrison, but the rebound fell for Ewan Faulkner, who finished into the empty net.

It took just three minutes for East Craigie to add a second. Faulkner played a neat one-two with Ethan Bannon at the top of the box and cut the ball across for Gardiner, who guided the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. It was a blistering start from East Craigie, while Forfar were struggling to keep possession of the ball.

Forfar’s first shot came courtesy of Jay Yule after 10 minutes. The striker’s effort was easily held by Charlie Kennedy in the East Craigie goal. Yule then headed over Robbie Davidson’s corner as Forfar looked for a route back into the match.

Just as Forfar began to get themselves into the game, Gardiner struck again.

Faulkner was the provider yet again, as his low cross deflected off a Forfar defender into Gardiner’s path, and the striker made no mistake as he drilled the ball past Morrison from eight yards out.

Reece Lornie was the next East Craigie player to try his luck, but his effort was saved by Morrison.

Lewis McSherry got on the end of a loose ball on the edge of the East Craigie penalty area, but his effort looped over the bar. Yule then tried his luck from 25 yards, but his shot didn’t dip enough to trouble Kennedy.

With 28 minutes gone, Gardiner completed his hat trick. The striker’s shot squirmed through Morrison’s body and into the net. If ever a goal highlighted two sides fortunes, this was it.

Forfar nearly pulled one back through Davidson. The midfielder’s whipped free kick came crashing off the cross bar before being cleared.

With eight minutes of the first half remaining, Gardiner scored again. Finlay Baird won the ball at the top of the Forfar box and forced his way to the by-line, and set up Gardiner, who squeezed the ball past Morrison at the near post.

Forfar had the first chance of the second half. Jack Balfour’s free kick was tipped over the bar by Kennedy. Ryan Clark then forced the East Craigie stopper into action before Lornie sliced his shot wide from the top of the Forfar box.

Gardiner added his fifth just before the hour mark. Callum McCleary’s cut back was swept home by Gardiner. This was the prolific Gardiner's 35th goal of the season.

Forfar continued to search for what would be a consolation goal. Yule fired over after 66 minutes before Kennedy kept out Calum Kelman’s half volley.

With five minutes remaining, East Craigie scored again. McCleary again the provider, as he set up Josh McLaughlin, who had the simple task of putting the ball into the empty net.

East Craigie weren’t finished there, as Faulkner who had opened the scoring with three minutes played, finished it with three minutes remaining. The winger jinked past the Forfar defenders and slotted the ball under Morrison, completing the perfect afternoon for East Craigie.

While the Forfar players will be hurting after this result, they should remember that reaching a cup final is still a fine achievement. On the day, it seemed that every missed Forfar chance was followed by an East Craigie goal, and on another day, they may have had a goal or two to show for their efforts.

As for East Craigie, this was the kind of ruthless performance that has seen them go through the entire domestic campaign unbeaten. Some of their passing football today was a delight to watch, and all eight of their goals were scored from 10 yards out or closer, which highlights how efficiently they carved Forfar open throughout the 80 minutes.

Next season, they will look to add the East Region Cup to the Craigie Park trophy cabinet and go into the latter stages of the Scottish Cup. Given that eventual winners Tynecastle needed a penalty shootout to see off East Craigie this year, this is a talented group of players that nobody in Scotland should be taking lightly.



East Craigie Swifts
Forfar Boys
1. Charlie Kennedy
2. Aidan Mcirvine
3. Reece Lornie
4. Rhys Beattie
5. Leon Gibson
6. Finlay Baird
7. Ethan Bannon
8. Max Flucker
9. Jordan Conway
10. Euan Fallon
11. Ewan Faulkner
12. Josh McLaughlin
14. Callum McCleary
15. Cameron Christie
16. Keir Gardiner
17. Hayden Burr
1. Aaron Morrison
2. Jack Neave
3. Craig Davidson
4. Jay Yule
6. Ryan Clark
7. Robbie Davidson
8. Cameron Fleming
9. Calum Kelman
10. Lewis McSherry
11. Ewan Miller
12. Jack Balfour
14. Liam Jones
15. Owen Mason
16. Campbell White
17. Elliot Duncan
Star Player
East Craigie Swifts
Forfar Boys
Keir Gardiner - Five instinctive finishes from one of the most natural goal scorers not just at this age group, but any age group in Dundee. Never gave the defenders a moments peace, and deservedly picked up the Man of the Match award.
Jack Yule - Put in a good shift up top for Forfar. Held the ball up well, and on another day, might have been on the score sheet.
Magic Moment
East Craigie Swifts
Forfar Boys
Faulkner's Second Goal - A fantastic run and finish from one of the most dangerous players on the park.
Davidson's Free Kick - The closest that Forfar came to scoring all afternoon. On another day, it might have snuck in.

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