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DDYFA U13s Leagues Season Review 2017/18

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The 2017/18 season saw the latest group of youth footballers make the step up to 11-a-side football. The 2005 age group produced three double winners, Scottish Cup Quarter Finalists and the East Region Cup winners.

Here’s how the 2017/18 season went down:

The campaign started with the group stages of the Diamond Jubilee Cup, with Montrose, Riverside, Carnoustie and Fairmuir all topping their groups with 100% records. They were joined by Ferry Athletic, Pitfour, Broughty Pumas and Maryfield United in the Café Royale League.

Two of the top-flights early pacesetters met in the quarter finals of the Jubilee Cup in November, as Ferry hosted Riverside. Despite Riverside racing into a 3-0 half time lead, Ferry, aided by Blaike Kyles hat trick, went on to win 4-3.

Both Ferry and Riverside, along with Fairmuir, were flying the flag for the DDYFA on the national front as they advanced into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.

In the P Gibson League, Dundee SC inflicted Celtic Boys first league defeat of the season courtesy of a 4-1 win.

Round Five of the Scottish Cup saw Ferry face Fairmuir in the final game of 2017 as the winter weather put a halt to all three of the leagues. Blaike Kyles brace either side of Aiden Lockhart’s goal saw Ferry become the only side from Dundee left in the competition at any age group.

Ferry’s Scottish Cup heroics continued into the new year as they beat Deveronvale 3-1 to advance to the quarter finals, but their run would go no further as they went down at the hands of The Celtic BC.

Carnoustie Panmure beat Maryfield 5-3 to advance to the final of the Jubilee Cup, where they would meet Ferry, who came from behind once again to beat Pitfour 6-1 in their semi-final.

The Café Royale League title challenge was a four-way race with Ferry, Riverside, Pitfour and Fairmuir all in contention. Stuart Heenan scored a hat trick as Fairmuir beat Riverside 6-3 at Graham Street. Both Riverside and Pitfour picked up wins over previously unbeaten Ferry in February.

Fairmuir and Riverside would renew their rivalry in the Ross Ballantine Cup final after semi-final wins over Pitfour and Montrose.

Carnoustie and Pitfour were both flying high in the East Region Cup. Wins over East Fife YA and AM Soccer secured both sides a spot in the Last 16.

In the P Gibson League, Celtic Boys wrapped up the league title in mid-March with a 3-1 win over Dundee SC.

The fifth instalment of the Fairmuir vs Ferry saga produced a 4-4 draw with Stuart Heenan’s hat trick putting another dent in Ferry’s title dream.

There was another title dreamed recognised in the J Clenaghan League as Dundee United SC wrapped up the title with a 3-2 win over Newtyle.

A two-week break over Easter offered much needed respite to all the teams ahead of the business end of the season.

The Diamond Jubilee Cup final was the first match after the break, and both Carnoustie and Ferry put on footballing displays far beyond their years at North End Park.

It was Carnoustie that took the lead through Scott Hamilton, but as they had done in both their matches en-route to the final, Ferry came from behind, with Aidan Lockhart netting both the goals as they won 2-1.

Next up was the final of the Marshall Cup, as champions DUSC took on bottom of the league Arbroath Lads.

Arbroath had saved their best form for the cup competitions with wins over Dundee West Reds and Broughty Panthers earning them the spot in the final, but it was DUSC’s day at North End Park as they ran out 6-0 winners to make it a league and cup double.

Carnoustie and Pitfour both reached the Quarter Finals of the East Region Cup, but it would prove to be the end of the journey for Carnoustie, while Pitfour advanced to the semis, and eventually the final where they would meet Glenrothes Athletic.

Ferry Athletic met Riverside in a potential Café Royale League title decider. Blaike Kyles brace and Aidan Lockhart’s goal earned Ferry a 3-2 win that denied Riverside the title. The Scottish Cup Quarter Finalists did clinch the title with a 6-2 win over Maryfield.

Stuart Heenan proved to be the difference in the final of the Ross Ballantine Cup between Fairmuir and Riverside. The Fairmuir man netted nearly 40 goals in all competitions, and netted his side’s third as they ran out 3-1 winners.

The final weekend of the season saw Celtic Boys take on Mearns in the final of the Celtic Jubilee Cup. Formed in 2015, Mearns are the DDYFA’s newest side, but it was the elder statesmen Celtic Boys who made it a league and cup double.

Josh McGuire scored four times as Celtic ran out 7-3 winners against a spirited Mearns side that fought to the very end.

With the domestic titles wrapped up, there was the small matter of the East Region Cup final to draw the curtain down on the 2017/18 campaign.

Pitfour were the DDYFA’s representatives as they took on Glenrothes Athletic, and they got off to the perfect start when Brodie Pollock curled in a free kick early on.
As they had done throughout the season, Pitfour put on a scintillating passing display for the opening 25 minutes but were pegged back on the stroke of half time.

Extra time was required, and it was Pitfour that grabbed the winner when Thomas Drysdale drilled home from the edge of the box.

The 2005 age group have served up some sensational football at times this season. In the P Gibson League, Celtic turned on the style with 13 wins in their 14 league games.

There were also strong showings from Dundee Sporting, Dundee Thistle and Dundee West Royals, while Mearns put in a great showing in their cup final.

Dundee United SC showed the are not to be taken lightly next season, as they scored goals for fun in all the competitions they entered this season. Forfar Boys, Dundee West Reds and Newtyle also laid strong foundations for the coming seasons.

In the top flight, only six points separated the top four sides, but all eight sides showed that they were more than capable of taking points off each other on their day.

Carnoustie’s style of football was excellent to watch, and they stuck to their principles throughout the season. Their experiences in the East Region and Diamond Jubilee Cup will serve them well over the coming seasons.

Fairmuir will look to a lack of consistency as to why they came away from their first season at 11-a-side with just one piece of silverware. They put in a strong showing in the Scottish Cup only to come up against a Ferry side that denied them on two domestic fronts. Don’t be surprised to see those two renew their rivalry over the coming season.

Pitfour will also consider themselves a tad unfortunate on the domestic front, having shown themselves to be a match for anyone in the Café Royale League. Their East Region Cup win showed that they have the big game mentality to accompany their passing style, a combination that will make them a side to watch over the coming seasons.

Riverside were the only side in the top four to walk away from the season without a piece of silverware. They have proven themselves to be just as capable as Fairmuir, Ferry and Pitfour will have learned some harsh but valuable lessons over the course of the season. Next season, they will fancy themselves to go and lift silverware in some form.

Ferry Athletic proved to be one of the biggest surprises of the season in any league. Their run in the Scottish Cup was remarkable and they will certainly fancy themselves to push on in that competition next season.

The side effect of their national success meant they were playing catch-up in the league for most of the season, leaving them with little margin for error. This would prove to be their making however, as they came up with the goods against their title rivals on numerous occasions, and managed to edge out a strong Carnoustie side in their first ever cup final.

Andrew Creegan

Andrew Creegan | YFS East Region Multimedia Journalist
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