The Scottish Cup semi-finals are set to come to close in the coming weeks and this weekend we move onto the Under 14 age group as Giffnock North BC United and St Andrews BC will battle it out for a place at Airdrie in the Scottish Cup Final.
Both sides will be familiar to each other, with both playing in the Paisley and Johnstone District Youth Football League and with the teams separated by just one place in the table, it looks as though this will be a close match indeed.
Giffnock North have had a good league run so far. They sit in third place in the table, nine points behind leaders St Cadocs in first, crucially with three games in hand to play over the leaders.
They have performed well in their cup competitions this season also. They are currently in the quarter-finals of the Gilbert Baird Cup where they are due to play against Southside Star and they played well despite being knocked out of the West Region Cup by Glenvale via a penalty shootout.
St Andrews BC have also had a season to be proud of as they sit in fourth place in the PJDYFL table, eight points behind their semi-final opponents on Sunday, though a title challenge may be out of their reach, having to make up a 17 point deficit.
They haven't had the best of luck in their cup competitions and will no doubt be looking to change that this Sunday. They are no longer in the West Region Cup and were knocked out of the Gilbert Baird Cup by their semi-final opponents in a nine goal thriller that finished 5-4. That was one of two games that Giffnock and St Andrews have played against each other this season, the other finishing in a 6-2 win for Giffnock.
Let us now have a look at each sides route to the semis:
Giffnock North BC United
Giffnock began their Scottish Cup journey in the first round with a home tie against fellow PJDYFL Division 1 side Renfrew FC. Renfrew have had a very difficult league campaign this season and find themselves third from bottom. Giffnock's superiority in this match showed as they convincingly booked their place in round two with 7-1 win.
Moving on to round two and next up was another all West Region tie, this time away to a familiar foe in Giffnock SC Blacks. Playing 'away' from home didn't seem to have a large factor in the match and United come through with relative ease, advancing to round three with a resounding 10-0 victory.
What awaited them in round three was potentially their trickiest match to date, as they travelled to Edinburgh to take on SERYFA league leaders Tynecastle FC. After the dust had settled on this seven goal thriller, it was Giffnock who eventually emerged victorious by a 4-3 scoreline and sending a message to the rest of the competition in the process.
The fourth round served up an East Region vs West Region tie as United travelled to Fife to take on Cupar Soccer Sevens. It was the West Region side who would advance and in emphatic fashion, earning their spot in the final 16 with a 10-0 win.
Into the final 16 and another trip to the South East was on the cards as United tok on Penicuik Athletic YFC Blues. It proved to be a simple matter for the PJDYFL side as they strolled into the quarter-finals with a 7-1 triumph.
Another potentially difficult away tie was given to Giffnock as they made the trip to face Glasgow and District title challengers Drumchapel Amateurs. Drumchapel have been on fine form this season and will certainly be a name in the discussion of potential title winners in the Glasgow and District Youth Football League, which makes United 3-0 win all the more impressive.
St Andrews BC
St Andrews got a head start to their campaign, beginning in the second round with a tie against fellow PJDYFL Division 1 team Glenvale. It was a very comnpetitive start to the campaing as the Saints managed to come out on the correct end of a 4-3 result to advance to round three.
Into the third round and an easier tie for St Andrews as they travelled to the capital to play SERYFA Division 2 outfit Edinburgh City. A comfortable victory in the end for the side from Greenock as they moved on to round four with a convincing 4-0 win.
It was Edinburgh based opposition again for St Andrews in round four as they welcomed to Greenock SERYFA Division 2 side Longniddry Villa. A professional performance proved to be the difference here as the Saints boked their place in the round of 16 with a 2-0 victory.
The round of 16 produced a very challenging matchup against Gartcairn Football Academy. Gartcairn currently sit at the summit of the Central Scotland FA table and ran St Andrews very closely indeed, but ultimately came up short, succumbing to a narrow 3-2 defeat.
That result meant that St Andrews were just one match from the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and they were given another very tough game against Bellshill BC. The Central Region side have not been performing to the best of their abilities in the league but gave St Andrews a very difficult time. The Greenock side had to show great character to win the clash 3-2 and set up Sunday's match against Giffnock.
On the two occasions that these sides have met so far this season, it has been Giffnock who have come out on top, however St Andrews will know that they can run them very close as shown by their narrow cup defeat.
Both games between these two have also been goalfests so we are eagerly awaiting what these two will be able to produce on Sunday. Youth Football Scotland wishes the best of luck to all involved.