Having met twice in this competition already this season with the scores being 5-3 and 4-5 respectively, both Craigroyston BC and Musselburgh Windsor Colts knew that they could expect a difficult task at New Dundas Park on Monday night, in the final of this year’s Star Trophy. Goals were to be expected it seemed and the match did not disappoint in that respect. Perhaps less expectedly, given previous results, was the manner in which the score-line swung hugely in the favour of one team. The team in question were Craigroyston BC, who turned out convincing 6-2 winners. While Musselburgh did trouble their opponents for spells of the game, Craigroyston were far more clinical in front of goal and deserved the win.
The first action of the game came when Musselburgh’s Adam Mackie managed to lose his marker on the edge of the box. Mackie released the ball to Sam Millar who had an attempt at goal but saw his effort rise over the bar. Mackie was involved shortly after, this time on the right wing and after turning inside looked to be bearing down on goal but a well timed challenge from Craigroyston’s Matthew Delworth stopped Mackie in his tracks.
At the other end of the pitch, Craigroyston created their first chance of the match when Darren Hunter found a pass to Kyle Collins but before Collins could do much with the ball, Musselburgh’s Andrew Scott came in with a strong but fair challenge to clear the danger. Craigroyston continued to press however and it wasn’t to be long before they opened the scoring in the tie. On eight minutes they found the back of the net through striker Ryan Shanley. Hunter played a perfectly weighted chip over the Musselburgh defence which Shanley latched onto and, taking a touch to steady himself, fired the ball past the keeper, giving his side the lead.
Just minutes after breaking the deadlock, Shanley had a golden chance to double his tally. With the ball at his feet on the edge of the eighteen-yard-box, he took a touch inside and curled a shot with his right foot. His effort went agonisingly wide of target though. To Shanley’s credit he didn’t let his head drop and this confidence paid off when he scored the second goal of the match after twelve minutes. Shrugging off two defenders, Shanley burst into the box and calmly slotted the ball past Musselburgh stopper Lawrie Simpson and into the back of the net.
Craigroyston were now in a comfortable position in the tie but Musselburgh on the other hand could see the game slipping away from them. Knowing that the next goal could be crucial, they battled hard in midfield and got the ball forward with some great passing and movement, creating a few chances in the process. Stevan McCole had a couple of attempts from distance, both of which troubled the keeper. William Laddbrooke also delivered an inviting ball into the box from the right wing but it McCole narrowly missed getting on the end of the cross and still a goal evaded Colts. The East Lothian side kept plugging away however and their efforts resulted in s goal on the twenty minute mark. Conor White supplied a great pass to McCole who duly found the back of the net, giving Musselburgh hope of getting back into the match.
However, the confidence gained from their first goal of the evening couldn’t propel Musselburgh onto pulling level before half-time and instead they found themselves victim to a smash and grab third from Craigroyston. Hunter’s corner was swung in from the right and Brandon Sives got a touch to it, sending it into the net at the back post. Losing a goal to a set-piece before the break would have dented the spirits of Musselburgh but they had shown promise in attack in the first half. Craigroyston had been more clinical in front of goal and, as a result, led three-one after the opening thirty-five minutes of play.