Caledonian United cruised to victory over Irvine Meadow to lift the Age 16 CAYFA league cup at Kilwinning Sports Club. After a tight opening half, and just the one goal between the sides, Caley eventually ran out convincing winners after a fine second half display.
The match was nevertheless a real contest for the opening half, and Irvine may wonder what might have been had they not passed up a golden opportunity to take the lead on the half hour. Thereafter Caley took control of the game, with Alistair Boyle pulling the strings in midfield and rounding victory with a sensational fourth goal.
Both sides showed great purpose and energy from the start, pushing forward. Mitchell Ewing had Caley’s first chance on five minutes, as Boyle threaded a ball through for the striker to fire just over.
Irvine provided a threat from the set piece. A good delivery from the left by Liam Fitzsimonds found Jack Roddenn at the far post, who headed just wide on 15 minutes. Roddenn was again found by a free kick from Jamie Cook a few minutes later, but was just unable to connect with his header.
Caley tried to get things going with Ryan Strain down the right, and Boyle running things from midfield. Finding a yard of space the midfielder fired just over from outside the box on 25 minutes. Kyle McDiarmid came close soon after as Caley tried to get their noses in front.
Irvine were still getting into some good positions in the Caley half, and passed up the chance of the game on 32 minutes. David Cherry laid the ball through the middle for Kieran Struthers with the goal at his mercy, but he could only shoot over the bar.
Both sides were coming closer, and Caley had a great chance on 40 minutes, as Ewing slipped Strain through to round Meadow keeper Greg Connor. Only a goal line clearance by Jamie Lambert kept the scores level.
But right on half time Caley were in front. From a free kick from the right Boyle centred for McDiarmid to head in at the far post for the Caley breakthrough.