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Last gasp Marr triumph over Greenwood in cup thriller

Marr College 3

McLeod 9' 48' (pen) 89'

Greenwood Academy 2

Curragh 23' Black 49'
  • Wednesday, 03 June 2015
  • Dam Park, Ayr
  • Under 18´s
  • Ayrshire Schools Cup

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author [email protected]

Sadly someone had to lose this breathless end-to-end Ayrshire Schools Cup Final at Dam Park. In the end it took something special to separate the sides, and it arrived two minutes from time, courtesy of a spectacular Sean McLeod free kick and hat trick to secure the trophy for Marr.

It will have hurt Greenwood to lose in this fashion, but they will reflect on a match in which they gave their all until the very last, and which was lost to a fine strike, rather than to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out.

The game began at a frantic pace, which kept up for 90 minutes. Marr were immediately on the front foot, as midfielders Craig McGuffie and McLeod sought to dictate the play in the Greenwood half.

McGuffie had a couple of early shots as Marr continued to press, and sure enough they were rewarded with an opener on nine minutes. A free kick was awarded 30 yards from goal, and McLeod gave us a first sight of his dead-ball expertise, crashing the ball past Smith to give Marr the lead.

Marr had a spring in their step, with McLeod, McGuffie and Jamie Martin making all the early running, and could have added to their advantage four minutes later as Evan Maley shot wide.

It took Greenwood until 20 minutes to find their feet, having weathered the early storm. Ben Black and Mark Curragh provided a good platform up front, with Black forcing a save from Matthew Ellis from close range. Two minutes later Curragh had his side level.

A corner from the left was half cleared to the Greenwood striker, lurking inside the area, who made himself space to shoot through a crowded box and into Ellis’ far corner.

Greenwood surged forward with confidence as the game now raged from end to end. Curragh and Black’s runs were proving tricky for Marr’s defence to track.  Daniel Storrie almost restored Marr’s lead on 28 minutes, and McGuffie had a go from a long-range free kick which crashed against the crossbar two minutes later.

Chances came and went for both sides as an action packed half came to an end, with Curragh and Black coming close for Greenwood, and Storrie shooting just wide for Marr. The sides went in level but somehow having scored just two goals, as players and spectators got a chance to catch their breath.

  • Half Time:
  • Marr College
  • 1-1
  • Greenwood Academy

The furious tempo continued as the second half began and, as in the first period, Marr began the brighter. Three minutes of the half had passed when they restored their advantage from the penalty spot. McLeod stepped up to coolly slot home Marr’s and his second goal.

Greenwood would not let them settle on their lead for a minute though, and went straight up the pitch to equalise. A long ball fell through fell kindly for Black to control and power a finish past Smith from just outside the box. It was going to be impossible to pick a winner from here on.

Both sides passed up a hatful of chances in the closing half hour, as the game became stretched. Singleton was getting into some good wide positions down the right for Greenwood, as Curragh tried to get on the other end of crosses.

Up the other end Marr continued to try to thread balls through to Martin and Storrie as Greenwood kept a high line of defence. The stage was set for a grandstand finish.

It duly arrived two minutes from time, with McLeod’s roaring free kick from just outside the box sparking jubilant scenes on the pitch and in the dugout.

Greenwood threw everything at it in a last dash finale, winning set pieces in dangerous areas and even getting goalkeeper Smith up into the box. Marr though held on to lift the trophy, stunning set piece play the only way of separating these two sides.

Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos &emdash;
  • Full Time:
  • Marr College
  • 3-2
  • Greenwood Academy

Lineups

Marr College
Greenwood Academy
1. Matthew Ellis
2. Ross Cowan
3. Joseph Toner
4. Aaron Kirk
5. Evan Martin
6. Sean McLeod
7. Andrew McColl
8. Craig McGuffie
9. Daniel Storrie
10. Jamie Martin
11. Evan Maley
12. Craig Brown
14. Innes Cameron
15. Jayden Hains
1. J Smith
2. D Anderson
3. L Miller
4. J Kennedy
5. S Duddy
6. C McLuckie
7. P Singleton
8. O Murphy
9. M Curragh
10. R Traynor
11. B Fullarton
12. C McCulloch
13. A Morgan
14. K Millen
15. B Black
Star Player
Marr College
Greenwood Academy
Sean McLeod's spectacular hat trick brought the cup home for Marr.
Mark Curragh grabbed a goal and his running up front created space for team mates.
Magic Moment
Marr College
Greenwood Academy
McLeod's last minute free kick was the goal this final deserved.
Black's equalising goal straight after Marr had scored showed true fighting spirit.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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