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Kilwinning taken all the way in title decider

Kilwinning Academy 4

Rugg 11, Beck 41, Boyd 54, McIntyre 120

Largs Academy 4

Donaldson 7,115, K. Cook 52, B. Cook 75
  • Final Result: Kilwinning Academy 4-4 Largs Academy (Kilwinning win 7-6 on penalties)
  • Wednesday, 07 May 2014
  • Dam Park, Ayr
  • Under 18´s
  • Ayrshire Schools FA League - Final
Two of the best sides from Ayrshire met up at a floodlit Dam Park to determine who would be going home with the league title.  Kilwinning and Largs both went unbeaten during their league campaigns so this match was always going to be tight.  It was, with Kilwinning getting the better of their opponents in penalties after regular and extra time was unable to separate the sides.
Largs got off to a great start as they took the lead with the game’s first chance.  A free kick on their right hand side was drilled into the area.  Striker Harry Donaldson was able to get his head onto the ball before the keeper and flicked the ball into the back of the net.
Kilwinning responded well to the early set back, having the better of the next ten minutes but unable to create any clear cut chances.  They were able to equalise soon enough.  Jack Beck’s corner was aimed towards the near post where Callum Rugg was looking to attack the cross.  Rugg got in front of his marker allowing him to nod his side back on to level terms. 
Another corner for the Kilwinning side saw them come close to taking the lead.  Jack Beck took again and his delivery found Darren McIntyre who directed a header towards goal.  Largs’ Shaun Galloway was on the backpost and able to clear the shot before it went over the line.
With five minutes remaining in the first half Kilwinning were able to take the lead.  A free kick was given twenty five yards from goal in a central position.  John Pirrie laid the kick off to Jack Beck who smashed his shot round the wall and into the back of the net leaving the goalkeeper helpless.
Kilwinning could have extended their lead before the half time whistle went as they created another two good chances.  Firstly, Jack Beck was involved again as his strong run down the right wing let him find the space to drill a ball in across the face of goal.  Largs’ keeper punched the effort away from goal but it fell straight to McEvoy Brandon who was six yards out.  The attacker was unable to sort his feet out quickly enough and his effort flew over the bar.
The final effort of the opening period came from another Kilwinning corner.  Beck’s cross was attacked by Callum Rugg looking to get himself an unlikely second goal of the game from defence.  Rugg’s header was down low and forced an excellent save from Neil Flack to keep his side in the game going into the half time break.
Kilwinning went into the dressing rooms at half time winning by a single goal.  They had the better possession out the two teams but were unable to turn their possession into clear cut chances for most of the half.  Largs started brightly but after the opening goal seemed to sit back and try to hit their opponents on the counter attack.
  • Half Time:
  • Kilwinning Academy
  • 2-1
  • Largs Academy
At the beginning of the second half lightning struck twice as Largs were able to grab a goal early on.  A cross from the right hand side found its way through a ruck of bodies to get to Kieran Cook.  From the edge of the area Cook was able to place his shot into the corner of the net, leaving the keeper with no chance and bring his side level.
Almost immediately, Kilwinning were back ahead.  Jack Beck went on a run down the right hand side where he was able to get to the by-line.  He got his cross in towards the back post.  The keeper got lost under the flight of the ball allowing Mason Boyd to tap the ball in from three yards out to restore his side’s lead.
Kilwinning could have extended their lead after they were able to create some half-chances.  The best of which was created by Joh Pirrie’s run down the left hand side where he was able to get himself inside the penalty box.  He pulled the ball back to Murray Mackintosh standing just inside the box.  The midfielder’s left footed shot went just wide when he should have, at least, hit the target.
Largs went on to have a spell of pressure themselves as the seventieth minute passed.  They were able to equalise for the second time in the match with fifteen minutes remaining.  Jake Chalmers’ long throw from the left wing was not cleared inside the Kilwinning area.  The ball fell to Brandon Cook who drilled the ball into the net to maintained his team’s chances of lifting the trophy at the end of the match.
As the final whistle approached both sides had the chance to score the winning goal.  Firstly, Largs’ Craig McGill had a great chance.  The ball was slid into the attacker on the edge of the box, his first touch took him by the final defender.  The Kilwinning keeper rushed out and made a great save to keep the sides level – McGill should have scored, though.
Kilwinning’s final attack came from a swift counter attack down their right hand side.  Mason Boyd squared the ball to Joshua Still was on the penalty spot.  He could have taken the shot first time on his left foot but he tried to work the ball onto his right foot allowing defenders to get back.  His shot was bravely blocked and then cleared by the Largs defence.
At the final whistle the teams could not be separated with the scoreline 3 – 3.  The scoreline was fair as both sides had an equal amount of possession and chances.  Kilwinning could argue that they were the better of the two sides over ninety minutes but there was not a lot in it.
  • Full Time:
  • Kilwinning Academy
  • 3-3
  • Largs Academy

We headed to extra time in the match with either side believing that one goal could settle the tie. This mentality seemed to affect the first half of the extra time as it was a defensive affair. Neither side wanted to open up and give their opponents the opportunity to hit them on the counter.

However, the second half of extra time was completely different. Largs had the chance to take the lead as substitute Lewis Grierson got into the area with the ball. He was on the right hand side and tried to place his effort inside the far post with his left foot. The striker’s effort was deflected just wide of the far post to the relief of the Kilwinning players and support.

With five minutes remaining though, Largs were able to get themselves an important goal to edge ahead. They won a free kick twenty yards from goal in a central position which Harry Donaldson took. He sent his shot into the bottom corner of the net. The Kilwinning keeper seemed to think the shot was headed for the opposite side and he went early meaning the effort did not have to be as accurate as it was to put Largs back into the lead nearly one hundred minutes since they first took it in the match.

As the seconds ticked down it seemed like the trophy was destined to be heading back to Largs. However, Kilwinning were able to equalise to break the hearts of their opponents. A long free kick was launched into the box from the halfway line. The ball was not cleared and found its way to Darren McIntyre six yards from goal. The midfielder was able to smash the ball into the back of the net to force a penalty shootout.

Kilwinning won the toss and began the shootout. The penalties were of a very high standard with only one being missed for either side in the initial five kicks. We went to sudden death to decide who the champions would be. The first two were dispatched with ease by either side, Kilwinning went on to score their seventh penalty of the evening. Unfortunately for Largs the next penalty was missed meaning Kilwinning lifted the Ayrshire Schools League Trophy.

Final Result: Final Result: Kilwinning Academy 4-4 Largs Academy (Kilwinning win 7-6 on penalties)


Kilwinning Academy
Largs Academy

1.  Ross McRonald (GK)
2.  David Larmour
3.  Jake Sillars
4.  Glen Lewis
5.  Callum Rugg
6.  Joshua Still
7.  Jack Beck
8.  Darren McIntyre
9.  John Pirrie
10.  Murray Mackintosh
11.  McEvoy Brandon
12.  Mason Boyd
15.  Blair Wilson
16.  Jack Crombie
17.  Jack Noble

1.  Neil Flack (GK)
2.  Ben Connor
3.  Brandon Cook
4.  Jacob Ashmead
5.  Liam MacRaild
6.  Jake Chalmers
7.  Kieran Cook
8.  Shaun Galloway
9.  Harry Donaldson
10.  Caleb Reid
11.  Jack Petrie
12.  Lewis Grierson
14.  Jack McLaren
15.  George Donaldson
16.  Ian Riddel
17.  Craig McGill

Star Player
Kilwinning Academy
Largs Academy
Kilwinning's star man was midfielder Jack Beck. He scored once and got two assists today. He was at the heart of all his side's good play. Unfortunately, his evening ended early through injury. Darren McIntyre was a very close second and he won the Man of the Match award given out by league officials.
Largs' Jake Chalmers was his side's stand out man. He gave his all for the full 120 minutes - breaking up play and then setting his side on the attack. Harry Donaldson and Liam MacRaild's performances made this a hard decision.
Magic Moment
Kilwinning Academy
Largs Academy
Darren McIntyre's final minute goal in extra time. He sent the tie to penalties with a goal that his performance deserved.
Neil Flack's save down to his left just before half time. The keeper showed excellent reactions to keep his side in the game before his side could regroup at the interval.
Club Views
Kilwinning Academy
Largs Academy
I spoke to one of the Kilwinning player's parents who had this to say: "The boys were determined throughout the game. After going behind so early they battled well to get ahead and then equalise again. They deserve the win in my eyes."
A Largs Academy supporter said: "It is hard to take. Taking the lead so late in extra time and then losing it is hard on the boys."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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