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Arthurlie lift cup after spot kick cliffhanger

Arthurlie Juniors 1

Duffy 16' (pen)

Benburb 1

Gauley 70' (pen)
  • Saturday, 28 May 2016
  • Parklea Recreation Ground, Port Glasgow
  • Under 19´s
  • Competition name here

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

It was penalty drama all the way as these two just could not be separated in the Elizabeth Canning Final at Parklea. After two spot kicks cancelled each other out in regulation time, it all boiled down to the cruel lottery of the penalty shootout. And it was Arthurlie who finally stumbled over the line in the heat, with both sides toiling in the hot conditions.

Scott Wilson was the Arthurlie hero after this epic two hour struggle, saving all three Benburb penalties aimed at him. The Arthurlie players had just about enough left in the tank to celebrate its dramatic end. Cruel on Benburb, who had their own keeper to thank after a string of first half saves kept their hopes alive.

Arthurlie looked to have taken a real grip of the game in the opening half, with the bulk of the chances. Peter Haggarty and Martin Curren were denied by good early blocks before Jack Duffy fired home the first of the day’s spot kicks, as Cameron Craig brought down Daryl Convery in the box on 16 minutes. The Benburb keeper escaped with a yellow, adjudged not to have been the last man, and he was to have a busy opening half.

After going behind his team looked disjointed, with Arthurlie pressing them back, not allowing them time to settle on the ball. As Benburb tried to play the ball out, they were being quickly pounced on by the Arthurlie forwards, and mistakes were forced.

Arthurlie were almost in again as Haggarty dispossessed Ross Goodwin outside the box, but couldn’t find the target. Jamie Gray was also stretching the Benburb defence with several dangerous runs committing defenders.

They had their keeper to thank again as he pulled off two fine stops, firstly tipping over a Haggarty shot after Curren played him through, and then from Gray, sent through one on one to block the shot on 41 minutes.

Arthurlie were good value for their lead at the break, perhaps wondering why they weren’t out of sight, with only Duffy’s spot kick the difference between the sides.

 
  • Half Time:
  • Arthurlie Juniors
  • 1-0
  • Benburb

Curren and Gray were proving a dangerous combination for Arthurlie, as the two linked up two minutes in but GK was on hand again to block the shot. There seemed to be no let up for Benburb as the game reached the hour mark and the temperatures soared.

The conditions though were having an impact on both sides, with several players already cramping up to disrupt the game. The stoppages may have helped Benburb find a way back into the game against tiring legs.

With half an hour on the clock they switched things and got some players forward, with Liam McLaughlin beginning to see more of the ball in forward areas. His lay off almost had Lee Davidson in but his shot was blocked. Then Jack McMahon thought he had scored after a good leap and header in the box drifted just over.

The game had lost its early tempo, and Benburb were able to take full advantage on 69 minutes, as McLaughlin earned his side a spot kick, with no Arthurlie complaints. Up stepped Stewart Gauley to fire the sides level with 20 minutes to go.

With a dreaded extra half hour beckoning, both sides wanted to win this in full time, and further chances fell at both ends. Curren was almost in for Arthurlie on 85 minutes, denied again by Craig. Owen Crumlish could have been the Benburb hero with two minutes left, but the Arthurlie keeper pulled off an equally fine stop.

  • Full Time:
  • Arthurlie Juniors
  • 1-1
  • Benburb
And so we were going the distance. Extra time was a scrappy affair with both sets of players struggling with cramp, stoppages and bodies everywhere.

Could there be a hero? So far it was both keepers as another good stop by Craig denied Christopher Martin in the tenth minute of the half hour, after 11 had slipped him through.

Benburb perhaps went on to shade the period in terms of chances, with McLaughlin and Goodwin just wide as the minutes ticked down. A late scramble almost had Goodwin free inside the Arthurlie box, but he was unable to get hold of his shot and prevent this cliffhanger going to penalties.

After two hours and five minutes it was finally Arthurlie’s day, though, as Scott Wilson pulled out three fine stops in the shootout, and Gray slotted the decisive kick to spark scenes of pandemonium between players and fans.

It has been a season to remember for the Barrhead side, who look forward to under 19s next year with relish, hoping to relive the highs and lows of this exhausting sport.

Lineups

Arthurlie Juniors
Benburb
1. Scott Wilson
2. Lewis McIlreavy
4. Michael MacNeil
5. Blair Reid
6. Daryl Convery
7. Blair Hughes
9. Peter Haggarty
10. Lee Deehan
11. Martin Curren
12. Christopher Martin
13. Lee Roulston
14. Jamie Gray
15. Euan Baird
16. Conor McCorry
1. Cameron Craig
2. Ross McCoulter
3. Lee Davidson
4. Jack McMahon
5. Ross Goodwin
6. Stewart Gauley
8. Lewis Smith
9. Kyle Wilson
10. Owen Crumlish
11. Ryan Wilson
12. Alex McEwan
14. Liam McLaughlin
15. Bradley Gray
16. Mitchell Barclay
17. Robbie Stirling
18. Kieran Miller
Star Player
Arthurlie Juniors
Benburb
With three saves in the shoot out, and several in regulation Scott Wilson won the trophy for Arthurlie.
Cameron Craig was outstanding in goal for Benburb and kept his side in the game after first half Arthurlie dominance.
Magic Moment
Arthurlie Juniors
Benburb
Jamie Gray's penalty sparked chaotic celebrations for Arthurlie.
Gauley's leveller seemed to have Benburb on the front foot.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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