Rotary Youth Football Cup Final
Rotary Youth Football Cup Final
The annual Dumfries Rotary Youth Football Cup final was played at Palmerston Park on 29th April, between long-standing local rivals Heston Rovers and Lochar Thistle. This trophy has been played for over many years, currently under the expert management of Chairman Lee Sterritt and the team of Dumfries & Galloway Youth Football League. What a wonderful experience it is for these youngsters to get to play at Palmerston Park, the pitch as ever in wonderful condition after a long and highly successful season. Our thanks go to the management of Queen of the South FC for allowing us to use the famous ground for this prestigious final.
The game kicked off in dry, windy conditions, and, before the sizeable crowd had sat down and finished their hot bovrils, Heston had opened the scoring with a goal very much attributable to the conditions, with a speculative cross from the right by Jack McQueen bamboozling his own team-mates, the Lochar defence and the unfortunate Lochar goalkeeper as the ball hung in the air before dropping tantalisingly into the Lochar goal.
As the two sides settled down and began to adapt to the tricky conditions, Lochar showed some very nice touches and close inter-play. It was, suggested some of the knowledgeable Rotarians in the crowd, almost Barcelona-like. After 15 minutes, and pressure from Lochar, they were awarded a free kick close to the edge of the Heston penalty box. As the ball flew into the box, it took a nasty little deflection, which caused the Heston keeper to fumble it. The ball bobbed around in the six yard area before Lochar’s Cameron Finnie latched on to it and slipped it into the Heston net from no more than two yards range, 1-1 and all to play for.
As the first half ran on, Heston began to look the stronger side, even though they seemed to be playing into the elements. They had a goal chalked for offside, and as the half drew to a close, they missed a number of chances. 1-1 at half time – would Heston be made to pay for their profligacy?
The second half opened with a virtual repeat of the first, as Heston swept down the pitch, and a fine angled shot from David Proudlock took a crual deflection and left the Lochar keeper standing as it crashed into the net. 2-1 to Heston, now with the wind at their backs. The Lochar boys did not panic, and continued to play their calm, thoughtful football, perhaps best demonstrated by young Habib Ullah, who always seemed to have just that much more time on the ball. Lochar’s pressure had its reward when Tommy Muir scored an excellent goal after slick approach play, to make the score 2-2.
It looked as if we were in for a thrilling finale, but, as the half went on, it seemed that the greater physical presence of the Heston side was taking its toll. Lochar continued with their neat, controlled style, but Heston were not to be denied as, first, man of the match Bryce Wilson scored from close range, and then rangy number 9 Tom Kehoe set off on a long solo run, drew the Lochar keeper and side-footed the ball into the net to make the final score 4-2 for Heston Rovers.
A great game was enjoyed by the noisy crowd, and it was played in wonderful sporting spirit throughout. Congratulations to Heston Rovers, and to both sides for a display of great skill in testing conditions. The Rotary Club of Dumfries is proud to be associated with this event, which is a credit to the Dumfries & Galloway Youth Football league. We also owe a great debt to all the coaches and team staff who produce such talented youngsters. You all do a splendid job, and we wish you every success for the future – as far as we can see, it is in very safe hands.