Ellon Academy senior football team retained the North of Scotland cup by defeating Thurso Academy 4-1 in an all-action and highly entertaining cup final staged at Dingwall on Monday evening.
Not even a torrential pre-match downpour could dampen the spirits of the two squads as they took to the pitch to contest the final.
Ellon started the sharper of the two teams and it was no surprise when on five minutes Gardner collected a Tremaine pass on the right of the box and drilled the ball into the back of the net. Gardner’s joy was short lived as he lasted only another two minutes before being replaced by Sangster due to an unfortunate injury.
Thurso slowly began to acclimatise to the pace of the match and forced a series of corners, none of which were converted. On 21 minutes a quick goal kick from Ellon goalkeeper Cox allowed Murray and Tremaine to combine with Murray eventually shooting just wide. Three minutes later Thurso replied with a shot from Ross Allen, which went close after the forward displayed a quick burst of acceleration to break free from his Ellon marker. On the half hour mark Tremaine missed a good chance to put Ellon two up after being put through on the right hand side of the box. The striker delayed his shot and the ball was cleared off the line by a Thurso defender. It was Tremaine who again went close on 38 minutes when an Andy Smith pass picked out his Ellon team-mate but once again the ball failed to find the net.
Half Time – Ellon Academy 1- 0 Thurso Academy
Thurso started the second half brightly and on 52 minutes were unlucky not to equalise when a shot was cleared off the line by a quaking Ellon defence. However, Ellon responded by going straight up the other end of the pitch and a Tremaine cross had Thurso desperately clearing their lines. The Nothern side went close three minutes later when they rattled the Ellon crossbar.
By now, the game was going at pace from one end of the pitch to the other. On 57 minutes Ellon went two up when a Burrows long throw-in made its way through to Foubister at the back of the penalty box and the big defender ably cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the back of the net via the post.
Ellon had hardly finished celebrating when it was 3-0. This time Foubister turned provider, opting for route one and his high through ball was nodded into the back of the net by the hard-working Tremaine.
With the game slipping away Thurso began to press. On 80 minutes excellent outfield play from MacKintosh saw the striker go on a solo run and test the Ellon goalkeeper. One minute later Cox was called upon again to come to Ellon’s rescue as Thurso continued to threaten. Finally, Ellon succumbed and MacKintosh scored a deserved goal from a Thurso corner on 82 minutes.
Deep into stoppage time Ellon made the match secure with a fourth goal. This time Tremaine fired home from the edge of the box to give Ellon the victory and the North of Scotland Cup for a second year running.
Full time – Ellon Academy 4 – 1 Thurso Academy
Coach Mr Bartlet said after the game: “It’s a great achievement to win the cup two years running for the first time in the history of Ellon Academy. This group of lads has been excellent all year, showing great desire to represent the school, it’s a fitting end for many them to finish their school career with this cup win.”
Ellon Squad: 1 Graeme Cox; 22 Jack Wright; 12 Campbell Foubister; 4 Frazer Burrows; 37 Stuart Sherwood; 14 Andreas Misacas; 33 Scott Gardner; 5 Niall Murray; 7 Andrew Smith; 9 Adam Elsheikhi; 10 Callum Tremaine; 15 Glenn Sangster; 2 Grant Taylor; 30 Ross Imray; 6 Murray Walker; 18 Matthew Findlay; 26 Zander Keith; 40 Ewen MacDonald.
Man of the Match – Callum Tremaine.