The Reds reached the Jock Stein Cup Final for the third year in a row with a hard fought victory over Lochs at the Creagan Dubh.
Point team : Gordy. Scott, Ali G, Elliot, Daniel. Andrew Murray, Hugh, Jones. Andrew Mo, Wally, Angus. Subs Macca, Matthew, Andrew Mac, Spike, Andrew Mackay (all used)
The Reds started the game well and straight away it became apparent that Angus had the beating of Lochs’ left back Ewen Montgomery. Time and again Angus tore away from the youngster down the right but unfortunately the Rudhachs couldn’t make the most of the opportunities. Chances fell to Hugh, Jones and Wally but they were either blocked or sent wide of the keepers post.
Wally did force James Macleod into a smart save at his near post as the Reds attack swarmed all over the Maroons.
As has so often been the case this year though, the opposition scored with their first real attack into Point territory. Scotty Bomb had been injured and was out of the game as Ross Allison sprinted clear on the right. His low cross evaded Ali G and Elliot and found its way to young Callum Macleod, the junior who had been the scourge of Point in Garrabost (winning two penalties for his team). Callum made the most of Scotty Bomb’s absence by firing the ball low past Gordy in the Point goals. From nowhere Lochs led.
The goal seemed to fire up the Lochies and for the remainder of the half they fought like tigers as the thought of a Cup Final surged through their veins. Point on the other hand seemed to go into their shell and started getting frustrated and bickering amongst themselves. The net result was that Coaches Stoodie and Macaulay were glad to hear the half time whistle. The boys were clearly frustrated, we had been well on top but an inability to make the most of good positions had cost us. We urged them to get back to playing the ball wide and getting good quality cut backs and crosses into the middle.
Point had two great chances within a couple of minutes of the restart. One saw Angus do brilliantly down the right and crossing to Andrew Mo whose header just looped over the bar. The next chance Andrew Mo hammered wide after cutting in from the left. The goal was coming and it came when Wally fired a left foot volley under James Macleod after his initial shot had been blocked. Relief for the Rudhachs. Things were about to get better when Andrew Mo showed amazing skill on the left bye line to skin a Lochie defender before firing home from an acute angle. Great tekkers! The Reds had turned it around and now would be looking to ease away from their under strength hosts. Football has a nasty habit of biting you in the bum though and Darren Mackinnon floated an inch perfect free kick right into the junction which Gordy couldn’t quite reach. We were back to all square with only a few minutes remaining. neither team could find a winner though and we were headed to Extra Time.
Within a couple of minutes an poor ‘back to the goalie’ header by Ewen Maclean allowed Andrew Mo to nip in between him and James and lob the ball perfectly into the goals. Great finish by the Hearach Hotshot. 3-2 to the Reds and there was no looking back as first of all Angus slid in to finish Wally’s excellent cut back before in the second half sub Matthew Campbell raced away and brilliantly lobbed James from thirty yards. Great goal Matthew!
So the Reds advanced to another Jock Stein final where they will yet again face Westside!
Man of the match: Andrew Morrison. Great performance and goals by the youngster.