CAMPSIE Black Watch landed an unprecedented 10th Scottish Cup win on Saturday after overcoming Rutherglen Glencairn 3-2 in extra time.
Blackies travelled to Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium for their record-breaking 16th appearance in the final of the Scottish Youth Football Association’s most prestigious under-21s competition.
It was a case of third time lucky for the Lennoxtown team – who had been beated in consecutive finals in 2011 and 2012 – but the fans were left biting their nails as the game ended in a 2-2 stalemate following normal time.
It had looked like it was going to be far easier as Watch went 2-0 up in the first half, taking just 10 minutes to net their first goal.
But Rutherglen rallied with two goals in the closing 10 minutes of the first half.
Both sides failed to add to their total in a tense second period – forcing half an hour of added time.
A Prentice strike in the 100th minute proved to be the decisive moment, meaning a fine penalty save by the Rutherglen keeper three minutes from time was academic.
Club chiefs described the game as “a classic”, while Black Watch supremo Gerry Marley said that the win was “a great occasion for the club”.
Captain Paul McGeough lifted the cup to spark wild celebrations for Watch.
Black Watch........................ 3
Knightswood Juveniles.............. 2
Scottish Cup Final, Excelsior Stadium
Having suffered many disappointments in recent seasons in the Scottish Cup final, and having often wondered if their glorious run of success in the national finals might be gone, Black Watch proved again on Saturday that they could achieve greatness.
The final was a classic –agreed by all who were in the stadium.
Blackies couldn’t have asked for a better start when they went ahead in the 10th minute from a long pass out of defence from Willie Whiteford through to Aitken. The striker’s pass to Cairney was brilliantly controlled and the ball passed keeper Crawford.
At this stage Watch looked as if they would add to their tally with chances by Cairney, Aitken and McGeough narrowly missing the target.
It was only a matter of time before Watch scored their second goal.
Knightswood were not going under without a fight, however, and opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a brilliant goal by midfielder Miller.
The end-to-end play was non-stop and Knightswood equalised in the 44th minute – with Black Watch finding themselves in a real challenge.
A half-time talk in the dressing room from Allan Differ saw Watch respond – and without doubt this was the answer to winning the cup.
It was an outstanding second half. The Blackies players were brilliant, living up so proudly to the club history.
At the end of the 90 minutes it was level. The all-important goal came in the 100th minute and it was to give Watch their 10th Scottish Cup win.
After a beauty of a pass from McGeough, the ball came to Aitken, onto Cairney, through to Prentice and the midfielder capped an outstanding performance with a goal of real quality.
With three minutes to go in extra time, Watch were awarded a penalty when Logan was pulled down in the box. The kick saw keeper Crawford make a fine save.
There were enthusiastic celebrations when Campsie Black Watch captain Paul McGeough lifted the cup.
It proved to be an outstanding game of the highest quality between two great rivals.
The Watch committee would like to thank the many supporters who were at the game on Saturday and who witnessed a brilliant game. See www.kirkintilloch-herald.co.uk for pictures from the game.
Watch team: M Storey, G Meechan, W Whiteford, D Donnelly, C McQuade, C McElroy, P McGeough, G Watt, D Cairney, N Prentice, S Aitken, P O’Connor, J Logan, G Reid, K Kennedy.
On Saturday, Campsie Black Watch play Glencairn in a league game at Rutherglen, kick-off at 2pm.