Point FC are the Jock Stein cup winners for the third year running after a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Westside at Goathill last Friday night.
While Westside were without a host of regulars and lost a couple more to injury in the first half, the Broadbay Reds showed no mercy and had a ruthless edge to their play which has been missing for much of the league campaign. It is the twelfth time the Red ribbons have adorned the trophy whilst Westside are still looking to break their duck.
With Westside missing half a dozen regular starters through injury, suspension and holidays, the Rudhachs started the game as favourites despite their contrasting league positions.
The first goal is always important in a cup final and Point got a dream start when Andrew Morrison’s seemingly innocuous shot bobbled under Westside keeper David “Lurch” Murray to give the Reds the lead after ten minutes. It was a shame for Murray who had performed brilliantly in the Acres Cup Final a few weeks ago.
Rob Jones was next to test the Westside keeper but his shot was comfortably held. Westside started to get into the game and their midfield trio of Colin George, Doug Bryson and Rob Shirkie were passing the ball nicely without really hurting the Rudhach defence. Westside’s first chance fell to hotshot Luke Mackay but he blazed the ball over whilst under pressure from Point centre half Elliot Rudall.
Jones was having a good game for Point and he almost scored after a sweeping move which ended with Andrew Morrison crossing to the back post. Jones had made a great run into the box but could only lift the ball over the bar as he stretched every sinew.
As the game raged from end to end Elliot Rudall produced a Bobby Moore style tackle to stop Luke Mackay in his tracks. It was one of these tackles that for a defender is as satisfying as a goal or assist for a forward.
After 25 minutes something unheard of happened, we had a water break. With temperatures nudging 25 degrees throughout the day, the players were glad to have a break though some of the older fans grumbled that it wouldn’t have happened in their day!
With the game ebbing from end to end the Reds would have happily taken a one goal led in to the break but things were about to get better for them.
After 39 minutes good play between Wally Maciver and Angus Macdonald led to a corner. Wally whipped in the corner and there was Stew Munro to head the ball powerfully into the net, giving the Westside keeper no chance.
Westside desperately needed a goal before the break and they almost had a chance to hit straight back following a moment of controversy. Alex John Morrison got past Daniel Macleod down the right before surging towards the box. Andrew Morrison chased him back and barged him over, but was it inside the box?
Referee Macritchie, in consultation with linesman Macleod decided the offence was just outside the area. Point cleared the free kick and to further frustrate the Westside fans and management Alex John had to limp off with a suspected hamstring strain.
Into the second half and the Reds continued to create the better chances.
Wally and Stew Munro were combining nicely and a good move between them ended with Wally firing inches wide of the post. Westside were working hard but without star man Innes Iain Morrison and their flying wingers Martainn and Ali Barvas they were struggling to break down the Reds defence.
After an hour Point finally put the game to bed and it was a high class goal from Rob Jones. Wally and Stew Munro combined to send the midfield maestro clean through. Jonny Wallace sprinted back for Westside but as Jonny and the keeper looked set to block the effort, Jones dummied back inside beautifully before sending the ball past a scampering Wallace and into the net.
There was no let up from the Reds and Wally had two efforts whistle inches wide and over respectively.
The Reds hitman, who has been directly involved in 21 goals this season, was not to be denied for long and following a neat dummy he lashed the ball low and hard inside the keepers near post to make it 4 0.
There was still 15 minutes left of the game but the contest was effectively over. Westside almost pulled a goal back through Gordy Campbell when the marauding select right back sent a flying volley over the bar following an excellent cross from the left hand side.
The Rudhachs saw out the rest of the game fairly comfortably and it was just left to captain Ali Gillies to lift his second cup of the season. Man of the match went to Stew Munro, who along with Wally gave the Blues defenders a very tough night.
Best for Westside was Luke Mackay who never stopped hassling Elliot and Gillies in the Point defence, despite not having his usual accomplices to help him.