Buchanhaven Hearts 0 v 1 Banchory St.Ternan
This Morrison Cup Final was played at New Advocates Park home of Aberdeen East End between Buchanhaven Hearts from Peterhead, champions of Division 2, and Banchory St.Ternan, champions of Division 1. Despite the Buchan team being a Division below Banchory, there was never any doubt that this would be a tough Cup Final and so it turned out.
The game started at a quick pace with Saints playing up the slope and a good crowd in attendance, with supporters from both sides making their presence known. After five minutes there were loud claims for a penalty when Aaron Thomson went down in the box from an aerial challenge, but the referee quite rightly waved play on. A few minutes later the Hearts number 7 found himself free on the right and time enough to fire in an angled shot that Ross Salmon did well to deflect away for a corner.
Hearts were looking dangerous at this point with Banchory taking time to settle, but on 11 minutes Ryan Whelan beat his marker to chip the ball past the Hearts keeper into the net, but he had clearly pushed the defender and the goal was disallowed.
And a couple of minutes later Whelan was the provider when he nodded the ball into the path of Darren Reid with a goal seeming certain, but the Hearts keeper was quick off his line to block his effort.
The Hearts right winger caused problems again but sent in a poor cross. However on 18 minutes a through ball down the left saw Saints’ Conran Wilson miscontrol and chase back to defend only to be adjudged to have fouled the Hearts player inside the box and was rather harshly sent off for what was not a clear goal scoring opportunity. But Ross salmon came to the rescue to brilliantly dive to his left to save the penalty kick.
Above: Ross Salmon saves the penalty low to his left.
Despite this set back Banchory seemed to be inspired by what had just happened and for the remainder of the half pinned Hearts back in their own half. Darren Reid made another forceful run down the right and squared the ball across the six yard box but the Hearts defence intercepted at the vital moment.
On 37 minutes Steve Travers picked a glorious pass to Ryan Whelan but the ball just ran away from the striker. Buchanhaven immediately cleared up the park to send in a vicious cross that Josh Robertson sliced over his own bar. But the Saint’s centre half then became provider when with a minute left to half time, he nodded on a free kick into the path of Ryan Whelan for the striker to hit first time low past the Hearts keeper.
Above: Saints’ players celebrate Ryan Whelan’s opener.
Then a minute later it should have been 2-0 when Darren Reid beat two defenders but somehow then contrived to hit high over the bar with just the keeper to beat.
Above: Darren Reid shoots over the bar from close range after losing his defender.
The second half started with Hearts on the offensive forcing Ross Salmon to make a comfortable save in the opening minute. At the other end Darren Reid had another great opportunity but shot weakly straight at the keeper.
With their numeric superiority, Hearts tried to gain control of the game, but it was difficult to tell who had the 10 men. A Hearts corner was well defended followed by a bad pass back from Whelan almost let his opponents in with a chance, but the misplaced pass was cleared up by his defence.
Midway through the second half it was Banchory who forced their opponents to defend a corner, with the clearance only dropping to Aaron Thomson who volleyed inches past the Hearts post.
With 15 minutes left and Banchory legs getting weary, Dean Henderson replaced Jordan Clark and three minutes later Captain Steve Travers who was suffering from severe cramp had to give way for Mark Reid.
At this point Hearts had run out of ideas on how to break down a well drilled Saints team who were still intent on coming forward to try and kill the game off with a second goal. Two corners were won in the closing minutes before Ryan Whelan gave way for Craig Peters on 88 minutes.
As the game went into injury time Hearts themselves won a corner which their keeper came up for, but as ever Saints defended well. Then, the last resort was for the keeper to take a long range free kick that was blocked by the Saints wall.
Loud cheers from the Banchory support followed when the referee blew his whistle in the 7th minute of added time for a thoroughly deserved victory for a team that worked their socks off.
Above: Saints’ captain, Steve Travers lifts the trophy.
The win means this squad of players and management team completed an historic moment in the Club’s history.
Having already won the First Division, this is the first time there has been a League and Cup double in the 26 years of Junior football. It also meant a Cup double in Banchory, with Banchory Amateurs also winning the White Cup the previous week.
The Saints’ boss was delighted for everyone at the end.
What a season. I’m absolutely delighted for this group of players and everyone associated with the club. What a shift they’ve put in. 80 minutes with 10 men. Everyone was outstanding. Ross keeps them out at one end with a fantastic save from the penalty and Whelan tucks away his goal beautifully. We had a few big chances to put the game beyond doubt but we’ve won. It’s a cup final and nothing matters other than the destination of the trophy at the end and it’s on it’s way to Milton. Buchanhaven were relentless and played with a good tempo but couldn’t break us down. The concentration in the last 20 minutes with tired legs was amazing. A well earned rest for everyone and we’ll look forward to going again come August.
A great way to end the season, and now we can look forward to life back in the Superleague next season.
Team: Ross Salmon, Conran Wilson, Liam Cheyne, Aaron Thomson, Josh Robertson, Steve Young, Ben Ross, Darren Reid, Steve Travers (Mark Reid), Ryan Whelan (Craig Peters), Jordan Clark (Dean Henderson). Subs: Euan Rose, Calum Wilson.