Newbattle High School Seniors won the Lothian Cup for the first time after triumphing at the end of season schools’ showcase at Spartans’ stadium on Friday, defeating Heriot’s 3-1.
Newbattle had overcome Peebles, Preston Lodge, Currie and James Young on their way to the final, but it was the Edinburgh school which started strongly in the driving rain.
It took some desperate defending from the Newbattle rear-guard in the early stages to keep their goal intact – with a wonderful tackle from Wilson and a fingertip save from Taylor standing out.
Newbattle gradually settled into the game, and the lively Kirkwood twice came close while Hay, playing his first game for three months due to injury, had a header which went inches past.
The game was now flowing from end to end, but it was Newbattle who achieved the breakthrough after 30 minutes.
Elliot broke up a Heriot’s attack and found Kirkwood, who turned the defender on the halfway line, and played a superb ball into Barry King. He held off the defender, and curled a fine shot into the corner of the net.
Taylor was forced into another save by the lively Heriot’s frontline, and right on half-time, Fellenger came close to doubling his side’s lead when his chip from distance landed on the top of the net.
Heriot’s started the second half as they had the first and got back on level terms after 56 minutes .
Wyper was brought down, and Todd’s kick went in at the left hand post.
Newbattle recovered quickly, forcing several corners in succession and got their reward after 67 minutes, when Fellenger’s delivery found Chris Kirkwood who bundled the ball over from close range.
The game took a further turn in Newbattle’s favour five minutes later when the Edinburgh side were reduced to 10 men, Wyper being dismissed for a second yellow.
Newbattle now turned the screw and the clincher duly arrived with three minutes left, captain Liam Fellenger smashing the ball home from 20 yards.
It would be the last-ever school game for at least eight of the Newbattle players – and what a way to finish!
Newbattle: Paul Taylor, TJ Dickson, Rory MacIver, Duncan Wilson, Chris Duncan, Josh Chisholm, Alistair Elliot, Allan Hay, Liam Fellenger (Captain), Barry King, Chris Kirkwood, Neil MacKinnon, Thomas Thomson, Craig Heeps.