It wasn’t just Midlothian Junior teams who had something to celebrate as a primary school from Loanhead staved off competition from more than 500 sides across the country to lift the Primary Schools’ Scottish Cup.
Paradykes Primary School defied the odds at Toryglen, in the shadow of Hampden, on May 30 to win the tournament in emphatic fashion after a 4-1 win over Prestwick outfit Heathfield Primary.
Paradykes teacher and football coach Andy McArthur said: “I was so proud of the boys as they were exceptional in every game during the final, and it meant so much to them to win the Cup.”
The journey began last November when they won the first qualifying round beating teams from Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and Borders. They then won their semi-final tournament against teams from West Lothian, Fife and Falkirk and Stirlingshire.
After that it was down to the final eight at Toryglen where they steamrollered their way to the final after big wins over Greenock (6-0), Peterhead (6-1) and Kilmarnock (2-0).
Rudi Molotnikov, midfield playmaker who fired in a 20-yard screamer in the final, said it was “the best feeling in the world to win the Cup.”
Andy added: “It was a wonderful day for their supporters too as mums, dads and grandparents enjoyed the occasion, as well as the Paradykes girls team, who cheered on the boys.
“A couple of Edinburgh based SSFA (Scottish Schools Football Association) officials had commented on our standard of football in qualifying rounds and thought we could go all the way.
“They are a joy to watch, by playing fast, attacking, pressing football with lots of pace and movement.”
He added: “I’d like to thank Anita Sayers, Justin Molotnikov and Boyd McIntyre who have all helped out with team affairs since some of the boys were in Primary 5.”
Paradykes’ winning side: Chris McCafferty, Jacob McIntyre, Rudi Molotnikov, Bailey McKenzie, Ryan Laidlaw, Aidan Clarke. Jack Lyon, Owen Wynne, Matthew Sheerin, Aidan Sayers.