Braidhurst are champions again

Braidhurst High's under-15 team skipper Rico Quitongo lifts the trophy after their 2-1 win over Strathaven Academy in the Scottish Shield Final.

Braidhurst High's under-15 team skipper Rico Quitongo lifts the trophy after their 2-1 win over Strathaven Academy in the Scottish Shield Final.

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Braidhurst High School’s under-15 side completed a trophy treble when they beat Strathaven Academy in the Scottish Shield final at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium last Wednesday.

Having lifted the under-13 Shield in 2012 and the under-14 trophy last year, the team made it three in a row with a hard fought 2-1 win over their Lanarkshire rivals.

Braidhurst started slowly and were lucky not to lose a goal in the opening few minutes, thanks to a wonderful goal line clearance from Jonathon McCabe.

But theyir luck didn’t last as captain and centre-half Rico Quitongo was injured and had to be replaced by Darren Wilson.

A mix-up between Wilson and goalkeeper Adam Sinnett then allowed the Strathaven forward to get a toe to the ball and knock it into the empty net and put Strathaven in front.

This loss of this goal caused even more anxiety among the Braidhurst players whose normal excellent touches and passing looked to have deserted them.

Strathaven had several chances to increase their lead but didn’t take them and were made to pay as Braidhurst equalised before the break.

Dylan Flaconer confidently floated a corner into the box where JAKE HASTIE was waiting and he flicked the ball off his boot past the Strathaven ‘keeper.

Braidhurst started the second half far stronger and Hastie was unlucky not to score again when his header was cleared off the line.

The Motherwell side took the lead when Dylan Falconer turned a Strathaven defender inside out before passing to Jordan Duncan who chipped through for substitute DERYN LANG to smash the ball past the despairing ‘keeper.

Strathaven had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offide before, in the dying minutes, substitute ‘keeper Tony Sharkey pulled off a magnificent save to ensure victory for Braidhurst.

Braidhurst will now represent Scotland against England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland at Lilleshall National Sports Centre later this month.