Motherwell outfit Colville Park AFC clinched their third Scottish Amateur Cup triumph in four years on Sunday when they beat Eastfield 2-0 at Hampden Park, writes Craig Goldthorp.
Two goals from Paul McLaughlin meant that Colville swept aside their Cumbernauld opponents and repeated their Mount Florida successes of 2016 and 2017 in Scottish football’s most prestigious amateur tournament.
It was the perfect leaving present for Colville manager Michael Kennedy, who is departing for Darvel Juniors next season.
Kennedy told the Times and Speaker: “Winning this three times in four years is an unbelievable achievement.
“Fair credit to the lads. Very rarely do you see this level of success at any level of football.
“But they have done particularly well this year to continue to strive to be successful.
“The commitment and desire to turn up week in, week out and get results is unbelievable. Paul McLaughlin was outstanding.
“We only got him back last week through fitness.
“He had been struggling with an injury but today on this size of surface, this size of park, his energy and drive and legs are really important to you.
“I thought at times he really stretched the game really well.
“He allowed us to get into a good shape offensively so it was a brilliant performance by him.”
Colville went one up in Sunday’s final on 16 minutes when a long punt forward found McLaughlin, who evaded the keeper before expertly shooting past two Eastfield defenders who were standing near the goal line.
The Motherwell team gained a two-goal advantage on 36 minutes when the razor sharp McLaughlin got onto a head flick and shot past McGuinness with his left foot.
Kennedy thought that Colville’s experience of playing at Hampden was key to their first half dominance against an Eastfield side who appeared overawed.
He added: “We spoke about that in the changing room before the game. In the first 25 minutes manage the occasion, use your experience because we’ve been here a few times.
“And I felt that particularly showed.
“But Eastfield are a fantastic young side and I’m sure as the years progress they’ll have other opportunities to come here.”
Leading by two at half-time, it was nearly 3-0 Colville on 56 minutes when Miller’s fine delivery from the left found the head of Ferguson at close range but he sent his effort over the bar.
And the Motherwell team came close again within two minutes when McGuire’s cross from the right found the head of McLaughlin who was denied his hat-trick by McGuinness’s save.
Eastfield missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back on 69 minutes.
A spot kick was awarded to them by referee Tim Woodcock after Fulton was fouled by Ferguson in the box following a corner.
But the score stayed 2-0 Colville as Fulton’s penalty rebounded back off the crossbar.
Kennedy said: “I was nervous when that penalty was given. To be fair to young Dale, I would probably have guaranteed that he’d have scored.
“He’s very good from that range but you need a wee bit of luck on the day.”
Colville Park: Truesdale, Airlie (Murray 87), Haxton, Marshall, Mulvay, McDevitt, Miller, McGuire, McLaughlin, McCrum, Ferguson (Hughes 77).
Eastfield: McGuinness, Fulton, McCulloch, Renny, Stewart, McLachlan (Pearce 82), Murney (Johnston 65), Doherty, Petrucci, Fulton, Hansen.
Referee: Tim Woodcock