Keeper pulls out stops to halt Waverley’s progress

Hawick Waverley v Chirnside.
Hawick Waverley v Chirnside.

It was a freezing-cold afternoon, but the heat was on in this Beveridge Cup semi-final clash at Wilton Lodge Park, writes John Slorance.

Although having their backs against the wall for most of the second half, it was Chirnside who conjured up the winning warmth in the Baltic-like conditions.

Defending the trophy they won last season, Waverley had the upper hand during the early stages, but it was the Berwickshire outfit who opened the scoring against the run of play in the 11th minute.

Waverley keeper Euan Reilly booted a clearance against the legs of the advancing Adam Turner and the Chirnside striker latched onto the rebound and ran on to stroke a shot into an empty net.

Within three minutes of this the Berwickshire men went further ahead when Daniel Hoyle took advantage of some poor defensive play to drill a shot out of the reach of Reilly.

Waverley were now reeling and five minutes into the second period the homesters were rocked even further when their opponents went three up. Rob Armstrong emerged the marksman on this occasion following a darting run through the Waverley rearguard.

This counter proved to be a wake-up call for Waverley.

The Wilton Lodge Park outfit began to knuckle down after this and in the 58th minute they reduced the leeway through captain Taylor Hope who latched on to the ball in midfield before shooting home.

Two minutes later Liam Lavery pulled another goal back and Waverley were now well and truly back in the picture.

In a bid for an equaliser, the Teries were pushing forward at every opportunity, only to find opposition keeper Martin Todd in top form.

The Chirnside number one impressed by finger-tipping a net-bound Ian Turnbull drive over the bar and then put up the shutters again with brilliant saves from Ross Wallace and Lavery.

It was simply all Waverley, but when a goal did arrive it was at the other end.

In a breakaway raid with five minutes remaining on the clock, Turner ghosted through unchallenged to score easily.

The game was now all but over, but seconds from the finish Waverley struck again with a Lavery strike.

Waverley are grateful to Bliss Beauty Salon in Drumlanrig Square which sponsored the match ball for last Saturday’s Beveridge Cup semi-final.