Gala Fairydean Under-17s 2
Hawick Under-17s 3
SBJFA UNDER-17s Cup semi-final
KENNY PATERSON reports from Netherdale 3G Arena
A RYAN Brady strike sealed a deserved cup final place for Hawick under-17s in an entertaining clash with Gala Fairydean.
The right back capitalised on the Fairies’ struggles with cross-balls to power a drive past Michael Sanderson with 30 minutes to play.
The young Teries impressed throughout the match with their passing style, and will be a tough proposition for either Lauder or Kelso, who contest the other semi-final tomorrow night.
It was a horrible night for playing football, with driving rain soaking the players.
But it also proved the value of Netherdale’s 3G pitch, with the game likely to have been called off were it due to be played on grass.
The visitors attempted to play passing football from kick-off, and went ahead on 10 minutes as Robbie Kelly scored from close range after Sanderson’s initial save.
But just five minutes later, Gala equalised. Striker Danny Bolton latched onto a long ball and produced a great chip over Hawick stopper Kerr Brown.
Nathan McNally looked set to put Hawick back in front on 34 minutes but Sanderson produced a great stop.
Fabien Hoitze and Bolton then combined well four minutes before the break, but the former saw his shot claimed by Brown.
However, it was Hawick who restored their lead right on half-time, as McNally’s corner was headed home by Steven Drummond, who has had experience with Hawick Royal Albert.
An exciting second half saw Gala pull level within three minutes of the restart.
Hoitze’s superb corner found the head of Bolton for his second goal of the game.
Instead of pushing on for the win and a cup final spot, Gala were pushed back by enterprising Hawick, with midfielder Declan Hogg, in particular, impressing.
Kelly somehow missed the goal from just six yards out, before Brady notched the winner.
Gala pushed for an equaliser and subsequent extra time, but their efforts proved unsuccessful.
The Dean’s best chance came thanks to Hoitze once more, who played a great one-two with Bolton, but the latter struck his shot across the face of goal.
The under-17s final, along with the under-13s, 14s and 15s finals, will be held one after the other on Sunday, June 3, on Netherdale’s 3G pitch as part of the Cameron Gunn Memorial Festival.
Gala Fairydean U17s: M. Sanderson, J. Little, J. Lawson, J. Maben, C. Nicholson, C. Johnstone, D. Kemp, F. Hoitze, D. Bolton, T. Maben, C. French. Subs used: C. Gowans, E. Nelson.
Hawick U17s: K. Brown, R. Brady, A. Smith, M. Clamp, S. Drummond, D. Whillans, D. Hogg, N. McNally, R. Kelly, C. Caldwell, A. Swailes. Subs used: S. Solley, C. Mitchell, L. Sanderson, M. Shepherd.