Vale of Leithen 1
Stirling University 7
EoS PREMIER DIVISION
Stirling University ran riot in Innerleithen to claim their first East of Scotland League Championship on Monday evening, writes Dave Ryce.
The students arrived at Victoria Park knowing that a two-goal margin of victory would see them pip Spartans on goal difference, and a rampant display saw them manage it with something to spare.
It did initially look like it might be a night of agony for the challengers as Vale started the game well and Jordan Hall gave them the lead after just eight minutes of play, but the visitors got a break on the quarter-hour mark when they were awarded a penalty, which was converted by Chris Geddes.
A fortunate break of the ball allowed Daniel Denholm to put Stirling ahead in the 35th minute and Geddes added another just before half-time.
The way things stood at the break meant that the title was on its way to Stirling, and despite keeper Kevin Walker having to look sharp on a couple of occasions to deny Vale, the second 45 belonged to the University as they banged in another four.
Liam Corr netted 10 minutes after the restart and the floodgates started to open as former Vale defender Creag Robertson, from West Linton, made it five in the 69th minute.
With two minutes remaining, super striker Geddes capitalized on a mistake by Vale keeper Craig Weir to complete his hat-trick – and his 50th strike in all competitions this season.
The champagne was already off the ice when substitute Eddie Dines struck to make it seven in injury time.
Stirling University: K. Walker, J. Nixon, M. Sheridan, J. Atkins, J. Drummond, L. Corr, R. Pearson, C. Robertson, D. Denholm, C. Geddes, P. Sludden. Subs: S. Jacobs, K. Glendinning, K. Hughes, E. Dines, T. McCulloch.
Vale of Leithen: C. Weir; S. Sproule, J. Lauder, J. Paterson, J. Blaikie, R. McKenzie, W. Sproule, J. Hall, S. Moffat, S. Radzynski, A. Martin. Subs: C. Inglis, P. Lee, M. Fairney, J. Darling, S. Devlin.