FOOTBALL has a way of serving up the most unexpected results. The previous evening the Netherlands had shocked the world of football by destroying the reigning champions Spain 5-1 at the World Cup in Brazil. As it turned out, there was to be a similar shock at the thirteenth Bo’ness Fairs Cup Over 30s football tournament last Saturday when the former pupils of Deanburn Primary School stunned two-time winners Kinneil to claim the trophy.
The tournament took place at a hot and humid Douglas Park, Bo’ness in front of a large and noisy crowd. The league stage usually consists of 12 teams in two leagues of six, with two from each of the town’s 5 primary schools and two further teams of Incomers to the town. This year, however, due to late call-offs and other unforeseen emergencies, the Grange PS were only able to field one team in the ‘A’ league, leading to an unprecedented re-shuffle of fixtures.
Despite this, both leagues proved to be very eventful as usual, and special mention goes to St. Mary’s player Alec Patrick, who kept up his remarkable record of scoring in all 13 tournaments so far. The group stages are always tough to get out of but in the end Kinneil ‘A’ and Incomers ‘B’ emerged to contest the first semi-final with the Deanburn ‘A’ taking on Kinneil ‘B’ in the second.
The first semi was a fairly one sided contest with 2012 & 2013 winners Kinneil ‘A’ claiming a stylish 3-0 victory with goals from captain Pidge McLean, lethal finisher Stephen Wotherspoon and the imperious Adam Gardner. At this stage Kinneil were strongly fancied to make it three in a row, however, Deanburn ‘A’ had different ideas. Firstly they defeated the Kinneil ‘B’ team in the second semi-final, and then went on to contest the final.
The final was a great advert for the game, and although Graham Cox (Junior) fired Kinneil ahead Deanburn were soon on level terms when the ball was cut back to experienced playmaker Neil Bennett who despatched the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box with a drilled left foot shot.
The effort by the Kinneil players in the humid conditions was outstanding but they found veteran Deanburn goalkeeper Colin Brown in great form. And in the second half Deanburn grabbed a stunning winner when the deadly Jamie Adamson collected a pass from Bennett in the middle of the park, strode past a retreating Kinneil defensive line and coolly slotted the ball into the corner of the net from just outside the area.
Final score 2-1 to Deanburn ‘A’ and reigning Fair Queen Malia Bonnar was there to perform one of her last official duties – to present the Fairs Cup to Deanburn team captain Ritchie Stewart and manager Dod Simpson.
Deanburn player Neil Bennett also scooped the Colin Duncan “Toje” Memorial Trophy for Player of the Tournament, receiving his prize from Colin’s son Cameron.
This year Kinneil manager Chris Middleton, himself a former Player of the Tournament in 2006, had generously donated an additional trophy for Top Goalscorer, and Deanburn made it a clean sweep when their star striker Jamie Adamson claimed the prize.
Another highlight of the day was the annual Fairs Cup Ladies Challenge Match with former pupils of the Grange, St. Mary’s and the Public schools joining forces to represent Bo’ness East, and the Kinneil, Deanburn and Incomers representing Bo’ness West. An exciting game to watch, with plenty of skill, determination and tough tackling on show, the East Ladies eventually ran out 6-0 winners with two goals from Suzanne Davidson, and one each from Kelly McGowan, Gillian Walker and Amy McNab, together with an unfortunate own goal. East Ladies captain Kerry Fraser was delighted to receive the trophy from Queen Malia. The East were triumphant for the third time in a row but are sure to face a more determined West team next year.
Tom Burns, Fairs Cup organiser once again took the opportunity on behalf of the Fairs Cup Organising Committee to thank the many people who contributed to another successful tournament.
“Many thanks to all players, supporters and families, Fair Committee members and to all those behind the scenes. A big thanks to the three referees for their sterling work, to Garry Chapman for refereeing the Ladies match and especially to Harry the Physio for his work on the day. The Committee would also like to wish Kinneil player Alan Snedden a speedy recovery from injury. Thanks to Ian Lourie for keeping us right with the scores and to photographer Bob Simpson. I’d also like to thank Mark Simpson and Gordon Shillinglaw for help with the programme and Mark Sives of Office Team for the printing.
We very much appreciate the various sponsors including Alec Brown of NorDan UK Ltd for sponsoring the referees and Paul Ritchie of Concrete Repairs ltd for supplying the toilets. A massive thanks to Caledonian Produce, especially Vicky Donaldson and Scott McBride who generously provided the Beer Tent for the third year running, and to the Bar Staff and Security staff who were kept busy all day.
However, the Fairs Cup would be nothing without the fans and I’d particularly like to pay special tribute to the good people of Bo’ness for once again supporting the event by playing, taking part, attending or simply buying a programme. This is one of the biggest and best community events around and we are also raising valuable funds for the best day of the year – the Bo’ness Fair Day”.