IN DIRECT contrast to the previous year’s cold and damp conditions, the 12th Fairs Cup Over 30’s football tournament was held at a glorious sun baked Douglas Park. Bo’ness 2013 with Kinneil Primary School former pupils “A” team once again emerging triumphant in front of a massive crowd.
As usual twelve teams in two leagues of six took part in the tournament, two from each of the town’s five primary schools and two teams of Incomers to the town. The hard fought group stages in the searing heat saw Kinneil A and Grange B emerge to contest the first semi final, with the Grange A team playing the Public B in the second.
There are no easy games at this level and with two teams in the semi finals, together with earlier injuries, and the effects of the heat, the Grange former pupils were struggling to field the necessary 14 players. Volunteers from the crowd were sought and although Grangers Davie Rose and Billy Gibson were on hand to step up to the plate, it was all in vain as Kinneil saw them off with four goals from Alan Melville, Davie Lapsley and a brace from Adam Gardner. The Grange School’s veteran play maker Barry Hunter despatched a fiercely driven shot into the net as a late consolation. Final score 4-1 to Kinneil A.
The second semi final saw the Grange A on Public B and with the lads from the Public marching through the group stages unbeaten with five wins from five, they were into the second semi final as odds on favourites to progress. And so it proved to be, despite the trockery of Daz McLennan and midfielder prompting from Barry Skene, the Public went onto win 3-0 with a drive from Colin “Buzz” Burrows, Jamesy Irvine nodding in the second from acute angle and Mike Russell rounding the scoring off with a cool finish despite the valiant efforts of the Grange’s goalkeeper, Davie “Deep Sea” Paterson. Final score 3-0 to Public B.
The final saw Kinneil A match up to Public B and full credit to the players for lasting the pace in the 22C heat, serving up a classic game to round off the Tournament and playing in a sporting manner. Captained by seasoned midfield general Jud Snedden, celebrating his 50th birthday last year, the Public showed all determination that had got them to the final unbeaten. Unfortunately for the Public they came up against a Kinneil team that seemed to get better as the tournament progressed and in the end it took a rasping left foot drive from Stephen Wotherspoon to separate the teams and bring the Fairs Cup back to the Kinneil PS for the second time in two years.
Fair Queen Nicole Bell was on hand to perform one of her last official duties – to present the new Fairs Cup to Kinneil captain Pidge McLean. The Public had some consolation, however, when their goalkeeper Bob McLintock deservedly picked up the Colin Duncan “Todje” Memorial Trophy for being voted Player of the Tournament, receiving his prize from Colin’s daughter Caitlin.
Up on the top park, the large crowd were once again treated to the Ladies Challenge Match with the Grange, St Mary’s and the Public schools joining forces to represent Bo’ness East, with Kinneil and Deanburn representing Bo’ness West.
Full credit to the ladies, once again this was match one of the highlights of the afternoon, played in a great spirit with plenty of skill and determination. Although the result may have been affected by the West losing their goalkeeper through injury, Bo’ness East ran out 7-0 winners with two goals each from Heather Smellie and Kelly McGowan with Amy McNab grabbing a hat-trick. The East ladies were delighted to lift the trophy for the second year in a row. Fairs Cup organiser Tom Burns had plenty of people to thank after another fantastic day of football. Tom said afterwards,
“Thank you once again