Teenagers hold their nerve in sudden death shoot-out

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HAWICK Youth Under-15s made it a league and cup double at Netherdale on Sunday.

The talented young teenagers followed their Teri counterparts at U-13 and U-17 levels by bringing the silverware back across the A7 to the town.

However, they were made to fight every inch of the way for their victory against a top notch Leithen Vale outfit.

The sides had previously met four times throughout the season, which ended in two draws and a win apiece.

There was nothing between them going into the rescheduled Cameron Gunn Final and so it proved on the day.

The two sides finished level after normal time and extra-time nor regulation penalties could find a winner.

And so it was on to sudden death and it was Hawick who held their nerve to take the trophy.

Over 250 people gathered at Netherdale to watch the final.

The game got off to a bright start with both teams creating chances, however neither managed to score a goal.

The tension was building and after 20 minutes David Campbell of Leithen Vale managed to beat three Hawick defenders and slide the ball through to teammate Sam Matthews who slotted it past the Hawick keeper. The game continued at great pace with Hawick passing the ball with ease and after 10 minutes the teams were level thanks to a Lee Sanderson corner being met by Sean Solley, who rose above the Leithen Vale defence and sent the ball into the bottom corner.

Another 10 minutes passed and Hawick were awarded a free kick 20 yards from the Leithen goal where Thomas McAuley struck a tremendous shot that rebounded off the bar.

Leithen started to put the Hawick defence under pressure and it paid off when Aaron Smith fouled a Vale forward in the box. The referee blew his whistle and awarded a penalty, where Blair Laurie stepped up to score and put Hawick’s opponents back in front.

With 15 minutes left in the game Hawick went to three at the back and put on striker Ewan Gray. This turned out to be a master stroke as Gray latched onto a through ball and slid it past the Leithen keeper with only one touch.

This took the game into extra time with both teams having chances but being unsuccessful in scoring that important goal.

The referee blew the whistle for full-time and took the game into penalties, where both teams scored three out of five, taking proceedings into sudden death.

Dale Whillans scored the first goal, levelled by Leithen. Charlie Mitchell then scored a second goal for Hawick, and it was down to Vale’s Sam Matthews to even the score. The supporters watched on as Matthews put the ball wide of the goal, sending the Hawick crowd and team wild.

The cup was coming back to Hawick, and victory was secured for all three of Hawick’s young teams.

n Hawick Youth committee would like to thank all players, coaches and parents of all age groups for their support and efforts throughout the season. If anyone is interested in becoming a coach for next season, contact Dave McLean on 07802 910504 or 379001.