Aberdeenshire Schools select were on home turf for the visit of Fife schools with a potential Semi final tie against Aberdeen City or Dundee at stake.
Both matches were played simultaneously with City hosting the Taysiders at Spain Park while the shire were in Inverurie at the Garioch Sports Centre. Overhead conditions were reasonable good and the match was played with no rain and a bit of sunshine. Shire were quickest out of the traps and looked physically stronger than their Fife opponents and it was no a surprise when they took the lead 12 minutes into the game. Inverurie’ Mitchell Cheyne delivered a great defence splitting pass to find Mintlaw’s Bailey SIMPSON who gave Costello in the Fife goal no chance with a great finish. The scorer should have doubled his tally when Banchory’s Owen Lawrence set him up but he sent his effort wide of the post.
The Fife side worked their way back into the game playing some great one touch football and showing quick feet and good movement but struggling in the final third as the Shire defence dealt with most advances.
On the stroke of half time an in-swinging Shire corner beat the keeper but Fifes Nicholson nipped into nick the ball off the head of Fraerburghs Drew Masson.
Four minutes into the second half and having survived a scramble in the box the Fife side went two behind when a cross ball was lashed home by Inverurie’s Sam ROBERTSON diagonally back across the keeper who was beaten by the speed of the shot. With the cushion of a second goal the Aberdeenshire side went in search of more goals and Mitchell Cheyne had an effort well saved by the Fife keeper. Inevitably the third goal came but it was an unfortunate error by the Fife keeper who had kept his side in contention until Turriffs Keir SMITH sent in a shot high from 15 yards which Costello in the visitors goal looked to have taken but the ball slipped through his grasp and fell into the back of the net.
When Lawrence committed a foul in the box Fife were awarded a penalty and NICHOLSON fired low to Cooks left. It was a wake up call for Aberdeenshire who continued to control the game in the last few minutes as Fife threw more players forward in search of an unlikely second goal. Simpson crashed a shot of the bar which should have been a fourth for the shire as Fife were caught on the counterattack. After the final whistle news came through that Aberdeen City were 2-0 down with minutes remaining but Dundee lost two late goals but the Taysiders progressed after a penalty shoot-out so Aberdeenshire will travel to Dundee for the semi-final.
Aberdeenshire Schools Select: 1. Dean Strachan (Banchory); 2. Jack Simpson (Fraserburgh); 19. Cameron McArthur (Inverurie); 4. Jamie Hay (Inverurie); 5. Bryce Dawson (Meldrum); 12. Mitchell Cheyne (Inverurie); 17. Elliott Byers (Peterhead); 8. Drew Masson (Fraserburgh); 9. Bailey Simpson (Mintlaw); 10. Keir Smith (Turriff); 11. Owen Lawrence (Banchory); 6. Kane Mccrory (Mintlaw); 13. Morgan Cook (Inverurie); 18. Sam Robertson (Inverurie); 15. Jordan Mowatt (Mintlaw); 16. Scott Roger (Fraserburgh)