Footballers’ historic win as MOK Run 10K record falls

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In an ace weekend of sport, Campbeltown Pupils U16s won their first silverware at 11-a-side.

After a 5.30am start, for a 10.30am kick-off, the teenage team, playing for possibly their last time together, beat Dumbarton Riverside 1-0 to win the Michael McGinley shield, at Milburn Park, Alexandria.

The victory described by coach Darren Renton as ‘nailbiting’ came as three junior MOK runners were smashing records in Campbeltown and, on Sunday, Tangy runner Matthew Turner set a new MOK Run 10K time of 33:15.

The junior MOK Run’s first record breaker was Alyssa McEachran.

Alyssa ran the 500m five- to six-year-olds’ race in 02:04:62, beating the boys’ Charley Galbraith, who also set a new mark 02:09:00. In the girls’ 12 to 14s, Ella McGregor’s 07:36:25 also broke the record.

The sports section has further MOK Run stories.

But Saturday belonged to the footballers.

With only 13 players available, the U16s found themselves playing into the wind in their only game on grass all season due to the weather.

A few Dumbarton long-range shots flew harmlessly over Archie McKellar’s goal and the Pupils eased into the game.

With no goals, half-time saw both teams happy to get to the sidelines for a drink as the temperature rose. The early kick-off didn’t seem such a bad idea with 40 minutes still to play in the heat.

Pupils made no changes and  started the second half with the wind at their backs.

Fraser MacBrayne, Calum McKillop and Liam Stacey in midfield asserted themselves but a few corners and free kicks were wasted with poor delivery and the wind did not help.

In the 52nd minute, a Riverside player was red-carded and the game changed.

A headed pass from McKillop, inside the defender, played into Elliott Gemmill, who outpaced him, took one touch and fired a great left-footed shot high into the net.

With the numerical advantage, the Pupils kept control of the game but couldn’t get a second as Riverside defended well and any half chances were missed.

With 18 minutes left, James Campbell broke into midfield but was hurt in a 50/50 tackle and replaced by Bobby Blackstock.

As the game neared its end, the Pupils’ nerves showed. Riverside applied pressure and with McKellar injured the defence were happy to clear.

During five minutes of injury time, the Pupils kept giving possession away even in the opposition half.

This led to two great chances for the Dumbarton side to go into extra time.

The first Andrew Renton cleared with a header and next Matthew Lang bravely blocked in the six-yard box.

The ball spun out to the edge of the box for a Riverside midfielder but his left-footed shot went weakly past the post.

It was the last chance as the referee blew his whistle after the goal kick to spark wild celebrations from the Pupils and hardy parents who travelled to watch but spent the last few minutes barely able to look.

After a few words from the organisers. Riverside received their runners-up medals before the Pupils U16s collected their winners medals.

Captain Ross Brown lifted the shield in front of his cheering teammates for the first trophy ever won by a Campbeltown 11-a-side team in the Dunbartonshire Football Development League.

It was a fantastic finish, after five long seasons and 12,000 miles travelled, in what was possibly their last game together, a day that none of the boys will forget.

The full squad was: Archie McKellar, James Campbell, Calum Cook, Matthew Lang, Andrew Renton, Ross Brown, Calum McKillop, Fraser MacBrayne, Liam Stacey, Kyle Colville, Elliott Gemmill, Bobby Blackstock and Sam McAlpine.