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Campbeltown Pupils 0
SAFL Premier Division One
Anyone watching this game will wonder how these two teams scored nine goals only weeks earlier.
That end-to-end affair in East Kilbride saw the McFadyen-sponsored Campbeltown Pupils return home with full points.
That was unlikely to happen in this dour, but nevertheless relentless contest at Kintyre Park on Saturday.
It showed both teams had worked hard in the interim period to eliminate their defensive shortcomings, a pleasant relief for the managements after a number of unbelievably high scoring recent games.
Not only were both defences well on top, but also the tactical shape and work rate of both teams was much better.
The Pupils had by far the better of the first half exchanges, particularly when Martin McCallum launched forward down the attacking right.
His strength and power gave Claremont’s defence many problems, but try as they might the home side could not break the visitor’s resolve.
The Pupils should have claimed the lead in the 20th minute. An inviting ball across the box ended in a wicked deflection that saw the striker’s shot glance agonisingly wide.
Minutes later, the best chance of the first half fell to Gary Grumoli, but the striker allowed the ball to go across his body and his parting shot was skewed high and wide.
Throughout the first half, Claremont attempted to use the long ball to their advantage, a clever enough tactic; but the Pupils defence held firm with goalkeeper Alasdair Ferguson reading the play as the ball continually overshot its mark.
Playing into the breeze allowed Claremont more control of the ball in the second period.
The likelihood of a winning strike still seemed remote as Keith Mitchell marshaled his defence and cleverly stepped off to read space behind the back line.
A final flurry saw an impressive Ferguson save avoiding last minute disasters, but this game had a draw written all over it and both teams retired with a share of the points.
It may not have been a classic, but the work rate was impressive and the return from injury of Ryan Deans and Ryan McConnachie was a welcome bonus.
Campbeltown Pupils are at home against Kings Park tomorrow, Saturday November 24.
Check posters and social media for further information.
The return from injury of Ryan McConnachie was a welcome bonus. 50_c47pupils01
The best chance of the first half fell to Gary Grumoli. 50_c47pupils02