Second-half blitz secures Pupils’ cup win

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Dunoon Amateurs 1
Campbeltown Pupils 6
SAFL Centenary Cup

A stunning second-half performance saw Campbeltown Pupils overrun hosts Dunoon in their latest Centenary Cup tie.

Still reeling from a defeat in their opening fixture, the McFadyens-sponsored Pupils travelled to Cowal knowing three points would be vital to keep their cup hopes alive.

A cagey first half, where the Pupils struggled to get into gear, produced few goal-scoring opportunities, with a dry synthetic surface and a swirling breeze combining to make the contest rather attritional.

Into the second half, with the wind at their backs and perhaps the benefit of some hard weeks in their legs from a full pre-season schedule – including training nights at Westport beach – the Pupils, with the help of some quality introductions from the substitutes’ bench, took control of the tie.

The opening goal came from an unexpected source, young central defender Ross Souden, deployed at right back, scoring from close range after a corner kick wasn’t dealt with by the Dunoon defence.

The Pupils doubled their lead from the penalty spot on the hour, after a handball in the Dunoon box. Ryan McConnachie opted to go straight down the middle and evaded the dive of the Dunoon keeper.

There was a moment of worry at the other end, though, when goalscorer Souden also committed a handball in the Pupils’ box, and referee Peter Laing pointed to the spot. Dunoon halved the Pupils’ advantage, making it 2-1.

Then, just 90 seconds later, the Pupils restored their two-goal lead through Donald McCallum, who met left-sided substitute Kenny Kerr’s low cross to squeeze a shot between the Dunoon defenders and the frame of the goal.

Soon after, the Pupils made it 4-1, when Kerr guided another delightful cross onto the head of John McCallum, who guided an effort past the keeper from six yards, but it was the goal creator Kerr who was rightly mobbed by his team-mates.

Not content with four, the Feathers-sponsored Pupils scored again, with – stand by – Kerr making it three assists in one match.

Played in by McConnachie after some strong play in midfield by fellow substitute Michael McKinlay, Kerr set up young winger Ross Brown, who gladly tucked home goal number five with a close-range finish.

With the match drawing to a close, McConnachie sealed his brace – and the Pupils’ sixth goal – with an excellent individual effort, surging past a defender before rounding the hosts’ keeper and slotting the ball low into an unguarded net, adding gloss to an already emphatic cup win.

After a great team performance, the Pupils will be hoping for more of the same tomorrow (Saturday) when they welcome a Tarbert side – who last week also defeated Dunoon – in a Kintyre derby.

The match is scheduled for a 2pm kick off at Kintyre Park.