Richie shines as Scottish Cup star
Burke nets penalty to seal silverware for Beith
Rutherglen-born footballer Richie Burke admitted the feeling of scoring the winning penalty in the Scottish Junior Cup final has still not sunk in.
The Beith Juniors man was mobbed by teammates after hitting the back of the net in front of more than 4,000 fans at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park on Sunday.
Richie, a former Rutherglen Glencairn midfielder, was part of the side who won 4-3 on penalties after drawing 1-1 with Pollok in normal time.
Veteran Robbie Winters had thrown ‘ Lok a lifeline after cancelling out Darren Christie’s opener.
And Beith keeper Stephen Grindlay saved two spot kicks from Allan Mackenzie and David Winters to give Richie the chance to seal the glory for The Mighty.
The 30 year old, who signed for The Glens in 2008, coolly stroked home the winning goal but told the Reformer he had shrugged off the nerves as he walked up to the spot to grant Beith their first Scottish Cup win in the club’s history. He said: “I knew I had to score for us to win and people were saying I must have been under a lot of pressure.
“But I didn’t feel I was because I knew if I missed then it would have went to sudden death.
“When I was walking up to take the penalty, all I was thinking about was where I was going to place it. “When I scored I couldn’t believe it. “The day was absolutely amazing and the atmosphere was incredible.
“I’ve won two league titles with Glencairn but I haven’t experienced anything like that before.
“It wasn’t a great game to be honest. Pollok were probably the better team on the day.
“We were winning 1-0 and I thought we were going to maybe steal it. They did do well to get a goal back.”
Richie spent six years with Glencairn where he bagged two league titles before moving to Petershill.
The left midfielder sealed a move to Beith in the summer last year and has already written his name into the club’s history books.
Celebrations continued for the Beith players back in their hometown as fans lined the streets on Sunday evening to welcome the team home with the cup.
“The atmosphere in the town was amazing, I didn’t know there was so many people in Beith,” Richie added.
“We did a pub crawl with the cup through the town afterwards and we didn’t get home till about 3am.
“Our run in the Scottish Cup was a difficult one. We played some very good teams.
“The best result personally for me was beating Petershill 3-1 because I used to play for them.”
Richie has already penned a deal with the Ayrshire side for another season as have many of his teammates.
Beith will now participate in next season’s William Hill Senior Scottish Cup along with fellow junior teams Auchinleck Talbot, Linlithgow Rose, Bonnyrigg Banks o Dee and Girvan.
Delighted Richie holding the Scottish Junior Cup
Ice cool Richie slots home the penalty to send fans wild and, inset, champions Beith celebrate