Youth and ex­pe­ri­ence com­bine for Pupils vic­tory

Campbeltown Courier - - SPORT -

With a team shorn of nine play­ers from their pre­vi­ous en­counter with Lochgilp­head Red Star, the lo­cal favourites looked for­ward to this en­counter with a lit­tle trep­i­da­tion. How­ever, they need not have wor­ried, as in the breech came eight ea­ger young­sters and a stal­wart from the past to res­cue the day and de­liver three points to take the home side to the top of the league with two games played. It was an as­sured per­for­mance on an im­mac­u­late Kin­tyre Park from the McFadyens-spon­sored Camp­bel­town Pupils, a day when the home side com­pletely out­played their op­po­nents, but the vis­i­tors some­how kept the game alive with last gasp de­fend­ing and not too lit­tle grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Af­ter a num­ber of pen­e­trat­ing runs, Sary Rahma at last found his mark on the end, a clever through ball from full back Bai­ley Free­man, the mer­cu­rial striker out­strip­ping the de­fence to fire the ball into the bot­tom cor­ner for the opener. Ryan Deans can count him­self un­for­tu­nate af­ter he pro­duced a mazy run from the edge of the box, drift­ing past a num­ber of chal­lenges be­fore his part­ing shot was smoth­ered by a grate­ful last line of de­fence. How­ever, it was only a re­prieve for the vis­i­tors, as Free­man once more re­leased Rahma, whose blis­ter­ing pace and fine fin­ish de­liv­ered the sec­ond goal on the cusp of half time. The home side de­cided to sit-off the op­po­si­tion in the early part of the sec­ond half, a tac­tic that al­lowed the vis­i­tors to come more into the game. With the home de­fence in re­treat, mid­field player Tom John­ston found space to un­leash a pow­er­ful drive at goal, only to see a mag­nif­i­cent one-handed stop from young Alas­dair Fer­gu­son in the Pupils goal. The op­po­si­tion’s long throw tac­tic was be­gin­ning to cause prob­lems for the home de­fence and, af­ter a mix-up, the ball dropped kindly for John Martin, who stabbed the ball home at the sec­ond at­tempt to re­duce the lee­way. The come­back looked on, but a fine move down the at­tack­ing left saw Liam Ren­ton re­lease Fraser MacBrayne into space, the young­ster show­ing ma­tu­rity be­yond his years to square the ball to Rahma, whose blis­ter­ing drive tore into the roof of the net for the striker’s hat-trick. A two-goal cush­ion should have been enough to bring vic­tory for the home side, but FC Ar­gyle’s de­ter­mi­na­tion pro­duced a sec­ond goal with eight min­utes re­main­ing and the fat was once more in the fire. It was an all-round team per­for­mance from the Pupils, and there were no weak­nesses what­so­ever in the ranks. Shaun Gru­moli – out of re­tire­ment again – did him­self proud with an as­sured dis­play, and his part­ner at the heart of de­fence, El­lis Robert­son, had an out­stand­ing 90 min­utes. Fi­nal word came from Gary Gru­moli; his run on goal in the fi­nal minute end­ing with a crack­ing fin­ish into the bot­tom cor­ner for the Pupils’ fourth and vic­tory-sealing strike. This was a day to re­mem­ber for the young Pupils grad­u­ates – a day when they all came of age. Camp­bel­town Pupils travel to Fer­gus­lie to­mor­row (Satur­day), in what prom­ises to be a dif­fi­cult game as per usual for league points.

Out-of-re­tire­ment Shaun Gru­moli bat­tles for the ball. 50_c37pupils02

Sary Rahma scored a hat-trick. 50_c37pupils01

Young play­ers like Calum McKil­lop kept their eyes on the ball. 50_c37pupils05

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