Aberdeen Secondary Schools Seniors Select were crowned national champions after a thrilling comeback victory.
They triumphed over North of Scotland in the final at Borough Briggs, Elgin.
After 10 minutes play, North stormed into an early two-goal lead thanks to two pin-point left-wing crosses which were headed into Jacub Biorka’s net by Jack Brown and Max Ewen, and that after Ewen had already struck the crossbar.
It took some time for Aberdeen to come into things but midway through the half they were awarded a free-kick wide on the left following a heavy tackle on Hamish MacLeod.
He sent it curling in towards goal where the North keeper Lee Herbert could only get a hand on it. Three Aberdeen players chased the loose ball and it appeared Jason Ritchie had the final touch to reduce the deficit.
Aberdeen started the second period brightly but were dealt a blow in 12 minutes. A long pass through the Aberdeen defence seemed to head for Biorka’s hands but in trying to clear, Liam Duncan put it into the path of Ewen who shot gleefully into the empty net.
A decisive moment arrived 60 seconds later.
Aberdeen were not giving up and Calum MacKenzie pick-pocketed a North midfielder on the halfway line. He ran to the edge of the box before passing the ball inside the full-back to MacLeod who was in the clear and sent it into the far corner of the Herbert’s net.
North found themselves a man down after the referee showed a red card after a tackle on MacLeod on the Aberdeen left.
A great Aberdeen move down the left involving MacLeod and Ritchie saw the latter run along the goal-line before cutting the ball back to DUncan on the edge of the box. The midfielder connected with his left foot and the ball found the net.
Five minutes from time MacLeod picked up the ball on the halfway line and, seeing the keeper out of his goal, sent a 40 yard shot over his head. But it smacked off the crossbar before David Wilson could get a toe on it.
In the last minute of normal time it looked like North had the win. They earned a free-kick on the left and when the cross came there was a scramble in the box and a shot looked to have gone into Biorka’s net – but an Aberdeen foot had deflected it into the side netting.
It was on to the penalty shoot-out and, as he had done in the quarter-final against Lothian, Biorka brought off a couple of great stops.
Jason Ritchie converted the final penalty and Aberdeen lifted the trophy.
North ……………………….. 3
Aberdeen …………………. 3