The Dumfries Rotary Club Youth Football knock-out Tournament has been played for since 1949. The venerable Cup has many famous names engraved on its battered surface, and it continues to be one of the most eagerly contested and sought after local trophies.
The 2016 final was recently contested at Palmerston Park by Annan Athletic and Greystone Athletic, and got off to an electric start. The mild evening turned chilly for Greystone after only a couple of minutes, when an unmarked Corey Bell slotted home for Annan from 8 yards, following a free kick from the left.
Greystone were trying to settle into a composed passing game, but good closing down by Annan allowed them to break swiftly on occasions. As Greystone pressure mounted, Annan keeper Jake Lamont was kept busy with a string of fine saves, including a speculative effort from 40 yards by Morgan McQueen which he managed to turn away for a corner. With Annan sitting back, Greystone enjoyed the bulk of possession. The poise of Callum Williams and the work rate of Patrick Callaghan in midfield drove Greystone forward, and it was no surprise when Brodie McKerlie headed home powerfully at the back post in the 35th minute, from a free kick on the left.
All square at 1-1, and so it remained up to half time.
The second half began with Annan stepping up their game, with the tireless Alexander Porter and composed Daniel Nunes pushing them forward. Annan’s direct approach began to stretch a tiring Greystone defence.
However, with the game finely balanced, Greystone broke forward, and, in the 81st minute, a dangerous corner from the left was met at the far post by the fresh Thomas Wright, who finished in style to give Greystone a second, and decisive, goal.
Annan pushed hard for the equaliser, but to no avail. The final whistle sounded and Greystone ran out 2-1 winners. The Stuart Atkinson Man of the Match Cup was awarded to Greystone’s Patrick Callaghan, whose tireless running and cultured left foot were prominent throughout.
The Rotary Club of Dumfries is proud of its long association with this prestigious competition. We thank the Dumfries & Galloway Junior Football Association for their immaculate running of the event, and for all the work they do to foster , nurture and develop Junior football in our Region, Our grateful thanks also go to the Directors and management of Queen of the South Football Club for allowing us to use their facilities and famous pitch for the Final – an experience these youngsters will treasure for ever.

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