Wigtown pick up where they left off

Joe Thompson presents Wigtown captain Stuart Cluckie with the Ian Boyd Memorial Cup.'Photo credit- Edward Flannighan
Joe Thompson presents Wigtown captain Stuart Cluckie with the Ian Boyd Memorial Cup.'Photo credit- Edward Flannighan

Wigotwn and Bladnoch Football Club started this season the same way they finished last season - winning trophies.

They retained the Ian Boyd Memorial Trophy recently at Trammondford Park in the season opener, against opposition from Northern Ireland, 22nd Old Boys from Belfast and Ballykeel from Ballymena.

The tournament was played in a round-robin format with each team playing against each other in a match consisting of two 30 minute halves.

The first match was Wigtown & Bladnoch versus 22nd Old Boys. Last year’s top two teams fought it out hard and for the majority of the first half Wigtown were the better side, attacking well and holding far more possession, but the spectators had to wait until the second half for the opening goal, and it was the hosts that drew first blood with Roddy Cooksley heading home with his first touch of the ball after just having come on for Reece Agnew a couple of minutes previously.

The lead only lasted eighht minutes as the side from Belfast equalized through an exceptional effort from Gary Gillespie. Gillespie found a gap in the Wigtown defence and belted one home from about 25 yards. Both sides fought hard for the remainder of the match but there were to be no more goals.

Full time: Wigtown 1 - 1 22nd Old Boys

The second match was an all-Northern Irish affair as 22nd Old Boys faced Ballykeel. This match was dominated by the Ballymena boys and 22nd Old Boys somehow managed to keep the ball out of the net and have to thank their ‘keeper Curtis Lindores for that as he made a string of saves. The only goal of the game came with five minutes as the Ballykeel centre backs could not keep up with the 22nd Old Boys striker Graeme Irvine and he was let through one-on-one with the keeper to slot home.

Full time: 22nd Old Boys 1 - 0 Ballykeel

The final match saw Wigtown play Ballykeel.

Wigtown went into the game knowing that they had to win by two or more goals to take the cup for a record fourth consecutive time. Despite this, it was the Northern Irish side that started the game on the upper hand with Wigtown keeper Wullie White having to make a couple of key saves to keep Scots in the game, and the competition. But Wigtown saw themselves take the lead as Tyler Rennie headed home a Rab Joe Paisley cross to offside calls, but referee Scott Sheppard waved them away to give the goal! As Wigtown celebrated, the Ballykeel players protested to no avail and one of their midfielders, Jordan Kenny, became the first player in the competition’s eight-year history to be shown a red card.

Things soon went from bad to worse for ‘the Keelers’ as Wigtown’s scorer became the provider as Tyler Rennie broke free and played the ball across in front of the Ballykeel keeper, Steven Watson, to Reece Agnew, who calmly slotted the ball into the empty net.

In the second half, Wigtown’s luck changed as Wullie White was forced off due to an elbow injury. With no substitute keeper, manager Mickey Dougan pulled on the gloves and helped his team see out the match.

Full time: Wigtown 2 - 0 Ballykeel

This result meant Wigtown were the winners of the Ian Boyd Memorial Cup by one goal.

The Ian Boyd Memorial Cup, was set up after a Ian Boyd (a lad from Ballymena) tragically took his own life in November 2006 aged just 19. The tournament’s purpose is not only to serve as a memorial to Ian but also to serve as a means of highlighting the increasingly rising numbers of people taking their own lives especially those of young adults.

The competition started as a five-a-side midnight football tournament but changed to its current format in 2008 when Stranraer Reserves won the competition. Since 2008, Wigtown and Bladnoch have won the cup four times with Stranraer Reserves winning twice and Ballymoney United winning once