Red Star upset Pupils in season opener

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SAFL Centenary Cup – Section 8
Campbeltown Pupils 1-2 Lochgilphead Red Star

Red Star made the trip to play Campbeltown Pupils in their season opener last Saturday with manager Colin Weir missing no fewer than eight players due to work and holiday commitments.

The visitors knew they were going to have to battle to take anything from this tie and the task got even tougher as Pupils went ahead inside the opening six minutes. A misplaced pass from Coll McCallum inadvertently played in Pupils Donald McCallum, who rounded Star keeper Ally Lewis and finished to put his side ahead.

The home side’s tails were up and Star had to withstand a heavy onslaught as Pupils looked to add to their lead but thankfully there was no further damage in the opening 20 minutes.

Star steadied the ship and looked to cause some problems of their own, with the pace and trickery of Joseph Harper and Gregor Peacock keeping the Pupils defenders on their toes. The visitors should have been level after half an hour when a nice passing move saw Peacock break down the right channel and lay the ball back to the onrushing James McGuinness – but the midfielder’s effort sailed over the bar.

Into the second half Pupils again looked to take the game to the visitors and should have doubled their advantage when Donald McCallum beat the offside trap and was once again able to round Lewis, but this time his effort was met by a tremendous goal-line block by experienced defender Ricky Reid who was making his competitive debut for Star.

Star freshened things up front, replacing the hard working Joseph Harper with Stuart McLean after an hour and the change paid dividends. Colin Weir’s long through pass found the Pupils defence napping and MacLean was able to control the ball before finishing low under the goalkeeper to level the match.

Both sides were keen to snatch a winner and it was the visitors who managed to edge ahead once again through Stuart MacLean. This time he beat the offside trap, latching onto a through pass from captain Aaron Moore before lobbing the ball over the onrushing keeper to give Star the lead with ten minutes to go.

The Pupils did their best to claw their way back into the match late on and were unfortunate not to equalise with an effort which rattled the crossbar but the Star backline of Coll McCallum, Ricky Reid and Kyle Selfridge defended superbly well to give Star a morale-boosting win in a tough contest.

Red Star continue their Centenary Cup campaign on Saturday August 17 with another local derby, this time against Tarbert. The game is scheduled for the Ropework for 2pm but depending on weather could be moved to the Joint Campus.