Scotland celebrates the best of grassroots football in the SYFA Cup Finals.
The best youth football clubs in Scotland served up a festival of football at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium this month at the annual Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA) cup finals.
Over two weekends, 14 teams from seven age groups battled it out to prove themselves the best team in their age group and hold aloft the Scottish Cup.
The result was a festival of football full of nail-biting matches, with only one of the seven games being decided by more than a single goal.
Highlights from the opening weekend included five goal thrillers in both the Under 21s (1991s) and Under 19s (1993s) categories. Harmony Row FC saw off a spirited Campsie Black Watch comeback to take the 21s crown with a 3-2 win, while Bonnyton Thistle FC edged out Goldenhill BC by the same scoreline in the Under 19s final.
The festival drew to a close last Sunday with a triple-header of games and the grand finale of a penalty shootout in the Under 16s (1996s) final, where Albion Boys Club saw off Tynecastle FC 5-4 from the spot, thus preventing the Edinburgh club adding to their Under 15s (1997s) title won earlier in the day.
The finalists were whittled down from more than 30,000 players in 1,502 teams in what is the is the largest participant sporting event in Scotland, demonstrating that football is still very much the national sport.
Scottish Youth Football Association Age Group Challenge Cup Finals
Saturday 5 May
Under 13s (1999s): Hutchison Vale FC 2-1 Musselburgh Windsor
Under 21s (1991s): Campsie Black Watch 2-3 Harmony Row FC
Sunday 6 May
Under 17s (1995s): Bellfield Royals BC 2-1 Banchory Boys FC
Under 19s (1993s): Goldenhill BC 2-3 Bonnyton Thistle FC
Sunday 13 May
Under 14s (1998s): Dundee United SC 0-2 Hutchison Vale FC
Under 15s (1997s): Antonine Blacks 0-1 Tynecastle FC
Under 16s (1996s): Albion Boys Club 0-0 (5-4 pens) Tynecastle FC
A full account of the finals, including match reports and photos from each of the games, is available on the new SYFA website.