Norrie McCathie TourneyAuthor: Alan Maxwell Date: Sunday, 20th Aug 2000
The Pars' U16 team finished 4th in this year's Norrie McCathie Memorial Invitational Football Tournament.
They opened with a nil-nil draw against Falkirk. A saved penalty and plenty of second half pressure gave Dunfermline the better chances of the game but they had to settle for a point. Elsewhere in the group, Hearts scored a one goal victory over Albion Rovers.
Pars' next game was against Hearts, and we took the lead early on with a fine goal. Hearts had a corner, which was claimed by the Pars keeper and duly humped up the pitch. Hearts were caught out completely and after a string of passes between the two strikers the Pars eventually got it in the net. We could have made it two but for a goalmouth stramash seeing the ball eventually land in the Hearts keeper's hands.
Hearts didn't look like they would be much trouble with the exception of a few long range efforts, but in the last minute a cross from the left found its way to the feet of a Hearts player who put it in with ease. 1-1 here, and 1-1 also between Falkirk and Albion Rovers.
Pars took on Albion Rovers in their final group game. Albion took the lead from a first half penalty after the Pars keeper assaulted their striker who was through on goal. Pars got back into it in the second half however when a low cross from the right was turned in from close range to draw the teams level. A few minutes later Pars took the lead, and the three points, when a piece of individual skill resulted in the beating of two Albion defenders and the goalkeeper. Unfortunately Hearts beat Falkirk 1-0 so the Pars' victory was only enough to get them second place, and a spot in the 3rd/4th play-off.
Pars took on the other group runners up Dundee but turned in a poor performance. Dundee took the lead in the first half when a shot was sent sailing past the helpless Pars keeper at the back post and, amidst calls of offside, went 2-0 up before half time. An uneventful second half saw the score remain 2-0 and thus Pars had to settle for 4th place. Dundee could have been playing in the final but failed to turn up in time for their first game, against Celtic - Celtic were awarded the points and as a result, even though Dundee managed to win their other group games against Clyde and Livvy, Celtic met Hearts in the final.
Hearts ran out 2-0 winners in a fiercely competitive final.
Alan and his big football anorak