Double celebrations for McGill as Stirling strike late to win Queen’s Park Shield

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The Queen’s Park Shield made its way back to Stirling yesterday, as the Men’s First football team beat Heriot-Watt University 1-0 in the 100th running of the historic competition.

It would have been harsh to end a remarkable season without anything to show for it, particularly in student competition. However, head coach Chris Geddes broke his curse in the Scottish Uni Cup.

Second-half substitute Euan McGill scored another late winner, a day after his 23rd birthday, to seal a dominant performance and avenge last season’s final defeat.

A delighted Geddes said: “It’s definitely a relief, we were the better team – hit the bar four times in the first half and had one cleared off the line, but Heriot-Watt were dangerous on the counter.

“Second half, we had a lot of the ball, and it was a good goal from Euan coming on. It was his birthday yesterday, so good for him.

“We had to be patient because we were playing a good side, and Ben [Fry] made two good saves in the first half.

“We just needed a bit of quality, it was a good diagonal from Jake [Service], Jamie [Thompson] got in behind and put it on a plate. Euan came on against Albion Rovers and did it, and came on today and did it again, so it’s been a good birthday.

“Results-wise, we are the best Uni team in Scotland, but we have to win this to try and prove that to people.”

After losing to the same scoreline against Heriot-Watt last season, a far more confident Stirling side would’ve fancied going one better this time around after a successful season.

The game panned out in a very similar fashion to the final 12 months ago, as Stirling passed up plenty of chances to take the lead.

Calum Rae and Ben Maciver-Redwood saw efforts go close in the first six minutes. Heriot-Watt took one of their few chances, only this time it wouldn’t count.

Nandom Domyil latched onto the ball after the first of Fry’s excellent saves, but the number nine was in an offside position.

From that point, there was only one side in the contest as Stirling looked for a crucial opening goal, but to no avail.

Service was the first to strike the Heriot-Watt crossbar with a header at 13 minutes. Marcus Lavery joined him five minutes later when his cross looped onto the woodwork.

It was the third time unlucky for Stirling ten minutes later, as it was Calum Rae’s turn to see his left-footed shot bounce back into play following great wing play from James Stokes.

Rae almost glanced a header into the far corner with 35 minutes on the clock. Chances would be limited in the second half as Stirling met a frustrating period in the game trying to break down a rigid Heriot-Watt defence.

Half-them substitute Ciaran McAninch came inches away from finding the winner at the back post on 84 minutes. However, it was Stirling’s turn to celebrate a late winner in the Shield final.

Having replaced Rae with five minutes left of regular time, Euan McGill was the man of the moment again. He celebrated a belated birthday present with another cup tie-winning goal.

Jamie Thompson found himself behind the Watt backline and gift-wrapped the goal for McGill. The Stirling players wheeled away in celebration of finally capturing some much-deserved silverware.

McGill (right) celebrates after scoring the winner (Credit: George Vekic)

Geddes added: “I’ve been here for six years, and we’ve never won this, so to win it was great, but I just want to say it’s not for me. 

“I’m happy I won, my daughter gets a shiny medal, so she’ll be buzzing, but I’m so happy for the players in there because they’re having such a good season.

“We won the Uni League months ago, and nobody remembers we have already won a league, so I’m just so happy for them, my staff, and the people who come to support us.

“It would have been quite easy to not win anything and then look back and say it was a poor season, so to get another trophy is unbelievable, I’m so happy for them.

“They deserve it for the season they are having and how good a team they are, so I hope they enjoy their night because they’re off tomorrow.”

University of Stirling: Fry, Burrows, Service, Lavery, Heal, Russell (McKinley 56), Berry, Stokes (McAninch 45), Jarvis, Rae (McGill 85), Maciver-Redwood (Thompson 69)

Featured Image Credit: George Vekic

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