AN eleven-goal thriller was played out at Millburn Park on Saturday in memory of a fine young football talent.
Vale Juniors’ 21s narrowly defeated Kilmarnock Balmoral 6-5 in the second annual tribute match to Alexandria lad Dean Geary.
The 19-year-old died in a tragic road accident near Drymen in February 2010, but his former team Vale and their friends from Kilmarnock are keeping his memory alive by holding the memorial match every summer.
Dean’s dad Jon, who presented the trophy to Vale at the end of the match, said: “It was a great game and there was a good turnout. There were 10 good goals and an own goal, so it was pretty entertaining.
Dean’s brother Lee, who scored a wonder strike in last year’s match, played for each side in either half of the game.
Jon said: “Lee never scored this time, but he ran the show. He would say that – so I’ve got to say it too,” he laughed.
“The Vale and Kilmarnock sides are really close and whenever Dean used to play down there he would never take his car so he could go for a drink with the lads after the game.
“I’m delighted that the Kilmarnock players still come up here to play the game and that is has become an annual event now.”
He added: “I’d like to thank Peter McLean, Jim Meechan, Angus Wallace and all the others at Vale of Leven Juniors, as well as the Kilmarnock coaching squad, the referee, Chic and the girls at The Station Bar, everyone that attended, and most importantly both Vale and Kilmarnock boys for providing us all with a cracking game.”
Vale 21s striker Craig Cowan banged in four of the goals on Saturday, while Nikki McGeachy opened the scoring and his brother Lee grabbed the other.
Vale player John Muir was named man of the match by sponsor Jim McGinley.
The home side lifted the cup for the second year running, having won the last match 5-1, and it will sit in The Station Bar in Alexandria where both sides enjoyed a drink after the game.
Peter McLean, coach at Vale 21s, said: “We had a great night and The Station Bar staff were kind enough to lay on a nice spread for us.
“We all watched the Champions League final together in the pub and we also held our presentation night there.”
Craig Cowan was named Vale’s player of the year, while Allan MacPherson picked up players’ player of the year and top goalscorer, and both lads were presented with their trophies by Jon Geary.