THE 13th Keyline Cup Tournament took place at Mossfield Stadium and Glencruitten Park, Oban, on Saturday 15th July before a large crowd of spectators, basking in brilliant sunshine.
Six teams - Heart of Midlothian from the Scottish Premier League, St Johnstone and Hamilton Accies from the Scottish First Division, Alloa Athletic from Division Two, Fort William representing the Highland League and host club Oban Saints from the Scottish Amateur Premier Division took part in what has now become a popular fixture in the Scottish football calendar.
The tournament, sponsored by Keyline Builders Merchants, is played on a round robin basis with all the teams playing each other in short, sharp 30 minute games which is excellent for pre-season match fitness.
There was a total of 15 games played with 26 goals scored. There were conclusive results in all the games with no matches drawn.
The first games kicked off at 11 am with Oban Saints taking on near neighbours and Highland League side Fort William at Mossfield and it was the host club who came out on top with the only goal of the game scored by Donald Campbell. Kicking off at the same time on Glencruitten was the St Johnstone versus Hamilton Accies match with the Accies coming out on top 2-0 thanks to goals from Chris Watson and Steven Connelly.
Alloa Athletic and Hearts were in action next and it was the SPL team who came out on top although their second division opponents pushed them all the way. Hearts scorer was Gary Glen with a double . The next game saw Oban Saints take on St Johnstone and it was the Saints from Perth who earned all three points thanks to the only goal of the game scored by Stephen Doris. The Oban lads played well and with a bit luck might have got something out of this game.
Hamilton then edged out Alloa with the only goal scored by John McAlpine and at Glencruitten Hearts defeated Fort William by the same scoreline with Allan Lithgow netting against the Highland League side.
The large local contingent were delighted with the result of the next game when Oban Saints defeated Hamilton Accies by the only goal of the game when Accies under 18 schoolboy international central defender Gerry McLauchaln had the misfortune to head a Bertie Gemmell free kick past his own keeper. Fort William then found themselves on the end of a 4-0 drubbing from Alloa whose scorers were Allan Comrie, Peter Thomson, Frank Kelly and John Manion.
Hearts edged out St Johnstone by the odd goal in three in an exciting encounter with Gary Glen netting a double for the Jambos and former Rangers and Hibs striker Scott Dobbie scoring for the Perth Saints.
Hamilton then defeated Fort William 2-0 thanks to goals from James Gibson and Rudy Torres. Alloa took all three points against St Johnstone with the only goal of the game scored by Ross Muir.
Glencruitten was the next venue for the big crowd of Oban Saints supporters, when their team took on Hearts with the Scottish Cup holders winning by the only goal of the game scored by Ross Hamilton. Fort William lost out 4-0 to St Johnstone thanks to goals from Steven McCann and a hat-trick from former Rangers and Hibs striker Scott Dobbie..
The last two games saw Ross Muir net the only goal of the game for Alloa gainst Oban Saints and Hearts Icelandic striker Hualmar Thorarinsson was on target as Hearts defeated Hamilton Accies 1-0 to win their fifth game in the tournament which meant the handsome Keyline Cup would be heading for the Tyncastle Trophy Room.
Tournment organiser and Oban Saints secretary David Buchanan presented the cup to Hearts skipper Eggert Jonsson at the end of the tournament.
All the players and officials were enterteined at a reception in Oban Lorne Rugby club after the competition where the winners medals were presented to the Hearts squad and the runners-up medals to Alloa Athletic.
The seven match officials - Donnie Brooks, Jim Pearson, John Scott, David Mitchell, John Mackie, Alan MacGregor and Kevin Summers were also presented with mementos of the occasion.
The Player of the Tournament award, chosen by the referees, went to Oban Saints central defender and skipper Bertie Gemmell, who was in outstanding form all day.
Councillor Robin Banks, a guest at the competition, then handed over a cuach on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council to Hearts coach Stephen Frail.
Organiser David Buchanan then thanked all the club's sponsors and everybody who helped to make it such a great day's football and wished all the teams success for the coming season and he hoped to see them all back again at next year's competition.