A man of the match performance from Kane Hemmings gave Alan Kernaghan's under 17's victory in tonight's Glasgow Cup Final against their Old Firm rivals. They almost took the lead in the 3rd minute, good play on the left by Kal Naismith set up Max Wright and only the right foot of Celtic keeper Robbie Thomson prevented a goal at the expense of a corner.
On 9 minutes Rangers threatened again when a long throw from Kane Hemmings broke to Rhys McCabe and his goal bound shot was deflected wide. From the resultant Dylan McGeough corner the ball was headed back across goal by Chris Scott and Kal Naismith only just failed to force it home at the keeper's right hand post.
Following a period of midfield stalemate Rangers took the lead on 31 minutes. Kane Hemmings was sent clear by Max Wright, keeper Thomson did well to block is effort, but it rebounded off the onrushing defender Matty Hughes and was about to cross the line for an own goal but Hemmings was on hand to help it on its way and claim the opener. Eight minutes later keeper Thomson had to rush from his line to save at the feet of Wright as he raced on to a McCabe through ball.
Five minutes from the break Celtic equalised with their first real effort at goal. A free kick out of the left touchline was crossed to the edge of the box by Jordan Lowdon where it was headed on to James Keatings who headed past Gary Inglis.
Half Time Rangers 1 Celtic 1
Rangers took the lead in the first minute of the second half with a superb goal. A long clearance from Gary Inglis was brilliantly controlled by Kane Hemmings, he held off the attentions of defender Hughes and played the ball to Kal Naismith, Naismith got to the byline and his cross was met on the volley by Kane Hemmings which gave keeper Thomson no chance as it found the net of the underside of the bar.
Only a fine double save from Thomson a minute later prevented Rangers extending their lead. A corner from Naismith was headed back out to him and his cross was met by the head of Rhys McCabe which was blocked by the keeper, Darren Cole then set up Max Wright but Thomson made a fine diving save to his left. Ten minutes later a free kick out on the left was sent into the box by Gordon Dick broke to Chris Scott who's goal bound shot was deflected past.
Celtic were struggling to cope with the pace and power of Hemmings and on 65 minutes he broke down the left and his ball into the box was met by Dylan McGeough and was deflected for another corner by the legs of keeper Thomson. Rangers had plenty chances to make the game save and another came along with seven minutes remaining. The two substitues combined when Kyle McAusland's great turn on the right set him free his cut back was miss hit by Cristiano Kisuka but it almost looped over keeper Thomson who was forced to tip over.
As time was running out Celtic had a bit more possesion but failed to create any real opportunities and only a coner from the right had Gary Inglis under any pressure but the Rangers keeper punched clear and the Ibrox youngsters held out for a well deserved victory.
Rangers 2 Celtic 1
Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Andy Milne; Dylan McGeough, Gordon Dick, Rhys McCabe, Kal Naismith; Max Wright (Cristiano Kisuka 64mins), Kane Hemmings (Kyle McAusland 80 mins).
Not Used:- Blair Currie, Murray Wallace, Nicky Main, Anthony Meringhi, Robbie Crawford.
Celtic:- Robbie Thomson; Lewis Toshney, Matty Hughes, Grant Mosson (John Young 64mins), Jordan Lowdon; Callum McGregor, Stephen McDonnell, Callum Bagshaw ( Islam Feruz 64mins), Keiran Brennan; John Marsden (Laurie Donald 84mins), James Keatings.
Not Used:- Connor Fairley, Kieran McDonald, Michael Lynch.