Falkirk GHG lift a plate weighed down by Granite! - AD-HOCKSPORTS

Falkirk score their winning running penalty and lift the Scottish Plate.

Falkirk GHG lift a plate weighed down by Granite!

This Scottish Plate Final would have been done, dusted and finely polished by Granite City Wanderers by half-time, if it hadn't been for some great defending by the Falkirk defence and an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Jamie Ballentine.

That first half was dominated by the men from Aberdeen, with wave after wave of high pressure attacking hockey that was stopped - just and no more - by a hard working, extremely hard worked, diligent Falkirk back line, that exuded an indestructible quality that took a battering from minute one.

But, despite it all, they hung on until half-time.  But, how long could it all last?  Well, it only lasted 5 minutes into the second half, with the Granite City men flying home a drag-flick from Steven Beattie.  However, this seemed to spur the men from Falkirk on as they stepped up their forward running possession, taking far more control of the game.

It had been a great game from the start, albeit one way traffic in the first half, but now Falkirk were on the up, desperate to get that all-important equaliser.  And it came, in the 53rd minute, thanks to a Stuart Ramsay goal.  That seemed to drive Wanderers even harder, and sure enough, they went back into the lead with a Meldrum MacKenzie goal on 58 minutes.  Falkirk, who had done so well to stay in the game in the first half, were hitting Granite City with counter attacks at every opportunity in this second half - and they equalised again with 6 minutes left on the clock from a penalty corner set-piece - scorer, David Norris.

Overall it had been a great comeback from a Falkirk side, who in the first half, could barely get out of their own half.  But, their prolific defending and goalkeeping had ultimately kept them in it and vaulted them onwards with two goals, to keep them in it.

If there was any luck at all for Falkirk, lurking under the weight of what had been a strong Granite offensive, it came in the running penalty shootout where they scored three whilst watching the Granite men failing to convert any at all.

A great final with both teams giving it everything under varying circumstances.

FINAL SCORE:  Falkirk GHG 5  Granite City Wanderers 2

Andy Lovat 10:15hrs - 03/04/2016

Match entertainment rating  ★★★★☆

Team performances rated:

Falkirk GHG ★★★★☆

Granite City Wanderers ★★★★☆

MOM:  Jamie Ballentine (Falkirk) ★★★★★

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