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Saturday 24th May 2014 ko 14.30

Scots Junior East Region, East of Scotland Cup Quarter Final

CAMELON JUNIORS 3 (Wright 34 Allison 48 Batchelor 76)

CARNOUSTIE PANMURE 0

Att 122

Entry £5

No Programme

Aim for the Falkirk Wheel, and you’ll be at the edge of Camelon. It’s a town dominated by its larger neighbour, and the Union Canal that reaches its confluence with Forth and Clyde Canal at the wheel. The latter canal runs behind, and rather counter-intuitively, above Carmuirs Park, set at the back of an estate of social housing.

I think in a previous article I commented that if you want something to point a camera at, attend a Scottish Juniors game, and if ever a ground epitomizes that thought, its Camuirs. Whether it’s the main stand with its stanchions and weary concrete posts, or the uneven terrace steps, or even the neighbour’s home-made viewing platform, there’s something to make you stop, grin, and take a picture.

As ever though, its the people who make a ground, and I loved the people here. There was the grumpy steward, who didn’t like the fact that I’d been invited into the changing room block to copy out the line-ups, or the fan swigging from that staple of the game, a bottle of Buckfast. The colours of the personalities were as vivid as the physical fabric of the place. Even that last bastion of the mutton trade, the scotch pie, was delicious.

Both sides play in the top division in the East Region, the Superleague, and in the Camelon ranks the links with nearby Senior Club East Stirlingshire are clear. Goalkeeper Richie Barnfield will play for The Shire next season, having appeared for the likes of Weymouth and Queen of the South. Having moved the other way were Colin Allison, Derek Ure, and Gary Kelly, Ure having the dubious distinction of appearing at the Shire game I attended, report here.

What the game didn’t seem to do is attract a large turnout, perhaps there was a metaphorical hangover from the Scottish Junior Cup where the Camelon had lost 3-2 at home to Glenafton Athletic in the semi-final. Still, the two teams put on an entertaining game, with the Mariners having just that bit too much for the visitors, particularly in front of goal. All too soon it was over, the steward tutted over a couple of tea cups that hadn’t quite found their way to the bin, I grinned which probably made things worse, and trudged back to the car, sucking in the atmosphere as I went.