Chris Geddes scored four and Paul Sludden the other as Stirling University claimed the inaugural Scottish Sun Lowland League Cup.

Stirling found themselves ahead less than five minutes into the match as striker Sludden’s through ball found attacking partner Geddes who calmly slotted the ball past the Preston Athletic goalkeeper John Gilbertson.

The students continued to dictate play, finding opportunities through Sludden and Khan Williams-Mitchell, though both saw their shots skirt wide.

On 24 minutes, first year student Tomos Jones combined with Geddes who rounded the goalkeeper for his second of the afternoon.

Stirling were much the stronger side for the remainder of the first half. Midfielder Creag Robertson looked formidable going forward, while defender Chris McKee joined the attacks as often as possible. With the main danger for the students being two meagre corners, it was safe to say Preston would have to search hard for a way back into the match.

Stirling ended the first half strongly after defender Jack Sutherland’s header almost found the back of the net. At half-time, Head Coach Eddie May brought on George Leigh for Williams-Mitchell, who had picked up a knock in the first half.

Just minutes after the re-start, Sludden put his side even further in front. After linking up again with team-mate Geddes, the in-form striker finished well, taking the students one step closer to the coveted cup.

Preston searched for a way back, but were met with the impressive defensive pairing of captain Jack Nixon and Ben Cuff.

Stirling virtually had their hands on the trophy a few minutes later. Countering a Preston attack, Jones won the ball in the midfield and played a defence-splitting pass which the ever alert Geddes cheekily chipped over the keeper to complete his hat-trick.

Hungry for more, Geddes soon made it five for Stirling. After Sludden drove down the left, the striker demonstrated the meaning of being unselfish, squaring for Geddes to tap in his 25th goal in all Lowland League competitions.

Despite the game being done and dusted, Preston didn’t let up and were rewarded for their determination with two consolation goals, the first from a curving shot which flew past the outstretched Stirling keeper Ryan Marshall and the second from the penalty spot, Marshall saving the first attempt but beaten by the follow-up.

May introduced Blair McWhirter and Jason Atkins to further secure the defence and ensure Stirling would lift the cup in style.

The final whistle marked the fourth prize for the students this season, added to the Scottish and British Universities leagues and the British Universities Cup.

Stirling will look to keep their successful run going this Wednesday (30 April), as they take on Edinburgh City at Forthbank in the Lowland League, kick-off 7.45pm.

Stirling University: Marshall, Nixon, Sutherland, Cuff, Faulds (Atkins), Williams-Mitchell (Leigh), Sludden, Jones (McWhirter), Geddes, McKee, Robertson. Unused Subs: Hughes, Sheridan, Donaghue-Kelly.