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St. Margaret's secure Shield after shootout win

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St. Margaret's HS
St. Peter the Apostle 

(St Margaret's HS win 5-4 on penalties) 

U16 SSFA Shield - Final
Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie

Alan Christie

By Alan Christie
YFS Central Region Reporter
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St. Margaret’s High School lifted the Under 16’s SSFA Shield for the second time in their history after a tense and tight final was settled by a penalty shoot out, the Airdrie side eventually emerging victorious by five goals to four.  Both sides had been scoring freely in their respective runs to the final but cancelled each other out at a soaking Excelsior stadium. 

The heavy rain and saturated pitch did not detract from the cup final atmosphere building before the game.  A large and enthusiastic crowd had gathered to watch and were in good spirits in the stands.  The teams emerged, St.Peter in their traditional purple, St.Margaret’s in pink.  It was hoped that the game would prove to be as colourful a spectacle as the team strips but this proved not to be the case.   Conditions were difficult with the ball zipping around the pitch very quickly.  St Peter’s Craig Cowan broke through early on but rather than have a shot at goal he elected to pass and the move broke down.

There was an early chance for David Seagrave of St.Peter who latched onto a high ball on the left of the box before neatly lobbing the ball over the advancing Liam Tuite.  St.Margaret’s defender Liam Baillie read this brilliantly however and was able to clear off the line.  This was to prove to be one of the clearest chances of the whole game as nervousness seemed to set in.  There was no lack of effort on either side however.

The long throws of St.Peter’s Kyle Chalmers stood out as being a potentially threatening weapon but these were dealt with diligently by the St.Margaret’s defence.  This diligence was matched in the St.Peter rearguard and it was difficult to see where goals were going to come from, even at this early stage.  St.Margaret’s periodically struggled with the high ball, notably when Nathan Gallacher latched onto one to again lob the keeper but this was easily cleared. 

Cameron McClair had the first effort of note for St.Margaret’s but this was straight at Scott Wright who dealt with it comfortably.  Dylan Higgins was also becoming more involved on the right wing to give some signs of hope.  St.Peter were marginally the better side though as the half time whistle blew, allowing the players to at least temporarily escape the elements. 

Half Time: St Margaret's High School 0-0 St Peter the Apostle High School

Seagrave set the scene for a similarly scrappy second half by firing a free kick from a promising position high over the bar early in the second half.  The rain was unrelenting and a chill began to develop as the night closed in.  The crowd hoped the players would find some inspiration from playing under the floodlights and that they would make a determined push to find a goal.  Christopher Dooley did his best to do so with a great break down the right for St.Peter, showing skill and pace before firing over a great cross that was just too high for Gallacher in the middle.

Michael Crielly was performing well in the St.Margaret’s midfield, quietly effective in a deep lying role but also getting forward to fire high over the bar.  Chalmers followed this with an identical effort for St.Peter.  The best chance of the game fell to St.Margaret’s Ciaran Rielly moments later.  Hesitation in the St.Peter defence from a Higgins cross presented the opportunity but he nodded over from close range.  In a game of very few chances it looked like a penalty shoot out beckoned. 

Crielly forced a save from Wright who dived to his right to scramble a skidding ball out for a corner.  This eventually led to a free kick being crossed onto the head of Luke Tuite who nodded goalwards more in hope than expectation.  Wright had trouble holding the ball though and almost spilled it over the line.  He managed to keep it out but the rebound fell to Baillie who blazed over.  A real chance to win it right at the end but spurned.  The Shield would be settled by a penalty shoot out with no extra time.

Full Time: St. Margaret’s High School 0-0 St Peter the Apostle High School

The upcoming penalty shoot out obviously did nothing to alter the sense of nervousness around the stadium. Both teams couldn't find the net with their opening effort, then proceeded to score their next four penalties; Calum Campbell, Chalmers. Ciaran Murray & Hopkins for St. Peter, McClair, Liam Tuite, Ciaran Reilly & Luke Tuite for St. Margaret’s. 

Goalkeeper Tuite then came up with a vital save for St Margaret's, giving his side 'match point'.  Dario Robertson stepped up with the opportunity to win it for his side.  He did so confidently, sparking wild scenes including a good natured pitch invasion from the St. Margaret’s supporters.

A dramatic way for a very close game to be decided.  As is often the case in finals the two sides were very evenly matched and combined with the wet weather it made a classic unlikely.   

Both teams gave maximum effort on the night though and it was St.Margaret’s who eventually emerged with the Shield, to add to their victory in the 1994 competition.  Certainly something to savour for everybody involved.   

Final Result: St. Margaret's High School 0-0 St Peter the Apostle High School (AET, St Margaret's win 5-4 on penalties)


St. Margaret's High School St. Peter the Apostle HS
1. Liam Tuite
2. Connor Harper
3. Paul McAllister
4. Liam Baillie
5. Dario Robertson
7. Dylan Higgins
8. Daniel Johnston
9. Luke Tuite
10. Ciaran Reilly
11. Cameron McClair
14. Michael Cirelly
6. Marco Cozzari
12. Daniel Finnigan
15. Anthony Ogilvie
16. Mark Airlie
17. Connor Edwards
1. Scott Wright
2. Connor O'Donohue
3. Calum Campbell
4. Liam Deane
6. Ryan Forrester
7. Christopher Dooley
8. Craig Cowan
9. Kyle Chalmers
11. Mikey Hopkins
14. David Seagrave
17. Nathan Gallacher
5. Darrel Fleming
10. Sam Gallacher
12. Paul McKenna
15. Paul McLaughlin
16. Ciaran Murray

Michael Crielly was clever & efficient throughout in the central midfield area.  Kept the ball moving well in attempt to create something and also had couple of efforts at goal which were rare in the game.

Nathan Gallacher was a threat throughout the game, working tirelessly for his side.  Unlucky not to score what would likely have proved to be the winning goal.

St.Margaret’s Secure Shield after shoot out victory

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 22:49
Alan Christie

Alan Christie | YFS Central Region Journalist
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