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Cathkin take Senior Shield with penalty shootout win over St Ninian's Giffnock

St Ninian's Giffnock HS 0

Cathkin HS 0

  • Cathkin win 4-2 on penalties

Cathkin overcame St Ninian's Giffnock on penalties in the final of the Scottish Schools Senior Shield at Hampden Park on Friday night, after a ferocious battle that ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.

Both sides came into the contest on the back of 3-0 victories each in their respective semi-finals, however they couldn't find a way past each other in a battling display from both side's defences.

Martin Cassells and Iain Last came closest for St Ninian's and Cathkin respectively, but in truth it was a victory for both defences in what was a nerve-shredding contest between the pair.

The game started at the pace it would generally stay at - scrappy and full-throttle. Paul Smith typified St Ninian's aggression in the midfield with some hearty challenges and determination early on, and that's a theme that would stay with both sides when battling for the ball.

Neither side took control of proceedings, but there was always hearts in the mouth for Cathin when Paul Kennedy picked the ball up in the number 10 position. The creative midfielder set up his side on several occasions, but some unfortunate finishing and sterling goalkeeping from Robbie Hemfrey kept Cathkin level.

The first real chance of the game came from Cassells. A lovely move down the left saw St Ninian's have a three-on-two counter, but when the ball fell to Cassells he fired low and hard at the grateful Hemfrey, who got down well to smother.

Up the other end, Last was causing some real problems. His physical style and hold-up play was allowing the odd spur from Cathkin, and he created a lovely opening for himself down the right that forced Matthew Boyle into a smart stop.

Picking up the ball down the right, Last took on one of the St Ninian's defenders. After darting past him, it opened up an angle for a left-footed effort that he fired at Boyle. The goalkeeper was ready, however, and palmed the ball away confidently.

Moments later, Callum Miller blazed an audacious volley over the bar as Last used his power to win another corner for Cathkin.

The Cambuslang-based high school were looking the better side heading into half-time, but Kennedy provided them with a warning of his ability as he created space for himself 20 yards out and fired a shot straight at Hemfrey before the break.

There was a lot more control from St Ninian's in the second half, as Kennedy in particular had several promising runs at the Cathkin back-line.

After firing another low shot at Hemfrey, the number 10 made a lovely jinking run before playing a cute reverse ball into the path of Sean Higgins. The young attacker, however, fluffed his lines when it opened up for him.

It was a half that was largely being broken up due to the amount of substitutions being made. Neither side were able to take control of the game, despite the fact St Ninian's were looking the brighter side in the second half.

Boyle was forced into a good stop after some terrific work from Baillie Hunter. Cathkin's number 10 provided Reece Paterson with a golden opportunity just 10 minutes from time, but Paterson's strong effort was well blocked by the St Ninian's number one.

The big concern for both defences would've been making a big mistake in the final 10 minutes, especially considering several players from each team went down with cramp. However, credit must go to the back-lines for either side, with both coping tremendously well with the pressure in front of the passionate Hampden crowd.

There would be one golden opportunity for Ben Richford, who did well to take a chance from a corner on the half-volley. However, his effort would go harmlessly over the bar, and penalty kicks loomed after a cagey 90 minutes.

For St Ninian's - Dominic McGlaughlin and Declan Walsh scored. However, Daniel Conor and John Lynch were both denied by Hemfrey. For Cathkin - Hunter, Last, Paterson, and Kyle Miller scored. However, Richford saw his penalty crash off the cross-bar. The winning penalty fell on the shoulders of Miller. He stepped up confidently to slot the penalty beyond Boyle and win the Seniors Shield for Cathkin.

Final Result: Cathkin win 4-2 on penalties

Lineups

St Ninian's Giffnock HS
Cathkin HS
1. Mathew Boyle
2. Alex McDonald
3. Martin Cassells
4. Declan Walsh
5. Conor Gillan
6. Paul Smith
7. John Lynch
9. Daniel Conor
10. Paul Kennedy
11. Ronan Fox
12. Sean Higgins
14. Dominic McGlaughlin
15. Gianni de Marco
16. Michael Ward
17. Matthew Coyle
18. Adam Young
1. Robbie Hemfrey
2. Rhys Conner
3. David Thompson
4. Kyle Miller
5. Callum Miller
6. Cole McKinnon
7. Euan MacLeod
8. Jay Nelson
9. Iain Last
10. Baillie Hunter
11. Joshua Rankin
12. Kai Broadbent
13. Mitchell McKechnie
14. Fraser Scott
15. Reece Paterson
16. Ben Richford
Star Player
St Ninian's Giffnock HS
Cathkin HS
Paul Kennedy - By far the most influential player on the St Ninian's team. Showed great attacking prowess and dribbling ability on several occasions. Occasionally provided a good final ball, but it wasn't profited upon by his team-mates unfortunately.
Robbie Hemfrey - The Cathkin goalkeeper showed terrific ball-handling and great commanding of his box throughout a relatively quiet 90 minutes for him. He really stepped up in the shootout however, with two clever stops to effectively win the shield for Cathkin.
Magic Moment
St Ninian's Giffnock HS
Cathkin HS
A lovely passage of play down the left hand side for St Ninian's led to the first chance of the game - involving several attackers in a quick counter-attack that ended with Cassells who forced Hemfrey into a good save.
The winning penalty for Cathkin is undoubtedly the magic moment for them here. Whilst all penalties scored were of a quality nature, Miller showed terrific composure on the biggest stage to fire home with confidence and silence the vocal St Ninian's side just to the left of him. A penalty full of character and confidence.

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