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Penicuik make history as Notre Dame are beaten to Scottish Shield

Notre Dame HS 1

R. Cannon 25

Penicuik HS 1

Viola 32
  • Notre Dame HS 1-1 Penicuik HS (Penicuik win 4-3 on penalties)
  • Monday, 27 April 2015
  • Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
  • Under 18´s
  • SSFA Shield - Final

Gillen Reid | YFS West Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Penicuik High School emerged winners on a bitterly cold evening in Airdrieonians’ Excelsior Stadium. A tense Scottish Shield final went right down to the wire, but the Midlothian school held their nerve from the spot to make history.
Penicuik's journey started with convincing local wins against Trinity and Holy Rood. They then knocked out last season's winners St Ambrose away from home - at that point it was clear that the team meant business in this competition. It didn't get any easier, with a home tie in snowy conditions against a St Margaret's side that had reached the final of last year's U16 shield. Despite going behind, Penicuik roared back to a 5-3 win. Quarter final victory over Fife champions Woodmill was followed up by a stunning semi final victory over a Strathaven side that had previously swept aside Penicuik's own league champions, Newbattle. 
Notre Dame were convincing winners over Castlemilk in the first round, before passing a stern second test in the form of Bearsden Academy. A narrow victory over Lenzie Academy then sent them on a lengthy trip to Lochgilphead, which saw them claim another win against strong opposition. Beath HS and Greenfaulds were next to fall to the Greenock school, before a thrilling 4-3 victory over Paisley Grammar secured their cup final place.
The 7pm kick off provided an action packed match. Competitors Notre Dame started the match with a 3-5-2 shape, Penicuik taking on the flexible 4-3-3 option.
The match began at a furious pace, each team offering meaty challenges to set the bar. It was the white and blue of Penicuik that pressed first. A looping free kick from close to the half way line was met by Stephen Scott inside the box who headed it home, only for it to be chalked off for offside with just a few minutes on the clock
The 200 strong attendance were in full voice on a miserable evening, suffering at least 3 seasons of weather. Their enthusiasm was rewarded with an end to end match.
Twins Kyle and Stephen Scott, who combined well throughout the match, played down the Penicuik left flank - where the Lothian side found most success. Stephen cutting inside from the left and right footing it, only for it to go slightly wide of Cleary’s goal.
Chances were aplenty at this point. Kyle Scott having three bites of the cherry for Penicuik in quick succession only to be denied by Cleary; Ryan Cannon and Jamie McKay finding good shooting positions for Notre Dame, but unable to find a way past Gibb. 
Dame were making headway after spending the opening stages on the back foot. Kwame Antoine ventured down the left hand side, the effort petering out. Dame set up as a counter attacking team and did just that on the 14th minutes. Racing down the inside right channel through Mckay, who crossed low and hard for number 9 Cannon to fire a shot beyond the reach of a stretching Byron Gibb to make it 1-0.  
After going 1-0 up Dame burst into life. Inspired by the goal players were provided with the confidence to have a go from distance. Ben Eardley tried just that on the 20th minute mark, only for it to go a few inches above the crossbar.
The crowd cranked up the volume to show their appreciation for the football on offer. Half an hour in and the Inverclyde school were looking to increase their lead, Corey Hughes found McKay, who attempted a first time volley but it was no threat to the Penicuik goal.
Penicuik felt hard done by after numerous offsides and two further goals disallowed. They went on the offensive once again and the pressure was equalled by the stubborn defensive treble until the 38th minute. Stephen Scott’s shot was spilled, brother Kyle’s follow up ensured Notre Dame couldn’t clear their lines and Joe Viola slammed the ball home. The Penicuik support went wild. 
A determined Dame countered once more, winning a free kick close to the edge of the opposition’s box. The ball was lofted into a cluster of players, Cannon heading just over the bar on the closing stages of the first half.
  • Half Time:
  • Notre Dame HS
  • 1-1
  • Penicuik HS
As the game closed for half time the heavens opened, and during the restart each team began with a fresh impetus, looking to regain the lead through skilled and quick game play. As a result the game became more stretched, serving up some thrilling end to end stuff throughout the second half. Each team were pushing for a second goal to potentially secure some silverware.
Joe Viola was next up to have a go, shooting a powerful right foot which Cleary parried, only to land at the feet of Stephen Scott - who could only manage the side netting. 
As the thunderstorm worsened the effects of all the hard work on display started to show, with one of the Dame players having to leave the field and be replaced as a result of what looked like excruciating cramp.
Kyle Scott struck the crossbar for Penicuik and McKay managed the same feat for Notre Dame. You began to get the feeling that regulation time wouldn’t separate these two sides.
As the evening came to a close the score remained even, so it was a penalty shootout that would decide who would go home with the Scottish Shield.
  • Full Time:
  • Notre Dame HS
  • 1-1
  • Penicuik HS
Neither side made any mistake with their first two penalties. Chris Cannon and McKay for Notre Dame and Cameron Sclater and Viola levelling for Penicuik. Gibb then pulled off a superb save to give Penicuik the advantage, which was consolidated by Stephen Scott scoring. Daniel Orr put Dame back on level terms and Cleary took his turn to perform heroics and send the game to sudden death. Gibb saved again and gave Mark Cotter the chance to win the tie. The Penicuik number 16 made no mistake, showing admirable composure to find the back of the net.

The crowd burst onto the pitch to celebrate, as Penicuik High School became the first ever Midlothian team to win the prestigious Scottish Schools FA Shield.

Final Result: Notre Dame HS 1-1 Penicuik HS (Penicuik win 4-3 on penalties)


Notre Dame HS
Penicuik HS
1. Adam Cleary
2. Gregor Black
3. Christopher Cannon
4. Ben Eardley
5. Daniel Orr
6. Corey Hughes
7. Taylor Lindsay
8. Kwame Antoine
9. Ryan Cannon
10. Jamie McKay
11. Luke McCowan
12. Mark McLachlan
13. Lee Flynn
14. Steven Keyes
15. Lewis Graham
16. Jay Devlin
17. Ryan McGeehan
18. Jack Campbell
1. Byron Gibb
2. Cameron Sclater
3. Callum MacKenzie
4. Billy Smith
5. Cameron McEwan
6. Michael Costello
7. Lawrence Naismith
8. Ryan Scott
9. Stephen Scott
10. Kyle Scott
11. Robbie Humphrey
12. Joe Viola
14. Aaron Hodge
15. Callum Whitlie
16. Mark Cotter
Star Player
Notre Dame HS
Penicuik HS
Stephen Scott gave the Notre Dame defence a hard time from the first whistle to the last. He edges the award ahead of many of his team mates.
Kwame Antoine. The towering central midfielder was a protective and calming influence for the Greenock side, breaking up play and regaining possession for the rest of his team.
Magic Moment
Notre Dame HS
Penicuik HS
Ryan Cannon's goal set Notre Dame on their way. Well taken finish on the big stage.
It has to be Mark Cotter's winning penalty. Magic moments don't get any better than that.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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