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St Peter the Apostle clinch U18 SSFA Shield in seven-goal thriller

St Mungo's High School 3

Gallagher 39, Mceachron 63, Kennedy 64

St Peter the Apostle 4

Mcquillan 10, 70, 73, Boyce 79

St Peter the Apostle High School scored a last-minute winner to break St Mungo’s High School hearts in the U18 Scottish Schools’ Football Association Shield Final at Ochilview on Tuesday night.

The earlier rain cleared up just in time to produce perfect conditions for the highly-anticipated final at Stenhousemuir, in a thrilling encounter which ended 4-3 to St Peter the Apostle.

It was, however, St Mungo’s who started brightest, with early pressure forcing a corner, although the resulting delivery was well dealt with by Bethany Kerr in the St Peter goal.

Both number 9’s - Rosie Mcquillan for St Peter and Chelsea Mceachron for St Mungo’s – showed their ability early on with fantastic quick feet, and it was Mcquillan who found Niamh Gallacher, whose well struck shot was the first of the game.

St Mungo’s soon replied with their first attempt on goal on the five-minute mark, with Megan Gallagher creating space to fire at Kerr, who parried well as Emma Kennedy’s follow-up shot went close.

The deadlock was broken on the ten minute mark when a stray ball fell at the feet of Mcquillan, who beat the offside trap and opened up her body at the edge of the area, before releasing a left-footed strike that sailed over Rose Ferguson and into the back of the net; 1-0 St Peter the Apostle.

Brave defending from St Peter centre back Nicole Cameron kept the lead intact as St Mungo’s searched for an equaliser, yet it was the side in front who came close to a second as Yasmin Boyce lined up a 30-yard free-kick.

Ferguson would not be beaten this time however as she tipped the thunderous strike onto the crossbar, before pouncing on the stray ball to keep her side in the game.

Cameron was once again on hand to stop a flowing St Mungo’s counter attack headed by Mceachron, and the centre back then turned provider for Mcquillan, but the forward’s hopeful cross from the left was dealt confidently by Kerr.

The game was levelled on the brink of half-time as Orla King whipped in a dangerous ball from deep in her own half, with the stray ball bouncing awkwardly and hitting a St Peter hand on the way through, and so the referee had no option but to award a penalty.

Megan Gallagher stepped up confidently and dispatched the consequent penalty into the top corner, with Kerr helpless in the St Peter goal; 1-1. 

As the rain started to drizzle as the second half began, it was once again St Mungo’s who started off on the front foot, with Gallagher demonstrating fantastic footwork to find King, whose cross-come-shot trickled wide.

Yet it was St Peter who came closest to providing the first goal of the second half as Cameron’s exquisite long-range free-kick somehow found its way to an awaiting Megan Toye, yet the off-balance attacker couldn’t steer her shot on target as it looped agonisingly over the crossbar.

Both sides came close as they searched for the next goal, but the first clear-cut chance of the half fell to Gallagher, who skipped past player after player and into the box with dazzling feet, but yet again a resolute Kerr came to the rescue as she parried the powerful shot and managed gathered the subsequent corner.

Just as though it would seem there would be no breakthrough, Gallagher’s floated delivery met Mceachron, whose clever header sailed past Kerr and into the back of the net to put St Mungo’s 2-1 up.

Seconds later and St Mungo’s managed to make it 3-1 as St Peter heads went down. Kennedy’s brilliant turn created space to release a quick-fire left-footed shot into the far corner of the net, with both fans and team-mates bursting in delight as they had surely killed the game off with just 15 minutes remaining.

Cameron – now in midfield after a switch - displayed further bravery to prevent another St Mungo’s goal, and her efforts were rewarded as she found Mcquillan on the shoulder, who showed fantastic pace and strength, before providing a composed left-footed finish to score her second of the game and keep her side in with a chance; 3-2.

Moments later and Cameron once again turned provider as she launched a searching ball up field, which somehow found the feet of Mcquillan in the opposition box.

The forward held off countless tackles, before composing herself and making no mistake to clip the ball into the bottom corner. The incredible comeback had been sealed with just seven minutes to go, with Mcquillan grabbing a sensational all left-footed hat-trick.

With their tales up, St Peter the Apostle were now looking for the all-important winner in the hope of avoiding the lottery of the dreaded penalty shoot-out, knowing that one more effort on goal was all they needed. With just one minute remaining, Boyce fired in a dangerous cross from the left side, which seemingly evaded all of the bodies in the box and somehow crept into the top corner; 4-3 St Peter the Apostle.

The referee blew his whistle just moments later as the incredible comeback was complete, sending St Peter players, staff and fans into delirium, with St Mungo’s left stunned and dejected on the receiving end of this seven-goal thriller.  


St Mungo's High School
St Peter the Apostle
1. Rose Ferguson
2. Emma Kennedy
3. Anna Georgina Steele
4. Katia McKenna
5. Keavy Gallagher
6. Morgan Kirk
7. Niamh Rachel Scott
8. Morgan Lister
9. Chelsea Mceachron
10. Megan Gallagher
11. Nicole Loney
13. Orla King
14. Hannah Kyle
15. Abby Jess Meikle
1. Bethany Kerr
2. Francesca Devine
3. Aimee Matchett
4. Nicole Cameron
5. Danielle Gallagher
6. Maela Faleu
7. Muirrin Slaven
8. Niamh Gallacher
9. Rosie Mcquillan
10. Yasmin Boyce
11. Megan Toye
12. Sophie Harkins
16. Shannon Loyd
17. Niamh Slavin
Star Player
St Mungo's High School
St Peter the Apostle
Chelsea Mceachron was the stand-out performer for St Mungo’s, demonstrating fantastic skill and drive all over the field, while also getting on the scoresheet with a fine header. Megan Gallagher was also impressive in this fantastic contest, with excellent footwork and ability to glide across the pitch, covering almost every blade of grass in the process.
Hat-trick hero Rosie Mcquillan was hugely impressive all across the frontline for the victorious St Peter the Apostle, while Nicole Cameron was also vital in the win, with significant contributions at both ends of the field. Mcquillan provided the all-important goals, conveying composure and pace when required, while Cameron showed great strength and skill to help grind out this phenomenal victory.
Magic Moment
St Mungo's High School
St Peter the Apostle
Emma Kennedy's quickfire left-footed strike was slammed home, leaving the goalkeeper no chance and also giving her side a supposedly comfortable two-goal cushion.
With essentially the last kick of the game, Yasmin Boyce curled in a dangerous free-kick which somehow found the back of the net, completing a sensational and unthinkable comeback for the joyous St Peter side.

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