St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny pictured before Wedneseday's final
St. Eunan’s College suffered the heartbreak of losing on penalty kicks in Wednesday’s Bank of Ireland Schools Junior Cup final in Dublin.
St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny . . . 0
St. Francis College, Rochestown . . . 0
(AET, St. Francis win 4-2 on penalties)
Despite both sides having some excellent chances, there were no goals in normal time or during extra-time.
Then at the end of a pulsating contest at Whitehall, the Cork team won on penalty kicks with their goalkeeper Allan Kelleher the hero with one vital penalty save while a second St. Eunan's penalty hit a post. The keeper then stepped up to score the winning spot-kick.
It was a hugely disappointing end to the final for St. Eunan’s College who can be so proud of their efforts having played their part in a great day’s action.
The Cork school had lifted the senior All-Ireland trophy at the same venue last week, and their U-17 side started well in this latest decider.
Rory Doyle went close early on but his free-kick was saved by Eoin O’Boyle in the St. Eunan’s goal.
The Letterkenny side were without their injured captain Michael Gallagher and in his absence, the captain’s armband was worn by Conor O’Donnell. They soon settled into their game, and on 19 minutes, they struck the woodwork when Darragh Ellison’s shot from long distance rattled the post.
Ten minutes later and it was the Cork side’s turn to strike the woodwork when from another Doyle free-kick, Conor Russell’s effort came back off the crossbar.
As the pressure continued, Josh Honohan headed to the net only to be flagged offside while Nathan O’Connell’s goalbound effort was deflected wide.
It was stalemate at half-time but St. Francis went close again shortly after the restart when Evan Donlon shot over.
St. Eunan’s almost grabbed the lead on the hour when Conor O’Donnell did well down the left and his cross found Brendan Barr. His effort looked destined for the net but Colin O’Mahony got back to clear off the line.
Ten minutes from time, O’Boyle was called into action again, this time saving brilliantly from St. Francis substitute, Shane Downey.
And right at the finish, Ryan O’Donnell almost won it for St. Eunan’s but he was just wide with a diving header.
In the end, it took penalties to decide this contest and it was the Cork side who prevailed.
St. Eunan’s College: Eoin O’Boyle, Dylan O’Brien, Paul Bradley, Shane O’Donnell, Daragh Ellison, Connor O’Reilly, Conor O’Donnell, Mark McDaid, James Carolan, Ryan O’Donnell, Brendan Barr, Charlie White.
Subs: Eoghan Jordan, Clinton Ilepuju, Anthony Gallagher, Jonathan Coady, Darren Ferry.
St. Francis, Rochestown: A. Kelliher, G. O’Mahony, C. O’Mahony, J. Honohan, C. Russell, N. O’Connell, R. Doyle, J. Kabia, R. Slevin, E. Donlon.. Sub: S. Downey.