It took 24 penalties to decide the winners of this game played in Oriel Park and it was the Swords school that eventually progressed to the Leinster semi-final after a marathon penalty shootout.
De La Salle, who beat Colaiste Na hInse from Laytown in the North East final in their last outing, raced into an early 2-0 lead and looked comfortable but Swords came back at them and equalised deep into added time .
Dean Watters sent Anto Lines on his way in the 5th minute. Lines shrugged off the challenge of his marker and slotted home. It got even better for the Dundalk school minutes later when Shane Crosson’s accurate cross was powerfully headed home by Sheriff Ayoade. The hosts held their 2-0 advantage going into the break.
De La Salle ‘keeper Oisin Finn was the busiest player on the pitch in the second half and he produced several brilliant saves to deny the Swords strikers but the pressure finally paid off in the 70th minute when they reduced the arrears.
The Dundalk team had to dig deep to withstand the constant attacks from Swords but should have put the game beyond their opponents and were denied a penalty when the Swords centre half handled the ball but the referee didn’t see the incident.
And just when they thought the game was over, they conceded a very soft equaliser after a goalmouth scramble in the 2nd minute of added time to send the game into extra time.
Swords dominated the first half of extra time and once again Finn produced several good saves to keep his team in the game but De La Salle were very unlucky in the second period when Anton Reilly set up Michael O’Connor but his shot somehow bounced back off the bottom of the post.
All 22 players had to take a penalty and the second round of penalties started but the Swords ‘keeper produced a brilliant save to settle the outcome to send his team to the semi-final.
DE LA SALLE: Oisin Finn, Oisin Murray, Shane Crosson, Adam Shields, Daniel Rice, James Renaghan (Dean Browne), Liam Keenan, Dean Watters, Anton Reilly, Anto Lines (Michael O’Connor), Sheriff Ayoade (Danny O’Brien), Sean Murray, Brendan Shiels.