Dundalk Grammar School claimed their first ever U19 North East Leinster Schoolboys title last Wednesday when they beat O’Fiaich College in a penalty shoot out at a windswept Oriel Park.
The Grammar went into the game as underdogs having already lost to O’Fiaich in a group match 3-1 but they put in their best showing of the season to claim silverware after a thrilling game.
The final proved to be a real nailbiter as Dundalk Grammar School twice took the lead through a Ciaran O’Connor header and a powerful finish from Ross Kehoe, but to their credit O’Fiaich refused to accept defeat and twice equalised from corners including a 89th minute goal that took the final to extra time.
The loss of O’Fiaich’s skipper Ryan Duffy to a red card meant Dundalk Grammar School exerted much of the pressure during extra time but to their credit O’Fiaich’s defence stood firm meaning the lottery of a penalty shootout.
Dundalk Grammar scored their first penalty and did not miss any others, Gavin Douglas was the hero of the shootout as the Dundalk Grammar keeper saved two O’Fiaich penalties.
This meant a the Division Two title at this age category was Dundalk Grammar’s first ever. This team had also previously won the same Division Two titles at U14 and U16 level so huge credit must be paid to them for completing a hat-trick of titles for the school.
DUNDALK GRAMMAR SCHOOL U19: Gavin Douglas, Ross Murphy, Karl Faulkner, Cillian Kirk, Kevin Gallagher, Sean O’Connor, Ciaran O’Connor, Gavin McClelland, David McMahon (Daniel Bannon 55), Josh Arrowsmith, Ross Kehoe. Unused subs: Emmett Kirk, Konrad Lange. Managers: Dave Symmons, Alan Browne.