Limerick Secondary School Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh reached the All-Ireland U-17 soccer final following yesterday’s penalty shoot-out success over St. Clare’s of Leitrim at the Athlone Town Stadium in Lissywoolen.
An 3-3 draw precluded the 4-1 penalty shoot-out victory in an exciting tie where both sides had many chances to win it in normal time.
Gaelcholaiste fell 2-0 behind in a dominant first half for St. Clare’s. Goalkeeper Colm McElwain was very busy and the Limerick outfit had a big deficit to make up in the second half.
Goals from Dara Hough and Scott McEvoy brought the game to extra-time where Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh’s character was once again tested when they fell 3-2 behind with just minutes left.
Another dramatic equaliser arrived in the form of Gary O’Donoghue and the goalscorer ensured that his side made it to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out when he was in the right place to clear off his own goal-line in the last minute.
Aaron Hough, Eoghan Burke, Callum Prendergast and Scott McEvoy converted the Limerick school’s penalties and a save from Colm McElwain as well as another missed penalty resulted in a historic victory for the school.
They will now compete in the U-17 All Ireland Schools Final on the 4th of March. It has been a superb year for this group of players who delivered the school’s first major trophy in it’s short history when defeating Crosshaven in the Munster Schools Final last week