Ballyclare High’s dream of winning the Northern Ireland Schools’ Cup Under-18 final for only the second in their history came to an end in a heartbreaking penalty shootout.
Wednesday’s Inspiresport Youth showpiece match against Grosvenor was decided on spot-kicks after both sides failed to find the net in regulation or extra-time. Ballyclare’s talented team, coached by Tom Stewart and Paul Young, lost by the narrowest of margins, going down 5-4 to the Belfast boys in sudden death.
The High School were denied three times from the spot, while Grosvenor had two saved by Ballyclare stopper Ben McAuley. Michael Kerr, Scott Gault, Royce Balmer, Calum Irwin all converted from 12 yards. Gerard Dargan, Daniel Dargan and Jamie McWilliams saw their efforts saved.
Grosvenor had rattled the post in the first half, while McAuley produced a fine second-half stop to keep his side in the match.
Ballyclare High tweeted: “The boys were outstanding. They can be exceptionally proud of themselves and how well they represented the school.”