Apr 8 2009 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
ST ANDREW’S High and St Ambrose High will contest the Schools Cup Final for the second successive year.
The Coatbridge teams booked their place at New Broomfield after emerging victorious from their semi-final ties last Thursday night.
Reigning champions St Andrew’s secured their spot with a late 2-1 win over St Margaret’s High of Airdrie.
And a 3-1 penalty shoot-out success over Airdrie Academy was enough to earn St Ambrose High a chance of revenge against their neighbours on Friday, April 24.
Over 200 people turned out at Craigneuk parks in Airdrie to watch the semi-finals in glorious sunshine.
And it took St Andrew’s just eight minutes to open the scoring in their last-four tussle after Jonathan Murtagh’s cross-cum-shot floated over the keeper and into the net.
In the 32nd minute, the Coatbridge side could have made it 2-0, but Andrew McAllister headed a corner over the bar.
The second half was only three minutes old when Mark McLernon drove into the box and rattled a shot off the woodwork.
St Margaret’s didn’t have a lot of possession but were a threat in the final third of the pitch, and grabbed an equaliser in the 47th minute.
Kieran Black was the Airdrie outfit’s hero after he nodded home a free-kick at the back post.
It was a goal that set up a thrilling finale and McLernon was cursing his luck in the 52nd minute after another great run resulted in a shot that again hit the bar.
But the cup holders weren’t to be denied and with two minutes left, McAllister latched onto a long ball forward and clipped home the winner.
In the other clash, Dale Dickson hammered St Ambrose into a sixth minute lead against Airdrie Academy - but it was the latter who produced the evening’s magic moment.
They had told the referee they were planning a ‘Wayne Rooney-style’ corner with a player rolling the ball into play, but pretending to be leaving the set-piece for someone else. And in the 11th minute the idea worked a treat as Mark Dunlop collected the ball, darted past a defender and then lashed a shot into the net.
But St Ambrose had the last laugh as they scored three of their four penalties to seal a spot-kick victory and a crack at St Andrew’s in the final.