May 11 2011 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
SCHOOLS' CUP FINAL:
CALDERVALE HIGH 3
ST AMBROSE HIGH 2
CALDERVALE High School staged a dramatic comeback to win the United Schools’ Cup.
The Airdrieonians overturned a 2-0 deficit in the second half to lift the trophy at New Broomfield on Friday night.
Goals from Conor Shields and Chris Kelly had put St Ambrose High in control at the break.
But Cameron Dalziel, Jack Coia and Steven Smith struck three times in eight minutes as they stormed to victory in front of a brilliant crowd of around 350 fans.
Caldervale’s players were joyous when referee Gerry Cameron blew the full-time whistle with the St Ambrose kids slumping to the turf in dejection.
Both teams were desperate to claim the silverware.
And Caldervale should have opened the scoring after just three minutes.
Striker Ross McKinstry latched onto a long ball and was clean through on goal but keeper Callum O’Hagan pushed his low shot wide.
Caldervale might still have been thinking what might have been when their Coatbridge opponents struck soon after to take the lead.
A great ball from Kieran Printy found Shields who made no mistake.
St Ambrose almost made it 2-0 in the 12th minute but Josh Black pulled off a super point-blank stop from Shields.
Jacqui Collins’ side were dominating with a Shields drive tipped over the bar and a Josh Kerr effort flying wide.
A Ryan McManus shot was cleared off the line by Black in the 32nd minute but St Ambrose weren’t to be denied a second goal.
Defensive mistakes allowed Kelly to pounce and he curled a wonderful shot into the top corner of the net.
Caldervale had it all to do now in the second period but they pulled a goal back in the 59th minute with Dalziel showing great composure before beating O’Hagan.
And Fran Carlin’s outfit got themselves on level terms three minutes later when a Jordan McLean corner fell to Coia who turned sharply and executed a crisp finish.
It was all to play for now and Caldervale’s fans were in dreamland in the 67th minute as their team took the lead for the first time.
An aerial ball wasn’t dealt with by the St Ambrose defence and Smith controlled expertly before firing past an exposed O’Hagan to put Caldervale ahead for the first time in the match.
The Coatbridge side, however, battled on in an attempt to get back on equal terms.
And they could have forced a penalty shoot-out had a Shields shot not hit the post with Kerr’s rebound scrambled clear.
It wasn’t to be their night as Caldervale took the honours and brought the cup back to Airdrie.
Caldervale: Black; Espie, Coia, Stevenson, Dalziel, Chalmers, Gamble, Smith, McLean, McKinstry, Hone, Anderson, Rideout, Cronin, Roles.
St Ambrose High: O’Hagan; McGinn, Plant, Printy, McWilliams, Kerr, Kelly, McManus, O’Connell, Stewart, Charlton, Shields, Rochford, Grimason, Blair, Perry, Treacy.
Referee: Gerry Cameron.