FOYLE CUP FINALS: Hearts clinch U16 Final Cup after shootout drama
Hearts 0, Donegal Schoolboys 0 (Hearts win 4-2 on pens)
HEARTS clinched the Foyle Cup under-16 title after a dramatic penalty shootout victory against Donegal Schoolboys at Brandywell.
The Scottish Premier League outfit’s Academy side were dominant for much of the game but Mark McFadden struck the post in the second half for Donegal during an encouraging second period.
Hearts were in control of the match from early on and almost took the lead after eight minutes when Cameron O’Donnell crossed into Jack Gillan whose header was saved magnificently by Eoghan Jordan.
Dangerman, Harry Cochrane found space to run at the Donegal defence and his strike was saved well by once again by Jordan.
The Scottish side were piling on the pressure and Donegal needed some last ditch defending to thwart the wave of Hearts’ attacks.
O’Donnell found Cochrane on the edge of the Donegal area on 25 minutes and he attempted to curl into the far corner but his attempt went narrowly wide.
For all of Hearts’ dominance in the first half, it was Donegal Schoolboys’ Paul Bradley who came closest immediately after the restart when he drilled his shot across goal and narrowly wide.
And on 35 minutes Mark McFadden rattled the Hearts’ post with a terrific right footed strike as the tables began to turn in favour of the Donegal boys.
The lively Cochrane came close with a dipping free-kick with five minutes to go but it nestled on the roof of the Donegal net but the game was to be decided by penalties.
And Donegal missed two of their opening three spotkicks to hand Hearts the advantage and the Scots went on to see out the shootout 4-2 in the end with Jay Casserly proving the hero, saving twice from the Donegal boys.
Hearts - Jay Casserly; Jamie McFaulds, Cameron O’Donnell, Christopher Hamilton, David Wilson, Jack Gillan, Anthony MacDonald, Dean Ritchie, Declan McDonald, Harry Cochrane, Leeroy Makovora; Jay Sandison, Harry Stone, Connor Smith, Michael Mbewe, Josh Grigor, Cameron Logan, Jack Temple.
Donegal - Eoghan Jordan; Jamie Lee Blaney, Calum Boyle, Danny McGlynn, Eithan Harkin; Anthony Gallagher, Paul Bradly, Conor McHugh, Anthony Grant, Edward O’Rielly, Mickey Sweeney; Ryan Toye, Mark McFadden, Mark McDaid, Aaron McCafferty, Ryan Carr, Conor McKinney, Michael Cutliff.