Mackay saves the day as Wesley retain boys league title

Leinster Schoolboys Senior League final
Wesley College 0 High School 0, Wesley win shoot-out 3-1

Wesley College retained the Leinster Schoolboys Senior League final as they produced an excellent shoot-out, winning out 3-1 on a beautiful spring day played out in an exciting atmosphere at St Columba’s.

It was A cagey affair during the opening exchanges with mistakes by both teams. Two early penalty corners for High School were blocked swiftly first by Euan Mackay in the Wesley goal and the second was run down by Fionn Marriott.

Wesley won a short corner on the counter attack which started deep within their own half. Ben O’Grady’s drag flick was safely parried away. Wesley sat deep for most of the half and absorbed pressure as the Rathgar side won a number of corners which were kept at bay, notably when Scott Ruttle deflected a Harry Lynch drag over the bar.

The second half started with an elevated tempo as both teams sat deep and looked to spring counters from the halfway line. Josh Greaney led a number of Wesley charges at one end while a sharp chance fell to Calum Adair with his deflection hitting the side-netting for the Rathgar outfit.

The game slowed down and chances became hard to come by as time wore on Again, High school had more corners blocked by Fionn Marriott and Max Gallagher.

Extra time saw Wesley have two counter attacks with both Tom Power and Ben Adams unlucky to put their backhand chances over the bar. High school ended the second half of extra time with a corner which was again cleared by Euan Mackay, paving the way for a shoot-out.

And the goalkeeper produced a series of immaculate saves in the deciding series, denying Ali Empey and Harry Lynch – twice following a retake – in the opening two rounds.

Ben O’Grady slipped home the first for Wesley in round one while Adam Galbraith audaciously soloed the ball hurling style to flip over the High School but only onto the bar. He has the presence of mind to chase the rebound and wallop into the backboard.

Evan Jennings got one back for High School to keep them in it but Josh Greaney stepped up to put away for 3-1. Once again, Mackay saved the fourth High School effort, sparking big celebrations for the Ballinteer boys.

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