Whitty has last laugh in shoot-out

DE LA SALLE goalkeeper Sean Whitty was the shoot-out hero in Arklow yesterday as he saved a sudden death spot-kick before scoring one of his own to secure his school a place in the FAI’s Tony O’Neill Senior Cup final on March 22.

The Waterford school were twice forced to come from behind against an inspired 10-man St Benildus, with Conor Coad, the grand-nephew of former Shamrock Rovers legend Paddy Coad, twice scoring to drag the Waterford side level.

Despite losing Karl McGrath on five minutes to a red card for a professional foul, St Benildus showed immense courage and managed to take the initiative, going ahead through a Conor Buter long-range shot three minutes before half-time.

Concerted second-half pressure from De La Salle eventually yielded an equaliser on 70 minutes, when the impressive Coad latched on to a Chris Kervick cross to beat Keith Finn with a sweet volley.

However, St Benildus regained the lead two minutes into extra-time when Paul Connolly kept his cool to find the net from 20 yards, only for Coad to grab his second three minutes after the turnaround following a neat cut-back by Kevin Flynn.

The gripping penalty shoot-out went all the way to sudden death and, after Whitty had saved David Byrne’s attempt, he stepped up to drill home the decisive kick.

ST BENILDUS COLLEGE: Keith Finn; Michael Rogers, Stephen McAuliffe, Tadgh Healy, Karl McGrath, Ben Meegan, Alex Oates, Conor Buter, Paul Connolly, Daniel Byrne, Paul Mannion.

Subs: Conor Day, Brian Reilly, Ceelan Simon, David Byrne, Mark Brennan.

DE LA SALLE, WATERFORD: Sean Whitty; Mark McManus, Gavin O’Donevan, Adam Potter, Patrick Fitzgerald, Conor Whittle, Colm Morris, Adam Galibert, Chris Kervick, Kevin Flynn, Conor Coad.

Subs: Adam Deegan, David O’Leary, Eoin Kindlon, Conor Kirby, Luke Brown.

Referee: Lee Bevans (Wicklow).

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox