Dunfermline High spot on to win SSFA Shield
DUNFERMLINE High won a nerve-shredding penalty shootout to record a famous SSFA Shield final victory against St Peter the Apostle.
Following 80 pulsating but goalless minutes of end-to-end action, Scott Hynd's winning penalty at Tynecastle Stadium gave the West Fife youngsters the shield.
Dunfermline's route to the final had been far from comfortable, winning all but two of their ties by a solitary goal, as they took care of Kirkcaldy, St Columba's, Buckhaven, Holy Rood, St Ninian's and Dalkeith high schools.
Both sets of supporters were noisy, with the Dunfermline contingent particularly vocal as they tried to roar their team onto victory.
Dunfermline's first chance came when Euan Aitken left his marker for dead before cutting the ball back to Scott Russell, whose low drive was well held by the keeper at his front post.
A game of head tennis inside the Saints penalty box resulted in Yousef Asam flicking the ball to Aitken, who would surely have scored had he got a touch, but he was crowded out.
The second half saw Dunfermline enjoy good possession. The combination of left winger Alistair McDonald and roaming striker Aitken made the left-hand side of the park a focal point for the Fifers.
However, neither defence could be breached and at the final whistle the match went straight to penalty kicks.
McDonald set Dunfermline on their way with a composed finish then Marcus Hall hit the West Fifers' best spot kick of the night high into the left-hand corner.
Quinn Franklin was then the hero, saving low to his right to hand Dunfermline the advantage.
Aitken scored and when Saints put their next penalty over the bar it provided Scott Hynd with the chance to win the competition with his next kick.
He showed no signs of nerves, placing the ball into the bottom right corner before wheeling away to start the celebrations.
PE teacher David Barclay said, "We were absolutely delighted. I knew we could hold our own against most teams but always worried they would come up against a team who were physically stronger than they were.
"They were taller and a bit faster and our boys had to fight, especially towards the end of the game, and I felt we deserved our victory."
The team have now qualified to represent Scotland at an international tournament in Dublin from 25th-27th May.