Belfast Telegraph

In pictures: Inspired Slane leads St Malachy's to NI Schools' Cup success after extra-time win

St Malachy's celebrate winning the Danske Bank NI Schools' Cup at Seaview
St Malachy's celebrate winning the Danske Bank NI Schools' Cup at Seaview
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys celebrate after winning the cup Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys captain Patrick Burns collects the cup from Aishling Press from Danske Bank Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys captain Patrick Burns collects the cup from Aishling Press from Danske Bank Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys paul Scullion gets his man of the match award from Aishling Press from Danske Bank Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview DE La Salle Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Padraig Slane celebrates after he slots home to make the score 2-1 Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Padraig Slane celebrates after he slots home to make the score 2-1 Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Padraig Slane celebrates after he slots home to make the score 2-1 Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St MalachysPadraig Slane slots home to make the score 2-1 Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Patrick Burns in action wth La Salles Donal Rocks Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Mark Donnelly in action wth La Salles Calvin McCurry Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Mark Donnelly in action wth La Salles Calvin McCurry Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys in action wth La Salles Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Aiden McGeown in action wth La Salles Ryan Devine Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Aiden McGeown in action wth La Salles Ryan Devine Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Patrick Burns in action wth La Salles Donal Rocks Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Niall McDaid in action wth La Salles Ronan Hamill Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview La Salles Conall McDonald celebrates after he smashes home an equaliser Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview La Salles Conall McDonald celebrates after he smashes home an equaliser Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview La Salles Conall McDonald celebrates after he smashes home an equaliser Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview La Salles Conall McDonald celebrates after he smashes home an equaliser Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview La Salles Conall McDonald smashes home an equaliser Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview La Salles Conall McDonald smashes home an equaliser Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Paul Scullion celebrates after scoring the opening goal Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Paul Scullion celebrates after scoring the opening goal Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Patrick Burns in action wth La Salles Ronan Hamill Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Padraig Slane in action wth La Salles Dylan Maguire Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Lewis McGarvey in action wth La Salles Pearse Smyth Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Mark Donnelly in action wth La Salles Donal Rocks Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Aiden McGeown in action wth La Salles Caoimhin Kennedy Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
18th March 2019 Danske Bank Schools soccer final between St Malachys and De La Salle at Seaview St Malachys Patrick Burns in action wth La Salles Conal McDonald Mandatory Credit © Presseye/ Stephen Hamilton
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

The outstanding Padraig Slane led St Malachy's to victory in the Danske Bank NI Schools' Cup final at Seaview.

The lively winger contributed a goal and two assists as his side edged out a spirited De La Salle 3-1 after extra time.

Slane's fellow Cliftonville player Paul Scullion netted twice while Conal McDonald equalised for De La Salle on the stroke of half-time. De La Salle ended normal time with 10 men as Ronan Hamill was given a straight red card.

"It's the best feeling in the world," said St Malachy's skipper Paddy Burns. "As captain of the team and as Head Boy of the school, it's my proudest moment, my greatest honour and it's all down to my team-mates and the coaching staff.

"Right from the start, very few people believed in us but we believed in ourselves and that was the key. We've produced big results along the way and today we knew it was going to be a test.

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"To win it with a group of guys that I've been mates with for seven years is the best ever feeling I've experienced. We're all over the moon."

For Cliftonville winger Slane, it was a feeling almost beyond words to score the all-important second goal.

"We thought it wasn't our day the amount of chances we missed but we kept going and going with our team spirit and we got the goals in the end," he said.

"I just knocked the ball round the keeper and you don't want to know what was going through my head. I thought I was going to put it wide but luckily enough it went in.

"I'm just over the moon for the team. It's not about me scoring the goal - it's a team effort. We're one as a unit.

"We've won the Belfast Cup a few times but never the Northern Ireland Cup. We always wanted it and now we're over the moon."

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St Malachy's had deservedly led through Scullion's tucked finish from a typically telling Slane cross but Conal McDonald blasted home the leveller in added time before Donal Rocks went close to nicking the lead for a buoyant De La Salle.

St Malachy's grip on the pattern of play only strengthened after half-time, forcing chance after chance but De La Salle keeper Conor Murphy made top saved to deny Aidan McGeown, Scullion and a late poke from captain Paddy Burns.

That one was after DLS went down to 10 men, Ronan Hamill issued with a straight red card for hitting St Malachy's Mark Donnelly in the head after he had been fouled by the midfielder.

The ten men did create one big chance of their own as the game ticked into added time, Rocks playing in Sean McCullough only for Brian Rodgers to charge out and make an impressive save.

De La Salle dominated the opening period of extra-time but inspirational captain Calvin McCurry could only head their best chance wide from a corner.

It was in the second period of extra-time that St Malachy's asserted their dominance, Slane pouncing on a defensive error to round the keeper and convert a deserved goal before sliding in another pass for Scullion to convert.

"He's a top man and has a big, big future ahead of him," Burns said of double goal-scorer Scullion. "He's so humble, down to earth and he works his socks off for the team. We had several chances and they wouldn't fall for it but when Paul Scullion gets the ball, there's a good chance it's going in.

"I have to mention Padraig (Slane) who set both goals up and scored himself. We got there in the end and we're delighted to lift the cup."

Here's the game as it happened:

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