St Peter the Apostle High School broke for the summer holiday with an incredible double success on the football pitch. Both the Under 16 and Under 18 teams brought Glasgow region silverware back to Clydebank.
The senior side won the Glasgow Schools’ League for the second year in a row – retaining St Peter’s title as the premier side in the Glasgow City Region. A 2 -1 home win over the southside’s Holyrood High School clinched the championship and gave the senior pupils a great send off to their school years.
Next season’s seniors demonstrated their potential to make it three-in-a-row by claiming the Under 16 Glasgow Cup. In a nine-goal thriller they edged Bishopbriggs Academy, narrowly beating the East Dunbartonshire side by five goals to four.
Since opening in 2009 St Peter the Apostle has quickly established a formidable sporting reputation. The football teams have claimed numerous trophies in each of its three seasons, with the on field success helping forge a strong identity for the brand new school. The value of sport has been clear.
Formed effectively as a controversial merger of the old St Columba’s and St Andrew’s high schools, St Peter’s faced the challenge of integrating their former pupils into a new institution. In its first-ever season the new school enjoyed immediate success, with the 2010 under 18s and under 16s sides winning their respective Glasgow cups.
Goals from Ciaran Friel and John Doherty gave the Under 18s a two goal half-time lead over Holyrood, sending them on their way to a second senior championship on the trot. The second half saw the visitors press for a way back into the game, with St Peter’s content to hit on the break.
A highly-organised defence denied Holyrood any great chances, leaving them to shoot from range. Holyrood got back into the match with a scrambled goal in the 75th minute, but the disciplined performance – led by centre-halves Falconer and Green – ensured the home side held on to remain champions of Glasgow.
The success means the Glasgow School’s Football Association league championship has been won by a West Dunbartonshire school for each of the past four years. Following wins by Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton in 2009 and 2010, St Peter the Apostle brought the title to Clydebank in both 2011 and 2012.
The 2010/11 season was an incredible one for the school, which managed an unprecedented clean sweep of the Glasgow Schools’ FA titles. St Peter’s under 18s, under 16s, under 15s and under 14s teams all won the 2011 league championships, with both the under 18s and under 14s also claiming the Glasgow cups.
St Peter’s 2011 Under 14s side earned a place in schools’ football history books, as they won the Scottish Shield to become national school’s champions. Added to their Glasgow league championship and cup win, it meant a historic treble for the Clydebank youngsters. This season’s titles cement St Peter the Apostle’s place as a leader in Scottish schools’ football.
The St Peter’s Under 16 team had to dig deep to claim the Glasgow Cup. They took an early lead when Niall Cunningham turned home from close range following a corner, but Bishopbriggs drew level with their first attack of the match.
Andy McElhill headed St Peters back in front before Cunningham grabbed his second of the game to put the Clydebank side 3 – 1 up at the break. The second half started with Bishopbriggs on top and they staged a stunning come-back to square the game at three each.
When the East Dunbartonshire side went 4-3 up 10 minutes from time it looked as though St Peter’s were destined for heartache, but they threw everyone forward for the closing stages and somehow snatched an equaliser. Cunningham was again instrumental – his cross from wide proved tricky for the defence, who turned the ball into their own net.
The thrilling encounter went into extra time and both sides had chances to win. St Peter’s were twice denied by fine goalkeeping and Bishopbriggs struck the Clydebank side’s crossbar.
With penalties looming a last minute corner gave St Peter’s a chance to snatch victory. The ball bounced around the penalty box and Ryan McAllen found himself in the right place to slam it into the net, securing an incredible 5-4 win.
The league and cup double adds to the new school’s impressive trophy haul and ensures Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire remain at the top of schools football in Greater Glasgow.
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