Wallace High School were crowned McCullough Cup winners for the fifth time after defeating holders Sullivan Upper 3-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in a thrilling final at Lisnagarvey on Wednesday.
The Chambers brothers, Troy and Cole, stole the show for the Lisburn team, the former scoring both goals in normal time and his younger sibling netting the decisive penalty.
Troy was duly awarded the man-of-the-match accolade for his efforts but Cole can’t have been far behind while Wallace goalkeeper Ben Cooke made some crucial saves in the first 35 minutes, including one from the penalty spot.
However, Wallace deserved their win after dominating the second half and they looked to have won it when Troy got his second goal of the game with just 64 seconds remaining. However, Sullivan fought back straight from the restart and Matthew Willis scored a dramatic equaliser with just 19 seconds left to force the shootout.
It could have been different though had Sullivan taken at least one of two early chances that came their way.
They were awarded a penalty stroke after just two minutes when Matthew Morris was fouled in the circle but Cooke made a good save to deny Paddy Crookshanks the opener.
Three minutes later, Cooke again came to the rescue, this time stopping Crookshanks’ penalty corner and sweeping clear the rebound. Troy Chambers shot flew just past the post in the seventh minute and he then set up Ben Clarke, whose effort hit the side netting.
Sullivan broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Matthew Morris brilliantly deflected a Willis cross from the right into the bottom corner of the net.
Troy Chambers then had a set-piece well saved by Todd on the half hour before Wallace captain Jonny Lynch went close on the stroke of half-time. The challengers were quickest out of the blocks after the restart and Chambers got the equaliser in the 40th minute when his team’s fourth penalty corner beat Todd with the aid of a slight deflection.
Troy Chambers, Lynch and Oliver Patterson were all denied by the busy Sullivan keeper as Wallace continued to dominate. Chambers finally got his reward with just over a minute remaining when he got his second goal which he must have thought was the winner.
But Sullivan had other ideas and Willis forced the penalty shootout with a superb reverse stick shot that gave Cooke no chance of saving. Then it was left to the younger of the brothers to share the glory as Cole Chambers scored the winning penalty in clinical fashion to kick start the celebrations