Perth High School claimed only their second ever Senior Boys Shield with a dramatic win at Hampden Park tonight.
The Fair City side heroically held off a second-half fightback from Holyrood Secondary School to secure a 1-1 draw.
In the ensuing penalty shootout Perth were unblemished, scoring all five of their kicks as they ran out 5-4 winners.
The shield is considered the pinnacle of schools football, and Perth High School had only previously won it in 2001.
The winning spot-kick was rifled home by Connor Scott to spark delirious celebrations from the travelling Perth contingent.
And the crowd goes wild! We’ve won on penalties! pic.twitter.com/G2CFRWJ51H
— Perth High School (@PerthHighSchool) May 19, 2023
Staff at the school organised three 55-seater coaches and parents of the players also clubbed together to organise a 50-seater coach.
Add on those driving to the stadium independently and Perth High were cheered on by more than 400 fans.
Lively start from Perth
Perth, wearing dark blue, made a solid start, with Aaron Flood looking lively and showing some nice touches in midfield.
They took the lead after 12 minutes when Kacper Przeslica bundled home after a good good break by Ethan Forber.
As Ross Robinson’s boys celebrated, a roar from the 400-strong Perth contingent in the East Stand reverberated around Hampden.
Far from resting on their laurels, Perth continued to press.
Adam Leese showed good skill and penetration in midfield, while Przeslica summed up Perth’s hunger by determinedly dispossessing Holyrood right-back Craig Brown.
Perth almost doubled their lead after 30 minutes, when Flood’s dangerous left-wing free-kick was nudged onto the far post by marauding right-back Connor Scott.
The second-half began very differently, with Holyrood finally showing the pedigree that has made them one of only seven SFA Performance Schools nationally.
Goalkeeper Bruno Nowrotek was called on to make acrobatic saves in successive minutes from Anton Sweeney and Lochlan Scott as the Glasgow-based team camped themselves inside the Perth half.
On 58 minutes Nowrotek was left flat-footed as Holyrood’s Joseph Lamb struck the corner of the post and crossbar from long-distance.
It was a real let-off for Perth.
But an even bigger one was to follow. On 72 minutes the ball again found its way to Lamb. This time he was inside the box and looked certain to score, but somehow Nowrotek got a touch that diverted his effort onto the bar.
Eventually the pressure told and, on 76 minutes, the ball fell kindly for Holyrood’s Jude Cullen who drove his shot in off the underside of the goal to equalise.
However, Perth almost regained the lead immediately when a Holyrood defender inadvertently struck the ball against his own post.
As the players tired the game became more stretched and Perth had a few half-chances in stoppage time.
But, in truth, a decisive win for either side would have been unfair and it was decided by spot kicks.
Adam Leese comfortably wrong-footed the Holyrood goalkeeper to score Perth’s first penalty.
A Holyrood player then skied his side’s second penalty over the bar.
Successful conversions from Connell Clark, Thomas Drysdale, Sam Currie and Scott were enough to seal the deal and deliver Perth’s first shield win since 2001.