LEINSTER SENIOR LEAGUE.........................2
Jason Lowney became the unlikely hero for the Leinster Senior League when the Glebe North goalkeeper pulled out a magnificent injury-time penalty save to ensure Martin Loughran's side claimed a three-in-a-row of victories in the Allan Mackay Trophy at Livingston.
Lowney watched 79 minutes of the game from the bench until he replaced Morgan Cranley and then became embroiled in one of the game's big talking points deep in injury-time when referee Alistair Watt awarded a penalty that left the LSL both enraged and baffled.
The Glebe goalkeeper has developed a knack of producing big spot-kick stops and they don't come much bigger than his save from Jamie Broadfoot on Saturday as the netminder dived to his right to palm the penalty away to safety.
It would have been harsh on the LSL if the Scots had levelled as the Irish side should have had the game dead and buried by the time the home side rallied in the closing stages.
The LSL had created the bulk of the chances and played some neat and tidy football during the 90 minutes but never put the Scots away in a game of blood, guts and thunder.
Scotland finished as they had started the game -- in strong style. It was the home side that took the early initiative and after only six minutes Hugh Carswell's side had taken the lead when Paul McAuley drove home a powerful low shot by Cranley's outstretched palm.
The Scots only got to enjoy their lead for seven minutes as the LSL hit back. Lee Roche escaped down the left flank and played in Tony Griffiths, who turned and cracked an exquisite chip off the crossbar. Roche continued his run and reacted to the rebound by clipping the ball over a fallen Jamie McGall.
Three minutes later and the LSL, who lost Paul McCabe through injury in the warm-up, had nudged in front. Griffiths, the talisman on the day, was again the creator as the striker's cross caused havoc in the Scotland area. Both Ewan McCrae and James Lee went for the ball and the Crumlin United man was able to bundle home the goal that turned out to be the winner.
Leinster was in the ascendancy now and had the Scotland on the ropes as midfield duo of Lee and Danny Loughran started to pull the strings. Roche managed to carve another opening from himself but McGall somehow got his body in the way of the winger's stinging effort as the home side started to shake.
The Scots regained their composure after the break and started to turn the screw on the visitors, but the LSL backline, marshaled by Derek Prendergast and Gavin Kavanagh, coped comfortably with anything that home side flung at them and Morgan Cranley was rarely brought into action. With the Scots piling forward the gaps started to appear at the back and Roche, Andy Doolin and Griffiths all forced McGall into fine stops.
As the minutes ticked down the LSL started to get nervous and in injury-time referee Watt awarded the controversial penalty. Broadfoot bravely took on the responsibility of the spot-kick, but his low effort was brilliantly stopped Lowney.
SCOTLAND: Jamie McGall; William Mason, Andrew Paterson, Michael Kennedy, Ian Brown, Ewan McCrae, Naill McClure, Kevin McKendry, Paul McAuley, Jamie Broadfoot, Craig Johnstone. Subs: Ryan Caddis (for McKendry 55), Michael King (for Brown 58), Ross Patrick (for Mason 70), William Nicholson (for Johnstone 77), Shane Wallace.
LEINSTER: Morgan Cranley; Wayne Byrne, Carl Redmond, Derek Prendergast, Gavin Kavanagh, James Lee, Jonathon Meleady, Daniel Loughran, Peter Sherlock, Tony Griffiths, Lee Roche. Subs: Dean Kelly (for Sherlock 57), Wayne Callaghan (for Byrne 63), Andy Doolin (for Loughran 75), Jason Lowney (for Cranley 79), Paul McCabe.
Referee: Alistair Watt.