North win Caol Cup in thriller at Ballachulish
THE ANNUAL Caol Cup match between the North Under 21s and their South counterparts took place last Saturday at the Jubilee Park, Ballachulish.
Last year the South upset the odds and defeated the North by three goals to one in a thrilling encounter. With 10 of last year’s South players in coach Allan MacKechnie’s squad they were looking to retain the trophy, however, North coach Alan MacRae had other ideas.
The South opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Glasgow Mid Argyll’s Graig Anderson, but Glenurquhart’s Connor Golabeck equalised for DUE TO the North v South Under 21 game at Ballachulish only two league games were played. LOCHSIDE ROVERS jumped to top of the Marine Harvest South Division one on Saturday after a 3- 0 win against Bute, in what manager Gareth Evans called his side’s best display of the season.
Despite dominating from the outset at Mossfield, Rovers took until the 44th minute of the game to open the scoring through Chris McMillan. The home side kept the momentum going and made it 2- 0 a minute later through Daniel MacVicar.
The scoring was rounded off in the 80th minute through Lorne Dickie.
Evans said: ‘In the first half we were all over them but we couldn’t put the ball in the net. When Andrew McCuish got injured we put on Daniel MacVicar at full forward, up against Iain McDonald, who’s a Scottish the North two minutes before the interval.
Oban Camanachd’s Connor Howe put the South ahead again in the 55th minuye but Kingussie’s Savio Genini equalised five minutes later.
The North went ahead for the first time in the match through Kingussie’s Rory MacGregor in the 72nd minute. The South battled away but couldn’t find an equaliser with the North holding on to win a thrilling encounter by the odd goal in five.
Oban referee Alex MacVicar was in charge of the match.
Scotland under 21 international manager Garry Reid said: ‘The international and in my mind their best player, but Daniel held his own, which was great as he’s only 16, and he got the goal on the stroke of half time.
With top teams Lochside Rovers, Inveraray, Oban Celtic and Bute all still to play each other, and only four points separating them, the league is set for a thrilling conclusion.
This Saturday, Lochside take on Strachur, who currently sit third bottom of the league.
Evans said: ‘We beat them 5- 0 earlier in the season. If we do win, hopefully we can score a few goals too. With the league so tight on points, goal difference could be very important.’
Saturday’s tie throws-up midday at Ganavan.
The other game played was in South Division Two where GLENORCHY lost 4- 0 at home to Aberdour. North U21 v South U21 fixture is a cornerstone of the shinty calendar and the players have shown a real appetite to be part of this fixture with more than 70 players turning up for the recent trial sessions.
‘The fixture is the final part of selection for the Scotland Under 21 team that will compete against Ireland at Bught Park, Inverness on October 24, so the players on show had the opportunity to bring success for their respective area as well as achieving personal recognition of being selected for their country.’
The South’s Andrew MacDonald, who plays for Oban Celtic, gets in a tackle on Kingussie’s Savio Genini
during the Caol Cup match at Ballachulish last Saturday. The North won a thrilling game 3-2.
UP FOR THE CUP: The victorious North Under 21 team with the Caol Cup