Artemis MacAulay Cup - quarter-final
Bute 2 Inveraray 3
(after extra-time) Inveraray reached the Artemis MacAulay Cup last four after a hard-fought, extra-time, 3-2 win over Bute at the Meadows.
Inveraray fullback Andrew McMurdo was free of suspension after serving a one-match ban for passing through the disciplinary points threshold in the 4- 0 Marine Harvest National Division win over Caberfeidh a week earlier. However, wing centre David MacPherson was ruled out with a tight hamstring which he tweaked in the Cabers game. Ross Montgomery played with the Inveraray reserves.
Bute fielded former Scotland international Iain McDonald in attack and he had a great tussle with the returning John Kennedy in the Inveraray back line.
The sides drew 0- 0 when they met at the Meadows on the opening day of the shinty season and this was another close encounter.
Inveraray got off to a great start and they led 2- 0 early in the game. They went ahead on five minutes when Allan MacDonald, who was also back in the side, volleyed home a David Robertson corner. Allan MacDonald, and not Garry Macpherson as reported in some circles, got his second to make it 2- 0 on eight minutes when he fired a low shot into the corner of the goal.
Bute responded well and Iain McDonald pulled a goal back just a couple of minutes later when he scored at the back post following a corner.
The comeback was complete when Duncan Davidson made it 2-2 on 18 minutes when he capitalised on some poor defending.
Inveraray’s Allan MacDonald could have had a first half hattrick after he produced a sweet finish but referee Lachie Wood pulled the play back for a foul on an Inveraray player in the lead up to the goal when the visitors would have preferred advantage to have been played.
The second half was all about Bute keeper Kevin Queen. He had an outstanding game and made a number of saves with his stick; one, in particular, diving low to his right, was quite superb.
Inveraray had strength on the substitutes’ bench with Fraser Watt, Ally MacDonald and player/manager Ruaraidh Graham. They freshened things up and young Fraser Watt’s pace and directness was hurting a tiring Bute defence.
David Robertson and Garry MacPherson were using their experience to Inveraray’s advantage but they couldn’t find a way past keeper Kevin Queen so referee Lachie Wood took the tie to an extra-time period.
The extra-time period was very tight but Inveraray got the breakthrough on 100 minutes when Kevin Queen made another good save, this time from Grant Griffin, and young Lewis Montgomery pounced to knock the rebound home to make it 3-2.
The experienced Bute side never game up and they tested Inveraray all the way but it’s the Winterton men who go forward to play Kyles Athletic or Glasgow Mid Argyll in the Artemis MacAulay Cup semi-finals.