Balliemore Cup – semi-finals
Beauly 4 Kilmallie 8
Kilmallie reached the Balliemore Cup Final after they battled back from 4-1 down to beat Beauly 8- 4 in an incredible semi-final tie at Craigard.
Kilmallie threatened first and a Duncan Rodger shot was saved with his feet by Josh Grant who saw the ball spin up and over the bar.
It was Beauly who took the lead on five minutes when Ryan MacKay and Conor Ross combined with the former seeing his shot come back off the post and fall for Calum Morrison in the middle of the goal who sent the rebound over the shoulder of keeper Shane Gillies to make it 1- 0.
Kilmallie equalised 12 minutes later when Michael Rodger won possession from Beauly’s Liam Mutch and sent a low shot into the net to make it 1-1.
Beauly went on to have a purple patch and soon led 4-1. They went back in front on 20 minutes when Conor Ross netted from inside the ‘D’.
A Ross Forbes shot a minute later took a wicked bounce in front of Kilmallie keeper Shane Gillies and the ball kicked into the net to make it 3-1.
Beauly were on top with full centre David MacLean dominating proceedings.
They added a fourth on 23 minutes with probably the goal of the match. Jack MacDonald collected possession in midfield before turning past marker Martin Stewart. He held off a couple of challenges before sending a shot from distance high into the net to make it 4-1.
A minute later, referee John Angus Gillies booked Andrew Morrison for a trip on Duncan Rodger just outside the ‘D’ as he ran in on goal. The Kilmallie set-piece saw Bryan Mackay flick the ball into the air and a stretching Duncan Rodger sent his goal attempt wide of the post.
Michael Rodger was next into the book for kicking out at an opponent following a touchline challenge on 28 minutes.
Kilmallie full back Alan MacDonald performed heroics to clear the ball off the line to prevent what could have been a clinching fifth Beauly goal on the half-hour mark.
Liam MacDonald was booked for a late swing on Liam Mutch on 37 minutes and the Canal Parks side seemed frustrated at their lack of possession for their forwards.
Beauly could have sealed the win but Kilmallie keeper Shane Gillies made three first class saves to keep his side in the tie.
The Kilmallie forwards were coming deep to try and help their midfield and, with just seconds of the first half remaining, Liam MacDonald held off Beauly full back Andrew Morrison before striding forward and firing a back-handed shot home to make it 4-2.
There wasn’t enough time for referee John Angus Gillies to restart the match.
With David MacLean tiring, the Beauly midfield looked vulnerable and Kilmallie reduced the deficit on the hour mark when Duncan Rodger opened his account as he sent the ball high into the net from the right of the ‘D’.
Referee John Angus Gillies booked Peter Carmichael on 67 minutes for a swing which struck Beauly’s Calum Morrison on the head but, fortunately, he was wearing a helmet. Morrison had been taking the ball down at the edge of the ‘D’ before the challenge.
Liam MacDonald drew Kilmallie level on 75 minutes when he crashed a good ball forward high into the net to make it 4- 4.
Kilmallie went in front for the first time in the tie with only 14 minutes remaining when Liam MacDonald cut the ball to Duncan Rodger who swiped a shot home from inside the ‘D’ to make it 5- 4.
Kilmallie added a sixth with just 10 minutes remaining. A darting run forward from Michael Rodger, down the Kilmallie right, caused problems in the Beauly defence and Rodger laid the ball on a plate for Liam MacDonald to complete his hattrick to make it 6- 4.
Referee John Angus Gillies awarded Kilmallie a penalty on 82 minutes for an infringement on Kilmallie substitute Aaron Sandison who had burst into the ‘D’. But the normally reliable Duncan Rodger saw his penalty saved by Josh Grant.
Kilmallie, who were much better in the second half, also had defender Craig MacIsaac yellow- carded for a swing which caught Ross Forbes.
Duncan Rodger completed his hat-trick on 90 minutes when he turned and thumped the ball into the roof of the net to make it 7- 4.
As the tie moved into injury time, Beauly were unable to clear a corner and Michael Rodger volleyed home from 10 yards to make it 8- 4.
This was a great advert for shinty and the Kilmallie supporters were delighted to see their team reach the 2016 Balliemore Cup Final.
Strathglass 1 Caberfeidh 3
Caberfeidh will meet Kilmallie in the 2016 Balliemore Cup Final after they beat Strathglass 3-1 at Bught Park, Inverness.
Martin MacDonald put Cabers ahead on 28 minutes with the only goal of the first half.
Liam Symonds added a second on 48 minutes and when Gavin McLaughlan made it 3- 0 on 77 minutes, there was only going be one winner.
Strathglass coped well against higher league opposition and Darren Reid pulled a goal back three minutes from time.
Neil Ferguson was the match referee.
The 2016 Balliemore Cup Final between Kilmallie and Caberfeidh is scheduled for Saturday July 16 with the venue still to be confirmed.