Kil­mallie hit Caber­feidh for six in con­vinc­ing Bal­liemore Cup win

The Oban Times - - Sport -

Bal­liemore Cup fi­nal

Kil­mallie 6 Caber­feidh 0

KIL­MALLIE won the 2016 Bal­liemore Cup with a 6- 0 vic­tory over Caber­feidh in the fi­nal at Blair­beg.

The Bal­liemore Cup was first played for as an in­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onship in 1985 and Kil­mallie had won it on two pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions – 1992 and 1993. Kil­mallie’s last ap­pear­ance in the fi­nal was in 2008 when they lost 3-1 to Skye Ca­manachd at Brae­view Park.

Mark MacPherson’s side had only pre­vi­ously lost twice this sea­son; both against Marine Har­vest Premier Divi­sion sides – Skye Ca­manachd and Oban Ca­manachd – and both times by the odd goal in seven. They were also in great goal-scor­ing form go­ing into the fi­nal, net­ting 26 goals in their last six matches.

Caber­feidh boss Lee Ni­col knew that vic­tory would make his side record Bal­liemore Cup win­ners; they were cur­rently level with Bute at five vic­to­ries apiece. The Caber­feidh tri­umphs came in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000. They made the fi­nal in 2011 when they lost 2-1 to Bute at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree. Cabers only trailed Kil­mallie by a point in the Marine Har­vest Na­tional Divi­sion.

Kil­mallie and Caber­feidh had met twice be­fore in the Bal­liemore Cup Fi­nal – in 1995 and 1997 – with Cabers win­ning on both oc­ca­sions but this was to be Kil­mallie’s day. Both teams took bus-loads of sup­port­ers to this year’s fi­nal.

Kil­mallie’s Innes Black­hall was free to play but he will miss his team’s next match against Bute in the league as his book­ing against Oban Ca­manachd a week ear­lier takes him through the dis­ci­plinary points thresh­old. Bryan MacKay, who played his part in the run to the cup fi­nal, missed out as he was abroad.

Caber­feidh had a fa­mil­iar-look­ing line-up, al­though they had to do with­out Ally MacLen­nan and Paddy Wil­son.

Cabers made a bright start to the fi­nal and a Craig Mor­ri­son drive rose just the wrong side of Shane Gil­lies’ post early in the match.

It was Kil­mallie who took the lead af­ter five min­utes. Cabers’ keeper Ewan Pilcher saved a Dun­can Rodger shot and Mark Gra­ham held off his marker to force the re­bound home from in­side the ‘D’.

Two goals late in the first half put Kil­mallie in con­trol. Michael Rodger made it 2- 0 on 42 min­utes with a rocket-shot from 25 yards into the top cor­ner of the net. A minute be­fore the break, Mark Gra­ham lofted the ball goal­wards from the mid­dle of the park and scored to make it 3- 0 at the break.

Kil­mallie went on to dom­i­nate af­ter the re-start and a Liam Mac­Don­ald hat-trick early in the sec­ond half put them out of sight. First, the Scot­land for­ward crashed the ball high into the net from just past the penalty spot to make it 4- 0 on 50 min­utes. Then, a minute later, Mac­Don­ald net­ted from just out­side the ‘D’ be­fore send­ing the ball home from close-in on the hour to make it 6- 0.

Caber­feidh never gave up, but they did have to thank goalie Ewan Pilcher for a num­ber of good saves dur­ing the game.

Kil­mallie emerged de­served win­ners and their cap­tain Martin Ste­wart was pre­sented with the tro­phy by Ca­manachd As­so­ci­a­tion Chief­tain Jock Turner, with pres­i­dent Jim Barr also in at­ten­dance.

Martin Ma­cLean was the match ref­eree.

Kil­mallie man­ager Mark MacPherson was still on a high the day af­ter the fi­nal.

He said: ‘I just can’t say how happy I am sit­ting here look­ing at the tro­phy.

‘How­ever, this isn’t about me. This win is ded­i­cated to ev­ery­one at the club: the board which runs the club, the sup­port­ers and all the great play­ers we’ve had in the past who never got to ex­pe­ri­ence an oc­ca­sion like this. For ex­am­ple, our sec­re­tary Linda Campbell puts in a power of work at the club and there are others, too, be­hind the scenes.

‘I only have to pick up the phone and I get sup­port from them all. We’re all work­ing to­gether for the ben­e­fit of the club and that’s the way it should be.

‘This vic­tory has been a long time com­ing as we last won the Bal­liemore Cup in 1993. We want to use this win to help us get into the pre­mier­ship and I have an eye on this Satur­day’s league game against Bute al­ready.

‘It’s re­ally com­pet­i­tive in the Na­tional Divi­sion with five teams go­ing for two pro­mo­tion places.’

The Kil­mallie squad made an emo­tional trib­ute to pres­i­dent and spon­sor Ewen Bowman who passed away at the start of the sea­son.

MacPherson said: ‘The play­ers ar­ranged to have the Ewen Bowman com­pany logo em­bla­zoned on the back of the team shirts.

‘It was a mark of re­spect to some­one who was a hugely im­por­tant fig­ure at our club and the logo will be dis­played on all Kil­mallie tops from now on.’

Pho­to­graphs by Neil Pater­son.

The vic­to­ri­ous Kil­mallie team.

First of his hat-trick – Kil­mallie’s Liam Mac­don­ald turns away from a de­spair­ing Blair Mor­ri­son of Caber­feidh.

Kil­mallie’s Mark Gra­ham gets to the ball ahead of Cabers’ keeper Ewan Pilcher to score the first goal of the game.

Kil­mallie cap­tain Martin Ste­wart with the Bal­liemore Cup.

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