Camanachd Cup quarter-final replays
Beauly 1 Kinlochshiel 2
KINLOCHSHIEL eventually saw off the challenge from Beauly with a narrow 2-1 win in their Camanachd Cup quarter final replay at Braeview Park.
Beauly had Scotland U17 player Sandy Elrick back in their side as he has recovered from a hand injury.
Kinlochshiel were without defender Calum MacLean and forward Oliver MacRae, but Mark MacDonald returned at the back.
The teams drew 1-1 at Kirkton a week earlier and this one was to prove equally close.
Beauly had a strong wind in their favour in the first half but it was Gordie MacDonald who gave Kinlochshiel the lead with a goal on 19 minutes. Home goalie Josh Grant saved a shot on goal and the ball broke out to the ’Shiel left where MacDonald turned and shot into the bottom corner of the net.
John MacRae made it 2- 0 four minutes later. A ’Shiel shy was stopped in the air by Beauly defender David MacLean but the ball fell nicely for MacRae who found the back of the net on the half-volley.
Kinlochshiel continued to have most of the play but, just like a week earlier, they were unable to turn their pressure into more goals.
Beauly forward Marc MacLachlan set up an exciting finish when he beat ’Shiel goalie Scott Kennedy with a 20-yard strike with 15 minutes remaining.
It was ’Shiel who had the better chances in the closing stages though and they stayed in front. They will play Newtonmore in the Camanachd Cup semi finals.
Lochaber 2 Kyles Athletic 1
LOCHABER reached the Camanachd Cup semi finals with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Kyles Athletic at Spean Bridge.
Lochaber were without Zandz Ferguson, Kevin Ferguson and Jack Dignan, but Brennan MacDonald took a place in the squad after suffering an elbow injury when the sides met at Tighnabruaich the previous weekend. Kyles twice came from behind in that game to draw 2-2.
Kyles Athletic had Donald Irvine back after a spell abroad but Cammy Keith was missing. Scott MacDonald was on the bench after recovering from injury.
Both teams enjoyed periods of pressure in the first half without having a serious attempt on goal.
Kyles’ full centre Grant Irvine took a knock to the hand on 35 minutes which sidelined him for the rest of the match.
The Tighnabruaich side went in front within a minute of the restart. They won possession from the throw-up and played the ball up the left wing. Kyles substitute Scott MacDonald fought his way past Lachlan Campbell and although he was pushed in the back, referee John Angus Gillies played advantage and young MacDonald slotted the ball past a helpless Callum MacDonald in the Lochaber goal to make it 1- 0.
The tie came alive with shots from both teams producing good saves from Callum MacDonald and John Whyte in their respective goals.
Lochaber equalised on 72 minutes when Pat Toal caught out the Kyles back line with a 30-yard shot which took a wicked bounce and then swerved to beat John Whyte at his right hand post to make it 1-1.
Lochaber now seemed to be the stronger team and they pressured the Kyles defence. They went in front for the first time on 77 minutes when Ben Delaney turned his marker and his 20-yard shot was going straight at the keeper before the ball took a bounce and beat Whyte on his left hand side to make it 2-1.
Kyles pushed Roddy MacDonald forward for the closing stages but it was to be Lochaber’s day and they now play Oban Camanachd in the Camanachd Cup semi-finals. Coincidently, the sides meet on league duty at Mossfield, Oban, this coming Saturday.
Lochaber deserved the win and they were stronger over the final 30 minutes of the tie. Captain Brian MacDonald was outstanding in defence, while Pat Toal worked tirelessly in midfield. The experience of Neil MacDonald in the forward line was a great help to the Spean Bridge side’s cause.
Kyles played well in spells and Robbie MacLeod was the pick of their players. It was a keenly fought match but there were no bookings.
After the match, Lochaber boss Ally Ferguson said: ‘I’m just delighted for the boys. After a fairly even first half, we lost a goal right at the start of the second half and we hoped that wasn’t going to be the goal that would determine the tie. We dug deep though and showed tremendous team spirit to go on and win the game. The goals came at the right time for us, when our defence and midfield were on top. Kyles threw everything at us at the end but our defence stayed strong. It was tight and it could have gone either way but, over the two games, I think Lochaber did just enough to deserve to be in the semi finals.
‘We have the utmost respect for Kyles.
‘They are a great side with some great players and we are delighted to have won the tie. Lochaber will grow in confidence and belief on the back of reaching the Camanachd Cup semi-finals and we now look forward to taking on another very good side in Oban Camanachd.’