Lochaber Jags take home Iain Thom­son Me­mo­rial Tro­phy

The Oban Times - - Sport -

The qual­ity is in our chang­ing room, but only if we play the game our way” Alan Gray

South Lochaber This­tle 3 Cardross 1

HAV­ING had a three-week break due to in­clement weather, the fi­nal had been put back a week so This­tle could have been for­given for start­ing slug­gishly.

This, how­ever, was not the case. The first 10 min­utes saw This­tle pile heavy pres­sure onto Cardross, with the di­rect run­ning from Munro, Kennedy and Noble caus­ing all sorts of prob­lems for the Cardross back line.

De­spite the pres­sure from the Jags at­tack­ing trio, it took a for­tu­itous goal­keep­ing er­ror to break the dead­lock. An in­di­rect free kick from just in­side the Cardross half from Kieran Lopez ap­peared to be catch­ing prac­tice for the un­chal­lenged Cardross keeper, only for the ball to bounce off his gloves and into the back of the net mak­ing it 1- 0 to South Lochaber.

The Jags con­tin­ued to press with the frus­tra­tion ev­i­dent in the Cardross camp. This was in­ten­si­fied as a strong run from Kennedy saw the ball bounce to Sean Noble, who had luck on his side as the ball re­bounded up off the de­fender onto his chest be­fore he was able to poke the ball un­der the keeper to make it 2- 0 to the Lochaber side.

As half-time ap­proached, Cardross be­gan to come into the game and had some good pres­sure on the edge of the This­tle box only to find their at­tempts thwarted at source by a dogged Jags mid­field. Their op­por­tu­nity came, how­ever, from a cross ball when some good for­ward play by the Cardross striker saw Danny Mack­in­tosh caught un­der the man as the cross came in, re­sult­ing in a penalty to Cardross. This­tle keeper Hunter was booked for his protes­ta­tions at what ap­peared a soft penalty. The Cardross striker’s well-placed penalty down low in the cor­ner was only bet­tered by Ryan Hunter’s ac­ro­batic save, giv­ing This­tle a feel­ing of con­fi­dence and buoy­ing them un­til half-time whis­tle sounded.

The sec­ond half brought with it tired legs with both teams be­gin­ning to toil in the glo­ri­ous Glas­gow sun­shine. This didn’t, how­ever, stop This­tle from con­tin­u­ing to pres­sure with Dave Forbes work­ing higher up the park to sup­port Kennedy. Tire­less work in mid­field from Stephen Lopez and An­drew Mclean frus­trated Cardross lead­ing to some hefty chal­lenges com­ing the Jags’ way.

Cardross be­gan to cre­ate chances, how­ever, and cap­i­talised on a mis­placed pass back in the 80th minute to pull a goal back, mak­ing it 2-1 to This­tle.

This was a warn­ing to This­tle as legs re­ally be­gan to tire, with cramp rife among them af­ter a long sea­son and in­tense match. Lieder re­placed Forbes in the cen­tre of the park. Shortly af­ter, a ter­ri­ble chal­lenge off the ball, missed by the ref­eree, saw Kennedy taken off in­jured to be re­placed by Lewis Mor­ri­son.

This­tle be­gan to pile pres­sure on again with Mor­ri­son nar­rowly miss­ing a headed op­por­tu­nity af­ter great wing play from Munro.

With the game be­com­ing ever more scrappy, man­ager Alan ‘Spud’ Gray re­placed Stephen Lopez as This­tle looked to close out the game.

As the game was in its fi­nal throes, a Cardross cor­ner was cleared well by Gray be­fore the ball broke to An­drew Mclean who drove be­yond the Cardross de­fence be­fore squar­ing it to Martin Munro who calmly placed the ball un­der the keeper and into the bot­tom cor­ner giv­ing the Jags a 3-1 lead.

On the fi­nal whis­tle, a jubilant This­tle had their hands on their sec­ond tro­phy of the sea­son. With the West of Scot­land Am­a­teur League fold­ing af­ter the game South Lochaber will be the last team to have won both the Chal­lenge Shield and the Iain Thom­son Me­mo­rial Tro­phy and of this they are very proud.

Man­ager Gray had this to say af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle: ‘ When you work so closely with a group of play­ers such as we have you never doubt their abil­ity. I’ve said to them all sea­son that the qual­ity is in our chang­ing room, but only if we play the game our way.

‘ We did that to­day and, to be fair to them, they have all sea­son. I am very proud of them all and al­though I am look­ing for­ward to fi­nally get­ting a break I can’t wait to see what next sea­son brings.

‘Thank you to ev­ery­one in­volved in the club and for those who trav­elled down to cheer on the lads.’

South Lochaber This­tle will be hav­ing their awards cer­e­mony at Sunny’s Sports bar in Fort Wil­liam from 7pm on Satur­day June 24 and ev­ery­one is wel­come (16+ with an adult un­til 10pm then 18+ there­after). En­trance is free and there are prizes to be won.

South Lochaber This­tle cel­e­brate their win at the week­end.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.