This year the Eilean an Fhraoich Cup will have a new home after Lochs and Carloway booked their place in the final. Carloway have NEVER won the EAF Cup while Lochs have not had their maroon ribbons fastened to island football’s oldest football trophy since 2007.
Lochs booked their place in the final, which will be played on home soil at the Creagan Dubh, with a 2-1 second leg win over Back in Leurbost (4-3 on aggregate).
Ross Allison netted his first Lochs goal with a snap shot from 16-yards which came back out of the net after striking the wheel used to manoeuvre the goalposts. Gordon Maciver floated in a second with a guided header early in the second-half but Back refused to lie down and accept defeat.
Under the stewardship of James ‘Bomie’ Macarthur and Dano Macdonald, Back are a vastly different beast to the side which struggled so much in 2015. They took the game to Lochs and created a host of good openings with one resulting in Chris Macleod rising unmarked to head home for the visitors.
Back carved out the game’s first chance which saw Stuart Macdonald force a strong wrist from Gordon Mackenzie who flung himself low to his left to keep the ball out. In keeping with the tradition of the first-leg, which ended 2-2, the pace was quick and raging from end to end for much of the tie. Robert Mackenzie forced Back keeper Michael Maciver into a save as Lochs probed. Jim O’Donnell floated a shot narrowly wide too before Allison netted almost on the stroke of half-time.
It was the perfect time to score and they followed it up with a goal inside a minute of the restart as Maciver rose at the back post to steer a looping header back in the direction it came from and inside the far post.
Robert Mackenzie smacked the base of the post from the edge of the box and the midfielder couldn’t believe his luck when the ball came rebounding off the post and struck the keeper on his back before rolling wide.
At the other end Gordon Mackenzie was forced into a flying save of his own moments before Chris Macleod halved the deficit.
O’Donnell should have made the game secure late on but with just a defender to beat on the line he crashed the ball directly at the Back stopper who booted clear.