Lewis and Harris lost their grip on the North Caley Cup after a valiant charge to the cup final but on the day they were second best to a slick, experienced Golspie outfit.
Despite going behind twice in a first-half, which Golspie dominated for the most part, the islanders, of which only four of last seasons cup winning squad remained, fought back twice to go into the dressing room level.
But it wasn’t to be our day as despite enjoying far more of the ball in the second-45 than in the first, Lewis and Harris couldn’t find that end product and rarely threatened the Golspie gloves.
And at the other end Golspie were ruthless and clinched the cup with the killer fourth goal on the break following a lightning
Sometimes Lady Luck doesn’t just turn her back on you. She seems to deliberately spite you and on occasion seems to be bent over double scoffing in glee.
In the final she took Lewis and Harris FC skipper Peter Mackenzie in her sights and she took great delight in tormenting him at every turn.
The first goal scored by Golspie came after a bread and butter long ball up the park skidded off the turf and flew under the studs of Mackenzie allowing Kyle Maclean to race clear on goal to net.
Next she saw Shaun Kerr buy a cheap penalty with a deliberate turn by the wily striker who tumbled over the grounded Mackenzie and subsequent roll over him for a spot kick to edge Golspie 2-1 clear.
And in the second-half Mackenzie completed an unwanted hat-trick as he headed into his own net for an own-goal as Golspie went
3-2 in front.
It was desperately harsh on a player who has literally run himself into the ground for Lewis and Harris. Coming off the back of a strong season with Lochs FC he has been in desperate need of both a rest and an operation for a long standing knee injury. But as skipper of the representative side he was determined to line up with his team mates to try and defend the North Caley Cup they won last winter.
Playing through gritted teeth, numerous knee braces and pain relief Mackenzie has given his all and for 89 minutes of the match he was rock solid but unfortunately for him he made a trio of errors which were punished to the maximum by Golspie. All were incidents which could happen to any player but all befell to same player in the same game as Lady Luck rubbed her hands with glee.
It was a much changed Lewis and Harris FC squad from the one which lifted the trophy just 12 months earlier. Just six of the 16-man squad had been part of that pool with only Peter Mackenzie, Robert Mackenzie, Micheil Russell-Smith, Ali Macleod, Rob Jones and Innes Iain Morrison boasting winners medals.
To read the rest of the report, see this week’s Stornoway Gazette, on sale now.