Point in third league loss

John Uig Morrison steers his first of two spot-kicks beyond the reach of the diving Gordon Mackenzie during the league clash between last seasons top-two sides.
John Uig Morrison steers his first of two spot-kicks beyond the reach of the diving Gordon Mackenzie during the league clash between last seasons top-two sides.

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. They lied.

Lochs crossed the Braighe with three precious league points on the team bus for the second season on the spin after two penalties were expertly dispatched by John ‘Uig’ Morrison.

Both penalties were won by the energetic running of junior Calum Macleod with the teenager twice being fouled in the box by Point keeper Gordon Mackenzie.

At the other end Lochs keeper James ‘The Difference’ Macleod also broke Rubhach hearts for the second trip to Garrabost in a row with a sensational flying save to keep a goalbound header out of the net.

There was an audible shout of ‘yessss’ from the pitch when Alasdair ‘Wally’ Maciver steered the ball off his forehead and over Macleod at his right hand post.

But just as he did last season the Lochs No. 1 refused to be beaten and flung himself full length the opposite way and thurst a strong wrist behind the ball to claw it out from under the cross bar one handed when all in Garrabost were preparing, and celebrating, for the net to bulge.

It was a third league defeat in a row for Point and while the league is far from over no team in Lewis and Harris football has won the league with three defeats in nearly 20 years so the Reds title bid could be over without even beginning in 2017.

Although a crumb of comfort will come in the irony that the last team to be champs with three marks in the loss column were Point themselves when they lifted the title back in 1998.

The game began with Point hogging much of the ball. The visitors were missing top goalscorer Jim O’Donnell, Donald ‘Nomie’ Macdonald and reinign Lewis and Harris Player of the Year Robert Mackenzie.

Point too were without the likes of Hugh Morrison and Andrew Murray but it was them who settled first and took the game to Lochs.

And while they had much of the ball Lochs were defending well with a series of meaty and bruising collisions all over the park between the two Lewis football heavyweights.

A goalless first-half burst into life in the second-half when Calum Macleod chased what seemed to be a lost cause.

Point stopper Ali Gillies left the ball to run into his box but it never had the pace to reach keeper Gordon Mackenzie who raced off his line.

Macleod galloped after it, zipped past Gillies who didn’t seem to notice the teenager bounding in on goal and he toed it past the keeper who clipped his ankles.

John ‘Uig’ Morrison took the penalty and lashed it inside the post to put Lochs into the lead.

Point continued to press and pour forward but they found it difficult to create many clear cut opportunities.

For Lochs, Peter ‘Robbie’ Mackenzie produced an all-action display of tireless running, ferocious blocks and he thwarted a number of Point breaks.

Lochs weren’t creating many chances in open play but another bomb forward by Macleod saw him knock the ball past Mackenzie again only for the keeper to clip the teenager’s ankles.

Again the ball was placed on the spot by Morrison who changed corners this time with the midfielder sending the keeper plunging right and the ball spearing low into the left-hand corner.

Ali Gillies pulled one back for Point at the back post before the end and they thought they had snatched a dramatic leveller when ‘Wally’ rose to meet a cross from the left and guide a header over James Macleod.

But at the same end where he defied gravity last year Macleod showed lightning does strike the same place twice - at least in Garrabost as he made another worldy.

On the same turf, in between the same posts, it earned Lochs a stunning victory as they kick-started their bid for three Lewis and Harris League titles on the bounce.

Point meanwhile will need to channel the spirits of 1998, avoid defeat for the rest of the season and hope they can pull off a remarkable championship recovery.