Murchadh Macdonald reckons his side’s title triumph took years off his life after going through the ringer of a final day battle with Lochs.
The West Side manager added his name to the club’s history books by steering the Siarachs to a first EVER Lewis and Harris league championship. They needed a draw on their final league outing against title rivals Lochs to clinch the silverware and as Lochs led for a long spell, and created late chances to win a match which would also see them snatch the title at the death, it left Macdonald watching in agony.
“The biggest feeling of all is relief,” reflected Macdonald, a week after the title triumph.
“We came so close to losing it at the end and that final match against Lochs was terribly nerve-wracking. It definitely aged me. We were losing the title until 20-minutes to go and it shows what a fine line there is between success and failure.
“Lochs had a couple of very good late chances and it shows that we were just one shot away from it being all over.
“It’s all over now and we have finally done it, West Side are champions but it was a hard slog and it is tough to be up there leading for most of the season.”
In lifting the league title West Side became the last of all existing nine Lewis and Harris league clubs to have lifted the league title trophy but Murchadh wanted to praise title rivals Lochs, who pushed West until the final whistle of the season, and also 2013 champs Carloway.
“I must give credit to Lochs who pushed on so much in the second half of the season and were brilliant,” he explained.
“But I want to also give credit to Carloway as I don’t think I gave them enough credit for winning the league undefeated the year before. Having just managed that ourselves I know how hard that is, when you are top and unbeaten, everybody wants to beat you and Carloway did so well to do that.”
Alongside the league title trophy in the Barvas trophy cabinet is the Acres Boys Club Cup, the Eilean an Fhraoich Cup and the Co-op Cup, in what has been a quadruple winning year and the greatest in the history of the club.
“I was always confident we had a squad who could win the league but confidence and belief are two different things,” added Macdonald.
“I’m so proud of the boys for doing it, for keeping going when things were difficult and for being superb all season long. To win the league, and also to win three different cup competitions is a phenomenal achievement .
“Now we are just all looking forward to next season.
“It won’t be any easier next year at all but perhaps there will be less pressure on us having won that first one.”