Peter Mackenzie bagged a glorious treble to hand Carloway their first domestic defeat of 2013 and give Lochs a huge advantage at the mid-way point of the Eilean an Fhraoich Cup semi-finals.
Two excellently executed penalties were followed by a controlled finish into the far corner by the swashbuckling winger on a night in which the Maroons were magnificent.
Both sides were much changed from their usual XI as the traditional residency and parentage rules meant a host of regulars were ineligible for the tournament.
As a result Carloway lost Fraser Macleod, David Beaton, Gus Maciver, Kevin Macleod, Seumas Macleod and Calum Tom Moody. In their place boss Kevin Anderson drafted in Jack Maclennan (United), Stuart Macdonald (Aths), Louie Macdonald (Rangers Club) and Calum Iain Macdonald while 15-year-old Western Thistle prospect Eachainn Miller earned a first call-up to the senior set-up.
Lochs meanwhile were without the inform Angie Campbell, Jim O’Donnell, Chris Mackay and Stevie Price but they were able to draft in Gordon Mackenzie (United), Calum Tom Moody (Carloway), Ali ‘Koch’ Morrison (Aths) and Don ‘Lava’ Macleod who hung up his boots at the end of last season.
Although both sides were much changed Carloway have been in the habit of winning and when they took an early lead following a beautiful curling free kick from Kenny ‘Dokus’ Macdonald they must have been confident of a good night on home soil.
But Lochs had other ideas. And when Johnny Smith went down under a push in the back from Louie Macdonald they had a penalty.
Mackenzie placed the ball and drove his laces through the sweet spot to blast the ball into the net to level.
Having drawn level the balance of power swung into Lochs’ favour where only a breathtaking save from Maclennan kept out a Smith thunderbolt. A mishit attempt to knock the ball back to his keeper from Carloway skipper Domhnall Mackay almost handed Callum Masson a tap in but the Lochs winger couldn’t adjust his feet on the run to hook the ball into the net.
After the break Lochs upped the tempo and they were awarded a second penalty of the night when Peter ‘Robbie’ Mackenzie was chopped down in the box.
His namesake, Lochs’ other Peter Mackenzie, again took the spot-kick and once more opted for brute force as he smashed it past Maclennan.
Mackenzie then wrapped up his hat-trick just three minutes later when he arrived on cue in the Carloway box, completely unmarked, to steer a loose ball into the opposite corner past Maclennan again.
Although they had built a comfortable lead the visiting Lochies continued to pour forward and Don ‘Lava’ Macleod headed the ball in the net moments after joining the action from the bench only to have his celebrations cut short by a linesmans flag.
‘Lava’ then headed a chance from an almost identical position a foot over the bar after a dug out cross from Smith before Phil Macleod booted a net-bound volley from Calum Tom Moody off the line.
It was all one-way and Macmillan added a fourth with a controlled finish from 16-yards after running into the box onto the ball from deep.
The final stages of the tie saw Carloway drive forward in search of a goal to give themselves a better chance in the second-leg at the Cregan Dubh but despite ‘Dokus’ warming Gordon Mackenzie’s palms with a stinging near post drive, and Dan Crossley glancing a Scott Macaulay corner across the face of goal they couldn’t find a way through.
Eilean an Fhraoich Cup