Camanachd Leòdhais suffered the harshest of losses on Saturday, as an inability to put the game to bed against hosts Inverness saw them lose 2-1 with the very last strike of the caman.
Manager Duncan MacIntyre welcomed back Graham Cay in between the posts, allowing Conor MacDonald his first start of the year at wingback
After a slow start in their previous match, Lewis came firing out of the blocks with Donald Lamont, Kenny ‘Duffy’ Murray and Al Reed all going close. Inverness too looked dangerous and Cay was forced into making a couple of good saves.
MacIntyre had to shuffle the pack after 25mins when captain Peter Gomez was fighting for possession and got caught with a stray caman to the head. The injury required several stitches so Calum Stamper came off the bench. Stamper made an immediate impact with one effort striking the side netting.
Lewis spent the remainder of the first half looking for a breakthrough but despite creating several chances the Inverness goalkeeper was rarely threatened.
Inverness were able to look towards their bench to begin the second half. Ewen MacKinnon and his son Ross took the field, strengthening the hosts in both the centre and forward line.
Lewis started the second half with the same intensity as the first and it paid off with the game’s opening goal on 55 minutes. Al Reed launched a ball forward from the right wing. Dougie Shaw took the ball on his chest, turned and fired the ball low into the net. The shot took a slight deflection but that will matter not to Shaw who celebrated his first goal for the club.
Inverness were now reeling as Lewis looked to press home their advantage. A fantastic stick save from Allan MacLeod in the Inverness goal denied Reed whilst an outstretched Murray fired the ball over the bar from less than ten yards out before Stamper scooped the ball too high.
Inverness drew strength from the visitor’s missed chances and began to assert pressure. Following a succession of corners, the Lewis defence finally buckled. Stuart MacRae was given time and space which allowed him to set himself before fizzing a shot low into the corner of the net with less than 25 minutes remaining.
MacIntyre was forced into another substitution, this time bringing himself on for goal scorer Shaw who couldn’t continue due to a hamstring injury.
Inverness and Lewis then took turns to look for a winner. The Lewis defence and midfield was looking edgy with players being pulled out of position. At the other end, the foot of the goalkeeper denied Murray with Lewis’ claims for a penalty being rejected.
As the game entered injury time, both teams refused to settle for a draw. Donald Lamont received the ball twenty yards from goal but his shot was blocked. Inverness were then able to snatch a winner at the game’s death. Ewen MacKinnon collected the ball on the left wing and wasn’t tracked by his marker. MacKinnon streaked towards goal and reached the bye line. Daniel ‘Gaga’ Gallagher moved across to meet him but MacKinnon won a 50/50 challenge and squared it to the edge of the box and MacRae sent the ball past a sprawling Cay as the final whistle blew.