Under a haar of incessant drizzle and ever damp conditions the new Lewis and Harris football season kicked off in Upper Coll as Back rolled out the welcome mat for Carloway in the Acres Boys Club Cup.
After the scheduled first night of the season had seen its matches postponed it fell to the Broadbay Blues and the Way to light the bluetouch paper on the new season.
On the night there proved to be very little to separate the sides as they went all the way to penalty kicks after sharing two-goals in normal time and a goalless extra-time followed.
Chris Mackay marked his non Eilean an Fhraoich Cup debut with Back with a first-half goal as he booted the ball into the empty net from close range.
this came after 15-year-old Joel Martin blazed a trail up the right and picked out the unmarked Stuart Macdonald at the far post. He in turn nodded the ball into the six-yard box where Mackay couldn’t miss.
From then Carloway enjoyed a lot of the ball but they were repelled three times in a busy first half by Back keeper Michael Maciver.
Kenny ‘Dokus’ Macdonald forced a flying save and Archie Macdonald’s glancing header was also clawed away.
In the second-half Carloway continued to move the ball around nicely but all their possession they failed to open up a stubborn and well disciplined Back defence.
Maciver was much quieter and Back were content to let Carloway have the ball where they couldn’t hurt the hosts.
Calum Mackay impressed in midfield showing neat touches and a willingness to get on the ball while up front Jordan Macleod was a willing runner throughout and showed the new signing will be a useful asset for Graeme Miller.
For Back, Stuart Macdonald looked a threat throughout while Martin has limiltless potential.
Carloway finally drew level 13-minutes from the end with a goal which left Back boss James Macarthur hugely fruistrated on the sidelines. It was a simple punt up the park which Archie Macdonald showed he wanted more than anyone in the home camp as he rose to head the ball home.
Back had seemed set to maintain their control of the cup tie until Carloway’s top goalscorer from 2016 ghosted into space down the right hand channel of the box and flicked in an excellent header past Maciver.
Macarthur urged his team to concentrate and advised his players this was something they had expected.
Extra-time failed to provide a winner although Carloway had returning goalkeeper David Beaton to thank for taking the tie to spot-kicks as made alast gasp stop to deny Back a dramatic winner in the fast fading light.
So onto penalty kicks it went with a place in the Acres Boys Club Cup semi-finals at stake.
In a shoot-out it is a mixture of Lady Lucky and steel nerves which win the day and on this occasion it was the visitors who had enough from 12-yards to squeeze past the hosts.