Barra FC boys make history

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W
VLUU L310 W / Samsung L310 W

Barra skipper James Davidson insists he knew his side would score against Point in the Co-op Cup final - even when the clock ticked towards the 89th minute with his side a goal behind the Reds.

His faith proved fully justified when Michael Macinnes charged across the box to thunder a header in via the inside of the post with less than 90-seconds to play.

The last-gasp goal forced the game into penalties - due to Co-op Cup rules which circumvent extra-time - which meant the fate of island football’s only Western Isles-wide cup competition would be decided from 12-yards in the lottery of a shoot-out.

All five of Barra’s penalties were expertly dispatched while Point scored four and crucially saw one saved by Barra custodian Cailean Macarthur.

The culmunation of the nerve-jangling shoot-out sparked wild celebrations on the Lionacleit turf as Barra made history as the first team from Uist and Barra in the history of the Co-op Cup to win it and keep the silverware on the south side of the sound of Harris.

Davidson beamed: “It was a late goal but in the last three years we have scored in every single match except one so we have goals in us.

“Even in the last six weeks we have scored six-goals in the last five minutes of matches. All this meant we were quite confident we would score. We even said before the match that if it was only 1-0 in the last ten minutes it was fine as we will score a goal before the end.”

Alex Lamb’s speculative punt towards goal from distance was fumbled into the net by Cailean Macarthur with just over 15-minutes of the game to play.

But Barra refused to buckle or concede confidence and after a starring run to the final in which they have made last gasp goals a tradition - who can blame them.

“All through this cup we have scored late goals,” said Davidson.

“Against Lochs we scored with 90 seconds to play, and in the semi-final we scored against Carloway with about two minutes left and now we have done the same thing in the final.”

From the penalty spot Barra were lethal with all five kicks nestling behind Alex Wright in the Point goal.

The Rudhachs too were in good form from the spot, with four of their five kicks netting except Sam Macsween when he placed the ball for their second kick.

Macsween has been arguably Point’s top performer this season and he is most definitley among their most improved. But this time he couldn’t convert.

“Penalties is just a lottery,” conceded Davidson, “but it is great to get our hands on the cup.

“It doesn’t matter now what teams from Uist and Barra win this trophy in the future - our name will be the first on there and we are all delighted.

“Our hangover is finally passing now after we had a great weekend.”

Point manager Angus Mackay said: “It was very hard to take with the goal coming so late in a game we couldn’t see them scoring in to be honest.

“It was a tight game on a narrow pitch and both teams were well up for it. There was very little time to settle on the ball but I thought we had the better of the game.

“All throughout I felt we defended superbly and really didn’t give them a sniff and their first corner of the second-half didn’t come until the 89th minute and they scored from it.

“It was a great run by the boy who scored but it was hard to take, but after late goals against Carloway and Lochs it was no surprise. Sometimes you think a teams name is on the cup.

“It is great for the Co-op Cup that a team from Uist and Barra has won it, as it is a good competition and the only Western Isles wide football competition.”

Reflecting on Macsween, who was the unfortunate fall guy to miss from the spot, Mackay added: “Sam was one of the best players on the pitch on the day but there always has to be someone who misses in a penalty shootout. It doesn’t matter how well you’ve played or what form you’re in, it can happen to absolutely anyone at any level. Nobody blames Sam at all and we were all gutted for him.

“He has improved immensely and we all win as a team and we all lose as a team.”