Carloway and Ness to contest EAF Final

Carloway FC are hoping to retain the EAF Cup they won last summer.
Carloway FC are hoping to retain the EAF Cup they won last summer.

It might have taken Carloway 83-years to finally get their paws on the Eilean an Fhraoich Cup but the boys in blue showed this week they are in no hurry to repeat such a wait as they marched into the EAF Cup final after an emphatic victory over Point.

The holders crossed the Braighe with their noses marginally in front thanks to a 2-1 first-leg win on home soil but in the cauldron of Garrabost it could be a much tougher affair.

The early stages did suggest Point would take the game to their guests after Alasdair ‘Wally’ Maciver ran clean through only to be denied by Carloway keeper Jack Maclennan inside the opening few seconds.

Angus Grant proved to be the difference in the first-leg and the livewire attacker continued his personal dismantling of Point with the game’s opening goal as he lashed in a low drive for the lead for Carloway.

Point levelled thanks to a beauty from Andrew Murray who curled a cracker over Maclennan from outside the area.

Then the Point schoolboy’s Domhnall Alick Morrison and Matthew Wright combined with the latter finishing from 10-yards to edge Point ahead on the night and level on aggregate. Game on as the home crowd roared their approval.

The game raged from end to end with pot-shots and half chances falling in either box but it was Carloway, and that man Grant again, who netted with the striker rising unchallenged to nod a bouncing ball into the back of the net.

Chances continued to fall for both sides after the restart with Calum Mackay rattling the woodwork for Carloway before they netted again as Dan Crossley reacted in the box to scoop the ball into the net for 3-2 on the night.

Carloway refused to take their foot of the gas and the ‘Way scored a fourth to all but ease themselves into the Eilean an Fhraoich Cup final as Grant completed his hat-trick with an exquisite lob over Ali Lamont.

The treble took Grant’s remarkable summer haul to 10 in four matches - which is all he has played since coming home on holiday.

Crossley wrapped up the scoring before the end with a stunning direct free kick which gave Lamont no chance as Carloway ran away with it 5-2 on the night and 7-3 over the two-legs.

In Upper Coll there was a similar evening of drama as Ness visited Back for a place in the final.

Like the other tie, this was a match which just a single goal seperated them after the first-legs.

Chris Mackay and Chris Macleod overturned their 1-0 first-leg loss to put Back firmly in the box seat at half-time in Coll.

Back were heading into the final as things stood as the match moved deep into stoppage time.

The referee had already played four additional minutes when an unlikley hero popped up for Ness in Finn Rush-Taylor with a last, gasp goal to force the match into extra-time.

Back came back again and Lewis Mackenzie netted to give Back the lead again and move within sight of the final. But just as they had in normal time, Ness refused to give up hope and they were rewarded just before thed of extra-time when Jack Dunlop pounced to force the match into penalty kicks.

Ness custodian Ali Murray stepped up to the plate as the hero as the two sides duked it out from 12-yards in the dreaded lottery of penalty kicks with Murray making three saves.

Ness will now meet Carloway in the final on Friday 11 August at Garrabost.