For just the second time in 84 years, the Lewis and Harris League Title trophy is resident in Carloway.
Following on from their maiden triumph in 2013, Carloway are kings of the island football mountain once again after a staggering run of 11 straight league wins which saw them slap the handcuffs on the trophy with two games yet to play.
It is only a little more than five years since Carloway, known as Na Gormaich, ended a 55-year senior football trophy drought. An unlucky run of 12 successive cup final defeats between 1980 and 2012 had gone by while Carloway, who joined the league in 1946, had NEVER been champs – until 2013 - and they can now add the class of 2017 to that list as Carloway are two time Lewis and Harris League Champions.
Between 1957 and 2012, Carloway fans had nothing to celebrate or shout about, besides a run of losing cup final appearances. Their Stornoway Cup victory in 1957 was the final piece of silverware they won, before being followed by a barren 55-year run without the taste of silverware in the district.
Things have changed in Carloway and the past five years have been a golden era for the ‘Way. Led by skipper Domhnall Mackay - surely a shoe in now for the tag of greatest ever Carloway player - the team have racked up trophies like Ed Sheeran collects No.1 singles. This is the golden generation for Carloway supporters who have been given plenty to cheer about.
As the season started it was Point and West Side much fancied as the pair most likely to challenge for the title.
Even this humble writer suggested that while Carloway had a strong base they lacked enough goals with no main striker and the enigmatic Dan Crossley expected to miss the season.
Well I’m the first to hold my hands up and say I was wrong and well done Carloway although the return of the aforementioned Crossley and bringing in Angus Grant as striker did fine tune the Carloway juggernaut and bring the goals I felt they would miss.
Grant netted 13 goals in eight games for Carloway and Crossley is playing like he hasn’t missed a game.
Back to Monday’s game and Carloway knew they would be champs if they could beat Point but it was the visitors who bossed the first-half.
Andrew Morrison headed them into the lead and Carloway huffed and puffed and struggled badly to impose themselves on the game.
On the stroke of half-time Carloway drew level when a long ball over the top sent Grant scampering clear and the frontman coolly finished across Gordy Mackenzie and into the bottom corner.
Kenny ‘Dokus’ Macdonald steered a superb half volley inside the far post midway through the second-half to inch Carloway towards the championship.
Point should have gate crashed the title party and with West Side winning elsewhere made Carloway wait at least another game for the title as they missed a series of late chances.
Andrew Morrison had two golden late sights of goal, Elliot Ruddal wasted two headers he rose magnificently for and even a last gasp own goal by Andrew ‘Pongo’ Maciver was ruled out by the referee moments before the final whistle sounded to spark a Carloway title party on the pitch.
Meanwhile in Lochs, title hopefuls West Side knew they had to win and hope for a favour from Point to maintain their fading title hopes.
It was Lochs who took the lead as Ross Allison netted to silence the Siarachs.
After the break though West Side rallied and Martainn Shields and Innes Iain Morrison scored to give West hope until the final whistle in Carloway at least.
Up in Ness, Back FC picked up a vital win in their bid to avoid the bottom spot as they edged their hosts by the odd goal in five.
Louis Macdonald scored a brace with Jason Macleod - who has made scoring a regular habit this season - also finding the net.
James ‘Titch’ Morrison bagged both for Ness.
There was also celebrations in the orange half of Stornoway as United took bragging rights in the town derby.
Hamish Macdonald and Eoghainn Macphee grabbed the goals to see Grant Hunter’s men pick up a precious three league points over their big town rivals Athletic and it sees United leapfrog them in the pile.
The league table remains very tightly packed at the foot with just four points separating fourth placed Point and bottom placed Ness.