Northern fights - Lewis and Harris football preview

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The turgid grind of the long winter months has finally shuddered to a halt as we stand on the dawn of a fresh new football season in Lewis and Harris.

Another year has has flown by in a blur and the sands of time seem to be hurtling down at a rate comparable to a size 5 Mitre bounding down the Clisham.

It feels like just yesterday we saw the West Side lift their first ever league title after an epic do-or-die last night clash with Lochs. And a blink of an eye on it’s time for the players to tape up their boots, lather on the Deep Heat and get going all over again.

It’s been a whirlwind winter, a 100 per cent Victor Meldrew time of wild winds, storms and the infamous weather bomb.

But sticking with Old Man Meldrew I can’t wait for another ‘I-don’t-believe-it’ six months of Lewis and Harris football astonishing itself with tales of the unexpected.

The blue ribbons of the West Side were billowing in the Hebridean breeze on four different occassions last time out as they added a cup treble to their inaugurual league championship.

But who am I tipping to be the main challengers to tear their ribbons off the trophy? This season it’s Lochs and Point who look best equipped for a challenge.

Both have recruited well and increased the firewpower in squads which were already edging clear of the chasing pack.

Unfortunately the league has lost a member with Harris FC withdrawing this time around which reduces the numbers of clubs from nine to eight but the hope is the Hearachs will regroup, reorganise and return in the near future.

Whoever wins the prizes in 2015 we are guaranteed a summer of drama, spectacle and skill as our eight gladiators enter the arena of footballing battle on the island.

The Stornoway Gazette will be there every step of the way to bring our readers the details of every goal and match played in the frenetic pace of the Lewis and Harris game we all love so much.

Pick up a copy of your Gazette now to read our packed 10-page, team by team guide to the new season. On sale now.