Camanachd Leòdhais return to winning ways

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Camanachd Leòdhais made a welcome return to winning ways in Marine Harvest North Division Two with a 3-nil defeat of Inverness at the Bught Park.

Iain Sinclair set out his side with an unfamiliar look up front, Will Church in at Full Forward with Connor Chalmers and Peter Gomez in the half forward line, Donald Lamont lined up in a roving role between both lines. This bold selection paid off as Inverness struggled to deal with the plethora of pace.

Inverness also had their potential threats early on and bold “Colombian” sweeper keeping by the returning Graham Cay saw off a potential goal from Jason MacLeod.

Ten minutes in, Chalmers burst into the box and two Town defenders scythed him down for a blatant penalty.

With the team missing three penalties already this season, Church stepped up to the plate and his low drilled shot evaded player-manager Allan Macleod to hit the net. 1-0.

Chalmers was desperate to get on the scoresheet and fizzed a ball just wide, but at the other end Inverness almost drew level as Stuart MacRae rounded Cay but inexplicably blasted over from 10 yards.

On 17 minutes, Church evaded the Town defence and his rocket shot gave Macleod no chance and it nestled nicely behind the back stanchion to make it 2-0. Moments later Macleod did stop Church’s shot but it may have been a kick, however the referee did not blow for a penalty and play continued.

Church became provider for his side’s third, collecting a long searching Scott Murray ball out wide and crossing for Peter Gomez, instantly rechristened “Goalmez” as he scored his first ever goal for the club from the edge of the D. 3-0.

Inverness threatened periodically but the Leòdhasaich were in control, Lamont and Chalmers both came close to adding to the score but there was none added by the time the first period ended.

In the second half, Inverness rallied and showed more resilience as the islanders pushed for a fourth to put the game beyond doubt.

Murray showed some dramatic flourishes as several mazy dribbles from deep midfield just ended in disappointment on the edge of the D, and Donald Lamont just shot over the top corner.

Lamont’s brother Ally replaced Gomez on the hour mark, and Conor Macdonald and Stuart “Tyson” Campbell also got late run outs up front, Campbell almost bagging a goal on his comeback appearance.

The match petered out but Lewis were delighted to secure a fourth win of the season, this time at the National Stadium, raising them further from the bottom of the league.

It was a fine victory to set up a week of festivities celebrating 20 years since shinty returned to Lewis under the title Fèis Camanachd na Fichead Bliadhna with youth camps, ceilidhs and tournaments, setting the scene for the grand finale of the ninth HebCelt cup at Bayhead in Stornoway with Uist Camanachd.