Camanachd Leòdhais obtained their first point of the season at the weekend, a late equaliser securing a 2-2 draw with Caberfeidh in Shawbost.
Manager Duncan MacIntyre had the luxury of naming a seventeen-man squad for the clash with the Strathpeffer side, boosted by new signings Calum MacMillan and Joseph MacInnes from Uist
Lewis, determined to kick-start their season, began in the ascendancy with shots from Paul Duke and then Connor Chalmers sailing over the bar.
It was Chalmers that would open his account for the season on 11 minutes. Lewis were passing the ball fluidly and it created some space for Chalmers almost 40 yards from goal. Chalmers fired a shot high towards goal, the ball hanging in the air before looping over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to the delight of the home support.
The goal galvanised Caberfeidh and what followed was intense pressure on the Lewis goal, the visitors forcing several corners and causing confusion within the Lewis defence.
Lewis’ back line held firm initially but it was eventually breached after 30 minutes, with James Rolfe levelling the scores.
Both teams continued to attack as the first half came to a close with the best chance falling to Paddy Sinclair who forced the Caberfeidh goalkeeper into a save.
The second half was a tense affair with both teams putting in maximum effort in hot conditions. New signing MacInnes was brought on for his debut and Lewis began the half on top but Caberfeidh were able to keep chances down to a minimum.
As the half wore on it was Caberfeidh who began to take control. Martin MacDonald was a danger whenever he was able to get on the ball whilst John Ritchie and Colin MacLennan worked tirelessly to drive their team forward.
That hard work paid off on 65 minutes as MacLennan blasted home to give Caberfeidh the lead.
Caberfeidh, who began the day second in the league, were looking comfortable as the halfback and full centre were finding space to sweep up the play and push the ball into the Lewis half. MacIntyre pushed Kenny ‘Duffy’ Murray up front and looked to the youth in the squad as Scott MacLeod and Ruaraidh MacMillan replaced Connor Chalmers and Will Church.
The introduction of the younger players added a new dynamic to the Lewis forward line with their added pace and movement.
Late goals have become somewhat of a speciality for the island club this year and Saturday once again proved no exception. Only a couple of minutes shy of the ninety the ball dropped to Murray, the Lewis captain creating a bit of space for himself before drilling the ball into the back of the net with the aid of a deflection.
Lewis searched for a winner and almost nicked it at the death as MacInnes found himself free but the ball didn’t quite sit right for him and his shot went agonizingly wide.
Whilst the senior team had its hands full with a talented Caberfeidh squad, the club had teams competing in both the open and junior sections of the Far North Sixes tournament.
The open competition saw strong performances from a squad consisting of both men and women, highlighted by Steven Morrison winning player of the tournament. The junior team managed a win and a draw from five games with youngster Keith Bray scoring three times in the process.
Lewis will host Glengarry this Saturday. Throw up will be at 2:30pm and live updates can be found on Twitter @lewiscamanachd