Saints stroll Clash of Champions

Jospeh Macinnes (yellow) netted the opener on a day the Uist and Barra champs turned over the Lewis and Harris champs.
Jospeh Macinnes (yellow) netted the opener on a day the Uist and Barra champs turned over the Lewis and Harris champs.

THE images of an unforgettable summer in Lewis and Harris football remain fresh in the minds of all Stornoway Athletic supporters: skipper Steven Clinton hoisting the league trophy; Scott Maciver firing the avalanche of goals which earned him his first ever player of the year award.

But their last game was far less memorable for them as they were dumped out of the Highland Amateur Cup by Uist and Barra champs Iochdar Saints in thoroughly convincing fashion.

It was billed as a battle of two of the Western Isles’ football heavyweights. Champs vs champs meeting at Goathill Park on Saturday. Aths in their traditional black and white in one corner with visiting Saints, decked in yellow, standing in the other.

Both sides traded possession and blows in the early going but it was Saints who landed the knockout blow with a 3-0 win in Stornoway to tee up a Third Round clash with Orcadians Kirkwall Thorfin.

Joseph Macinnes, Archie Macdonald and Ally Downie all scored on what must have been a far more comfortable day for the Uisteachs than they expected.

Aths did enjoy plenty of the ball but it always seemed to be in the wrong areas on the pitch to cause too many problems and it was Saints who created, and took, the best chances.

The hosts enjoyed an encouraging start but Macinnes edged Saints ahead with a goal on the break as he skipped clear on the left before clipping the ball past the onrushing Colin Macritchie.

Elliot Rudall had Aths’ two best sights of goal in the first-45 with towering headers but each time he nodded over the top.

And they were punished for their profligacy in front of goal as they fell behind barely a minute into the second half when Archie Macdonald crashed a dipping shot over Macritchie from 20-yards.

Aths began to chase the game and Saints booted the ball off the line following one charge forward before Gary Macleod arrowed a diving header narrowly past the far post.

The a little controversy for the mix as DJ Clinton was chopped down in the box. At first glance, it didn’t just look like a stonewaller but the roof, guttering and chimney too, but the man in the middle waved play on.

Then Iochdar wrapped things up with their third and final goal with another counter attack at breakneck pace. This time the name on the scoresheet was Ally Downie who arrived unchallenged at the back post to stroke home into the empty net.

At the other end DJ Clinton smacked the face of the crossbar with a long range drive but there was to be no consolation goal for Aths who were dumped out in the clash of the champions.

Highland Amateur Cup

Stornoway Athletic 0

Iochdar Saints 3