Skye defeat Camanachd Leòdhais for Mod Cup

Some action from the match. Picture courtesy of An Comunn G�idhealach.
Some action from the match. Picture courtesy of An Comunn G�idhealach.

Skye Camanachd lifted the prestigious Mod Cup on Saturday, withstanding a strong challenge from Camanachd Leòdhais.

Well-executed set pieces and some potent counter-attacking proving to be the difference en route to a 3-0 win.

Camanachd Leòdhais’ starting twelve was a mix of youth and experience with veteran Kenny ‘Duffy’ Murray once again captaining the side whilst halfback Michael MacLeod flew in from Aberdeen especially for the game.

Skye travelled with the nucleus of the squad that finished fifth in North Division One this season.

Skye finished their league campaign the week prior whereas Lewis’ last competitive fixture took place in early September.

Any worries that the long layoff would leave Lewis looking rusty quickly subsided as the hosts started strongly, matching Skye in every department.

Indeed, the first real chance of the game fell to Lewis forward Will Church, as he shot wide following good play from a corner.

Stellar defensive play from both sides in tricky weather conditions kept chances to a minimum with the halfbacks for both sides putting in top performances.

This has been very much a theme for Lewis’ MacLeod who has been a revelation in his first season at halfback.

The sides traded chances as the first half neared an end, the Skye goalkeeper clearing the ball amidst pressure from Scott MacLeod before a Skye shot beat Lewis goalkeeper Graham Cay but found the wrong side of the post.

Having had the better of the first half, Lewis found themselves under the cosh early in the second, Skye almost scoring immediately but their effort sailed over the bar.

Donald Lamont flashed an effort wide for Lewis before Skye took the lead on 58 minutes.

Skye’s pressure and dangerous corners saw a chance fall to Peter Gordon who dispatched the ball high into the top corner of the net, the relief on the faces of the Skye players plain for all to see.

Skye very nearly doubled their lead immediately but Cay made a terrific one-on-one stop.

Lewis then began to regain control of the game as they searched for an equaliser.

Murray weaved his way into the Skye box and sent the ball across the goal but Lamont just couldn’t quite get on the end of it, the faintest of touches would have tied the score.

Lewis continued to push as Scott MacLeod had a shot well saved but Skye showed their quality by turning defence into attack and doubling their advantage.

Iain MacLellan proved to be the beneficiary of the swift move to make it 2-0 on 72 minutes.

A shell-shocked Lewis then lost a third goal just two minutes later as a Kenneth MacLeod shot squeezed past Cay.

Lewis had one more chance to get on the score sheet.

A strong surge from Paul Duke giving young Alexander Gordon a chance to score his first goal in only his second appearance for the club, the youngster doing well to react quickly to the loose ball but his effort was a whisker past the post.

With that the final whistle blew. Lewis will feel they did enough to come away with the victory and may well have done so on another day but credit must go to Skye who executed well and capped off a successful season by lifting the Mod Cup.

Lewis will take heart from their performance against a team playing in a higher league and will look to take that into next season.