ALNESS Athletic finally got their hands on their first trophy of the season in the MacLean Electrical Ross-shire Welfare League after an emphatic 5-0 victory over Ross-shire Club in the Coronation Cup Final at Jubilee Park, Dingwall last Saturday.
Athletic had been runners-up in the previous two cup finals this season but after they got into their stride there was only going to be one winner in this encounter.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action in an evenly contested first half. The only goal had a degree of luck attached to it.
Shaun Robertson’s attempted shot at goal took a wicked deflection to the far post where Martin Douglas headed the ball into the
net via the underside of the crossbar.
Ross-shire Club’s Mark Gair came close at the start of the second half with a rasping drive which just cleared the crossbar.
At the other end Douglas fired over after carving out an opening for himself.
Robertson was almost in on goal in the 54th minute but a last ditch tackle from Cammy Bell averted the danger.
It was all Athletic at this stage and Mark Lamont clipped the top of the crossbar with a shot from just inside the 18-yard box.
Chris Graham then forced a fine save from Ross goalkeeper Steven Hyslop in the 58th minute and a Douglas shot was deflected behind for a corner kick a couple of minutes later.
The pressure finally paid off in the 61st minute when Jamie MacDonald fired high into the net after the ball rebounded into his path following a corner kick.
Graham put the result beyond doubt four minutes later when he swept home a Lamont cutback.
Athletic’s attacks were as relentless as the driving rain and Robertson rounded off a fine display with a quickfire double in the closing stages.
Graham MacKenzie, chairman of the Ross-shire Club, sponsors of the cup, presented the trophy to the winning side after the match. Athletic’s Mark Lamont was voted man-of-the-match.
LAST Wednesday, Alness Athletic moved four points clear at the top of the table after a convincing
4-0 victory over nearest chal-
lengers Balintore at Lower Seaboard Park.
Michael MacKenzie and Chris Graham scored two goals apiece as the league leaders strengthened their grip in the title race. Tain Thistle defeated Inver 5-3 in an action-packed thriller at The Links.
Liam Rostock got Thistle off to a flyer with a goal in the first minute.
Thistle had to wait until the 44th minute for Darran Goller to
add a second after a fine flowing move.
Inver lost the services of centre back Andrew Sutherland early in the second half. Thistle immediately applied pressure on the makeshift defence and goals from John MacLellan and Martyn Farquhar midway through the half put the match beyond Inver.
In the other match, Ross-shire Club doubled their points tally with a 4-0 victory over Cromarty at Victoria Park.
Paul Fredericks, Kegan Stewart, Craig Sutherland and an own goal accounted for Ross-shire’s tally.
Top goalscorers: 23 — Shaun Robertson (Alness Athletic); 13 — Phil MacDonald (Cromarty); 12 — Ruari Rogan (Cromarty); 10 — Mark Lamont (Alness Athletic), Chris Graham (Alness Athletic); 6 — Robert MacCormack (Invergordon Social Club), Ryhs Shewan (Cromarty), Mike MacKenzie (Alness Athletic).
Fair Play league: 1 — Alness Athletic (2.15 penalty points per game); 2 — Balintore (2.92); 3 — Ross-shire Club (3.42); 4 — Cromarty (4.20); 5 — Tain Thistle (5.33).6 — Inver (6.50); 7 — Invergordon Social Club (7.33).
Fixtures — Saturday, June 30 — Seaboard Cup first round (Sponsored by Commercial
Hotel, Balintore), 3pm —
Inver v Alness Athletic;
Ross-shire Club v Tain Thistle; Balintore v Cromarty. Wednesday, July 4 — Invergordon Social ~
Club v Inver; Cromarty v Alness Athletic; Ross-shire Club v Balintore.