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Highland Amateur Cup may not return in the summer

By Will Clark

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ORGANISERS of the Highland Amateur Cup fear they may not be able to hold the competition for the second year in a row due to the impact of the pandemic.

Highland Amateur Cup executive committee chairman Hugh Morrison believes time may be running out to organise the tournament due to uncertainty surrounding when it can be ruled safe for grassroots football to return to action.

Social Club v Thurso Pentland ..Players challenge for the ball...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 043783.
Social Club v Thurso Pentland ..Players challenge for the ball...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 043783.

The Scottish Football Association will hold a review into lifting the suspension of the sport on Monday, March 1.

But Morrison says it is uncertain whether restrictions will allow the Highland Amateur Cup to take place in 2021 or if it will be forced to be put on hold until next year.

“I can’t see us making any decision on the tournament until April or May,” he said.

“If that happens it might be too late to start the competition.

“However, that will be for the committee to decide, but I’m unsure when that meeting will happen.

“We have to consider the competition involves teams from Skye to Shetland along with Orkney and the Western Isles as well as the Highlands.

“More thought is required to go into the travelling for them.

“Nothing is official, but we need to have things clear in our minds by the end of April that it can go ahead.

“At the moment, I can’t see that happening.

“We thought last year that we would be back up and running in 2021, but that hasn’t happened.”

The competition was last held in 2019 when Wick Groats won the tournament for the third time in five years with a 1–0 over Ross-shire outfit Avoch.

Caithness clubs have dominated the tournament in recent years, with the county’s clubs winning four out of the five.

Dunnet outfit Pentland United, who hold the record for winning the trophy eight times, last won the tournament in 2018 when they defeated Shetland side Lerwick Spurs 2–1 in the final which was held at Harmsworth Park in Wick.

Avoch have won the competition six times, with their last win coming in 2017 when they beat Caithness club Staxigoe United 2–1 in the final at Dudgeon Park in Brora.

No team from Inverness has ever won the Highland Amateur Cup.

The only city side to reach the final was Inverness British Legion who lost 3–1 to Pentland United back in 1998.

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