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Highland Amateur Cup running out of time to kick off as competition faces cancellation

By Will Clark

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The biggest competition in Highland amateur football is on the verge of being cancelled this season as it faces running out of time to find dates to play matches.

Loch Ness 4 Avoch 4
Loch Ness 4 Avoch 4

Organisers of the Highland Amateur Cup have said it is unlikely the tournament will go ahead in 2020 due to the lack of time available to play the competition this summer as a result of the impact of Covid-19.

Competition secretary Bob Gunn says although the decision has yet to be confirmed, time has almost run out to hold the tournament.

The Highland Amateur Cup, which was first held in 1978, features amateur football teams from across the Highlands, Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles.

However, Gunn says it is unlikely that the competition will go ahead this season for the first time in its 42-year history due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re still waiting for a directive from the Scottish Amateur Football Association,” he said.

“There is a moratorium until they get the green light from the Scottish Government.

“We will be the last on the football chain to get up and running again as clubs can’t get testing facilities as things stand.

“But I think it is safe to say there will be no Highland Amateur Cup in 2020.

“Our final must be played by the end of the amateur season to allow the winter season to start in the last week of August and first week of September but there are not enough calendar days to allow that to happen.

“Teams from Shetland to the south of Inverness compete in the tournament so it just can’t take place within a scale of two months.”

The Highland Amateur Cup has been dominated by teams from Caithness in recent years.

Wick Groats won the trophy four times in the last seven years and Dunnet outfit Pentland United, who hold the record of eight cup wins, last won the trophy in 2018.

Avoch are the second most successful side in the tournament’s history winning the tournament six times with their last victory in 2017.

Other Ross-shire teams to win the tournament in the past include Contin, Dingwall Thistle and Maryburgh.

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