A CONVINCING 5-1 victory for Lochaber ended Beauly’s Balliemore Cup dreams at sunny Castle Leod, Strathpeffer.
Caberfeidh’s pitch has rarely looked better and for the best part of the first half the final lived up to its reputation for producing drama and first class entertainment.
In a devastating 10 minute spell either side of the interval, however, Lochaber struck three times to finish the match as a contest.
The match started at a frantic pace and Lochaber almost caught Beauly cold with a sweeping attack in the first minute that ended when Beauly goalkeeper MacKay Murray produced a sharp save to clear the danger.
It was to be the first of many interventions by the Beauly player who went onto to produce a man of the match performance with a series of outstanding saves.
Eventually, Beauly settled and with Conor Cormack outstanding at half back, they began to press forward.
In the 10th minute, the Lochaber defence failed to clear their lines and Beauly worked the ball across field to Jack MacDonald who finished confidently from 20 yards.
Beauly continued to threaten, but the Lochaber back four stood firm and slowly the Spean Bridge side began to exert pressure of their own — a move that paid dividends with 30 minutes gone.
Lochaber danger man Sean Nicholson pounced on hesitancy in the Beauly defence and he struck from close range to restore parity.
Lochaber continued to look the more likely as Beauly’s defence came under increasing pressure and with just two minutes of the half remaining substitute Stuart Callison converted form the edge of the box to give his side a crucial half-time advantage.
The second half had barely started when Ben Delaney weaved his way through a slumbering Beauly rearguard to put his side in complete control. Beauly’s hopes were then completely dashed just three minutes later when Delaney fired home after good lead up play from Nicholson.
Lochaber relaxed their grip on the match after that, but Callison sealed Beauly’s fate with his second just after the hour mark. To their credit Beauly battled to the end, but by now the destination of the cup had been decided.
Camanachd Association president Archie Robertson presented the trophy to Lochaber captain Hughie Innes, the first Lochaber player to lift the intermediate prize since 1994.For more shinty see today's Inverness Courier