Posted on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
Pic credit: Mark Harcus
The new Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League campaign got underway this past weekend, and decisive home wins was the theme for three of the four fixtures.
At Dounby, Orkney hit Halkirk United for eight and the star of the show was Liam Delday, who netted a first half hat-trick after Chris Simpson had given the Islanders a 7th minute lead with a shot fired through the palms of Sean Milligan. Delday's first, a well placed header, arrived on 23rd minutes before he doubled his contribution five minutes prior to half time with a good finish inside the six yard box. He rounded off his hat-trick with a composed finish after collecting a cross at the far post. In the second half, Zack Singh made it 5-0 on 56 minutes and it was Delday again with a quarter hour remaining who scored his fourth and Orkney's sixth. Late goals from Callan Jessiman (penalty) and James Pickles with a header from a corner compounded United's misery.
It was an afternoon to forget for new boys Bonar Bridge who made their long awaited return to the North Caledonian League away to Invergordon. The home side took no prisoners as they put eleven past their Sutherland visitors at the Recreation Grounds. Brothers Cammy and Scott Houston for the scoring underway in the first half with goals in 10 and 18 minutes respectively, and Shaun Kerr made it 3-0 seven minutes later. Last year's top scorer Darran Goller hit a brace in seven minutes to round off a miserable first period for Ryan Renwick in the Bonar goal. They managed to stem the tide somewhat in the second half, delaying further scoring until the 70th minute when Kerr notched his second. Kyle Macdonald was on hand to make it 7-0 and just seconds after the restart, substitute Ian Penwright scored his first goal for the Invergordon side. Jordan Knight grabbed a goal and it was left to Penwright to complete a five minute hat-trick on the death to round the scoring off.
Inverness Athletic got off to a winning start at home to Bunillidh Thistle to put three points on the board. The opener came from a long ball which evaded the Bunillidh back line and new signing Jack Mackay pounced to volley over Cameron Yuill. Mackay made it 2-0 six minutes after breaking clear and taking two attempts to beat the keeper. The Helmsdale side halfed the deficit on 35 minutes when Nathan Wilson found space on the edge of the box to slot into the bottom corner. But the comeback was shortlived, as Dean Allison made it 3-1 three minutes before the break. Inverness heaped the pressure on in the second half and it took until the hour for them to extend their lead, Michael Corbett backheeling into the net from a through ball. Things went from bad to worse for Thistle as goalkeeper Yuill was sent off for a challenge on Athletic forward Gary Cornish. Stand-in keeper Jordan Hailes could do nothing to prevent goals in the dying stages from Michael Grant and Cornish, before Martin MacDonald netted from the penalty spot to complete the scoring.
In Tain, Thurso overcame St. Duthus after going 1-0 down in the first half. Jon Campbell had given the Saints the lead after 15 minutes when he broke down the right wing before finding the far corner with a good finish from a tight angle. Keepers Stephen Campbell and Christie Cannop had to be at their best at either end during a busy first period, but the next didn't arrive until half time, when Thurso were award a spot kick for a trip; Michael Petrie doing the honours to make it 1-1. The late goal spurred the Vikings on and they took the lead on 63 minutes, Petrie scoring a second with a shot across goal which foxed Campbell. Five minutes later Thurso were in the lead and it was Cameron Montgomery who found the net, with a goal very similar to Petrie's earlier strike. Chasing the game, St. Duthus were unable to level but did manage to reduce the scoreline before the end, also scoring from the penalty spot through Cammy Mackintosh after midfielder Jon Campbell had been fouled.
Saturday 14th September 2019
Jock Mackay Cup 1st Round
Orkney vs Lewis & Harris – KO 1pm at Invergordon
Bonar Bridge vs Golspie Sutherland – KO 2pm
Jock Mackay Cup 2nd Round
Inverness Athletic vs Nairn County U20’s – KO 2pm
St. Duthus vs Halkirk United – KO 2pm
Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League
Bunillidh Thistle vs Thurso - KO 2.30pm