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Lochs Win Jock Stein Cup for Sixth Time
Carloway 0 v 7 Lochs
On Friday July 17th Lochs took the field at Goathill Park, Stornoway for the final of the 2009 Jock Stein Cup against Carloway. Lochs had previously won this trophy five times, in 1995, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The torrential rain that hit Stornoway on Thursday left the grass looking lush and green as the players made their way onto the field and a sizeable crowd awaited their arrival. Despite other attractions in the town including the Celtic Festival and a circus the main event for the avid football followers was the Jock Stein Cup Final.
Lochs had expected both Graeme Mackenzie and David Black to make their way from the mainland to be part of the squad but the disruption caused to the ferry timetable by the MV Isle of Lewis breaking down in Stornoway meant that Robbie Mackenzie’s team was without these two stalwarts. However, Lochs fielded a strong side as usual despite seven of the players having played the previous Wendesday against a visiting Dundee United youth side.
Lochs created some early chances and with one of them hit the Carloway crossbar but could not find the net. Another looked as if it had crossed the line before being cleared by a Carloway defender but the referee waved play on. At the other end Crossley and Chris Macleod looked lively and Lochs keeper Cameron Houston had to look lively as he dealt with the first serious threat to his goal. The Lochs midfield began to control the game as the half wore on with Andy Murray spraying passes in all directions to willing runners. As we neared the half hour mark John “Uig” Morrison found himself in space on the Lochs right flank and from his perfectly placed cross David Macmillan headed the ball past keeper Craigie in the Carloway goal to give Lochs a deserved lead. Lochs then increased the pressure on the Carloway defence and wing back Robert Mackenzie doubled the lead when he headed home from a corner on the Lochs right. The pick of the goals was the third one scored as half time approached. Andy Murray broke free on the Lochs left and made his way unchallenged to the bye line. Instead of cutting the ball back or crossing it he went for goal himself and from the narrowest of angles beat the Carloway keeper by driving the ball high into the top of the net. Exquisite. On the stroke of half time Lochs keeper Houston pulled of a great save diving low to his right to prevent Carloway scoring.
Half – Time Carloway 0 v 3 Lochs
For the first twenty minutes of the second half Carloway enjoyed their best spell of the match. However, they did not pose any great threat to the Lochs goal. The closest they came was when a header from Chris Macleod flashed past the post. Further goals from David Martin, two from top scorer Don “Lava” Macleod and a first goal for Lochs from young substitute Peter “Robbie” Mackenzie made it a scintillating seven for the rampant Lochies.
On the night Andy Murray was the top performer and was awarded with the sponsors Man of the Match trophy. Andy makes football look easy as he glides past opponents, sprays passes in all directions and generally controls movement around him. Carloway never closed him down and so he was able to dictate play all night. At the back Alex Maciver, Ali Mackenzie and Peter Mackenzie were solid and young keeper Cameron Houston is gaining in confidence as the season progresses. Add to that mix the guile, control and trickery of Donald “Nommie” Macdonald and on the night Lochs were the complete package.
Special congratulations to Manager Robbie Mackenzie who guided his side to his first trophy in charge of Lochs. He has used his squad well so far this season and despite setbacks in the Acres Cup and the Highland Amateur Cup they came good tonight when it mattered. Well done Robbie.
This was also Niall Gibson’s last game for Lochs before he leaves the island and heads of to Egypt to take up a new job there.
Duncan N Macleod