PICTURES: Boat of Garten lift local welfare league cup after 75-year wait
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It may have taken them 75 years to do it but Boat of Garten Ospreys were finally crowned local welfare league champions on Tuesday night.
Boat of Garten 4-2 Kingussie
There was a decent crowd as the Ospreys faced their night of destiny with only Kingussie standing between them and the coveted shield.
They made the perfect start when the Kings defence found itself at sixes and sevens, with the ball landing kindly at the feet of Fraser Greenlees for an easy finish for 1-0.
The atmosphere was verging on carnival, however, a goal from the visitors’ Paul McGovern dampened the home crowd’s mood.
The match became a very evenly contested affair after the opening excitement. But on 35 minutes, Liam Grant drove a cross over from the left which Harley McFarlane nodded home for 2-1.
Five minutes after the restart Boat had one hand firmly on the shield as Kingussie suffered a defensive calamity when Stuart Mitchell’s pass back to his keeper was a bit too strong and the ball bounced over the line despite the diving efforts from the wrong-footed stopper.
But the Ospreys’ game plan suffered a setback a short time later when Grant was red carded for a reckless challenge.
However, on the hour mark they still went 4-1 up as Greenlees grabbed his second of the night, smashing home after another defensive mix up.
The woodwork further saved the visitors’ blushes on two occasions but they kept at it though and were rewarded five minutes from time when Sam Cairns finished well.
They pushed hard for a third but it was not to be as the referee’s whistle sparked jubilant scenes among the Ospreys’ players and spectators as Kingussie sportingly applauded the new champions.
Brian Ritchie of long time league sponsors David Ritchie & Sons Ltd was on hand to present Boat player-manager Connor Macleod with the shield.
FC Abernethy 2-3 Cromdale
Despite effectively being a meaningless game this was still a competitive tussle, played in an excellent spirit which has epitomised this season’s welfare campaign.
Cromdale thought they had taken the lead on nine minutes but Graham Murray’s headed effort was chalked off by referee Davy Robertson.
The two sides were very evenly matched but it was Cromdale who took the lead. A cross from Alex Williamson was nodded home by Fergus Riach.
However, it was to be his last action of the match as he was taken off with concussion shortly afterwards. Abernethy equalised just before half time when a lovely through ball from Doug Guy released Jack Roberts who kept his composure to rifle the ball into the top corner with the help of a deflection off Dale’s Josh Martin.
However, Cromdale restored their lead in the 53rd minute thanks to a magnificent ball from Josh Talbot which was converted by the head of Graham Murray.
The hosts restored parity 10 minutes later. This time good interplay on the right ended with Kenny Rogan playing an inch-perfect pass for Sean Christie, who finished brilliantly high despite the cries of offside from the visitors.
But Cromdale once again took the lead with 15 minutes to go and there was no way back for the hosts. Riach grabbed his brace with a burst of speed through the Nethy rearguard and a powerful strike.