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Kingussie survive big scare to progress in Camanachd Cup

By Ali Morrison

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Referee Jamie Macpherson sends off Beauly's Ryan Mackay (right) for a second bookable offence in the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup quarter final played at Braeview.
Referee Jamie Macpherson sends off Beauly's Ryan Mackay (right) for a second bookable offence in the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup quarter final played at Braeview.

Holders Kingussie are through to the Thursday’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup semi-final draw but they did it the hard way.

Their supporters were made to sweat before they eventually beat 11-man Beauly 3-2 after extra-time at Braeview Park on Saturday.

Kingussie’s pre-match concerns surrounded Liam Borthwick, Thomas Borthwick and Lee Bain but all three were listed.

Liam Borthwick came into the defence to replace the unavailable Rory MacKeachan whilst Thomas Borthwick and Lee Bain were on the bench.

Beauly fielded a strong side with David MacLean and Calum Flynn their only notable absentees.

Throw up was the later time of 4.30pm as the fixture rounded off Beauly’s nearby Annual Gala Day.

There was a heavy downpour ahead of throw up which eased just before the start of the game but it left a slippery surface and some puddles on the field.

Kingussie started well so the opening goal came against the run of play.

Euan Maccormick found space and his quick, low shot went just inside the post to the keeper’s right, giving the hosts a three-minute lead to the delight of the noisy home support.

Kingussie went back on the attack, but Beauly keeper Lee Dunbar was equal to their efforts, guarding his side’s lead.

Lee Bain’s introduction helped Kingussie and, with the clock passing the half-hour mark, the tie took another twist as Beauly buckshee back Ryan MacKay, who was earlier booked by referee Jamie MacPherson, was shown a second yellow card for a trip on the speedy Ruaridh Anderson as he raced forward towards the penalty spot.

Beauly regrouped and more Lee Dunbar saves followed as Beauly protected their slender advantage until the interval.

It was clearly going to take something special to beat the Beauly custodian but Kingussie’s persistence paid off six minutes after the restart when Camanachd Cup specialist Savio Genini lost his marker and his terrific shot into the top corner of the net left the keeper helpless to level the tie.

However, Beauly showed they were made of sterner stuff when substitute Farquhar MacRae, only on the pitch for around five minutes, sent a superb strike from fully 40 yards on the right, high into the opposite corner of the net, just under the bar.

Beauly had a lead to protect once more and they mainly played on the counter-attack as the visiting forwards tried to break down the home defence once more.

It was tense, chaotic at times, as Kingussie threw everything at it and with just a couple of minutes remaining, Calum Grant was strong in the challenge as he broke up a Beauly attack.

With the hosts claiming for a foul, Grant sent the ball up-field. Zander Michie, who had been pushed up front, was thwarted by a great diving save from Lee Dunbar who diverted the ball to the side of the box where Kingussie top scorer Dylan Borthwick got on the end of it with a first-time shot to make it 2-2.

Indeed, Savio Genini almost won it before the 90 minutes were up but just failed to get on the end of a rebound.

Extra-time ensued and the touchlines were swelled by the players and supporters who had attended the nearby earlier tie between Lovat and Skye as the sides slugged it out for a winner.

But the first period of extra-time failed to produce a goal.

Both teams made changes and switched positions in a bid to get the vital advantage.

The sides were just four minutes away from the dreaded penalty shoot-out when substitute Thomas Borthwick’s low strike cut through a crowded goal area and past an unsighted Lee Dunbar to make it 3-2 and send Kingussie into another semi-final.

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