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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 20th July 2017 > Fort William win Balliemore Cup after penalty shoot-out drama

Fort William win Balliemore Cup after penalty shoot-out drama

Summer weather causes a number of postponements

Balliemore Cup Final

Caberfeidh 4

Fort William 4

(After extra-time – Fort William won 5-4 on penalties) Fort William won the Balliemore Cup following a penalty shoot-out win over Caberfeidh after their thrilling Balliemore Cup Final at Blairbeg ended 4-4 after extra-time.

There was disappointment for Caberfeidh defender Ryan MacKay who missed out as he served the final match of a three-game ban. Defender Ryan Symonds was on holiday.

Fort William suffered a blow as Bryan Simpson was sidelined after picking up a knock in the league win over Beauly the previous weekend. Alexander MacMillan remained out with a hand injury.

Caberfeidh went into the final as five-time Balliemore Cup winners - a record they share with Bute - whilst Fort William were bidding to win the trophy for the first time. Although having spent most recent years in the top flight, they rarely played in the tournament.

It was first blood to Fort William when Jack Fraser scored a great goal after five minutes. Seamus Gall played the ball in from the right and Fraser did well to win possession and control the ball as he ran across the penalty spot and drifted the ball from the left over defender Blair Morrison before it dropped into the net to make it 1-0.

Caberfeidh had the ball in the net on 17 minutes when Kevin Bartlett did well to keep the ball in play and his cut-back found Craig Morrison who ran in to score. However, goal judge Russell Ross flagged as Martin MacDonald was inside the ‘D’ before the ball so the effort was ruled offside.

There was plenty of endeavour from both sets of players during the first half but the game never really hit the heights. That all changed when referee Andy MacLean got what was to prove to be a thrilling second half under way.

Craig Morrison equalised on 50 minutes when he had time to control a low cross from the right before moving the ball onto his left side and beating keeper Paul MacKay with a swerving shot to make it 1-1.

Caberfeidh took the lead for the first time in the final on 54 minutes and it was captain Craig Morrison again who made the difference. Caberfeidh once more worked the ball out onto their right flank and when Kevin Bartlett drove the ball into the danger-area, Morrison stopped the ball and struck it into the net to make it 2-1.

The final was now flowing from end-to-end and Jack Fraser got his second on 64 minutes to make it 2-2. Caberfeidh had a chance to clear the danger but, when they didn’t, Jack Fraser was quickly in to win the ball and slipped it past the on-rushing Caberfeidh keeper Ewan Pilcher.

Kevin Bartlett finished off a Caberfeidh move on 75 minutes. However, as the players celebrated, referee Andy MacLean brought play back as goal judge Billy MacLeod had flagged for a Fort William ‘kick’ inside the ‘D’ so the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Kevin Bartlett kept his nerve to send his spothit low into the net, beating the keeper on his left side, to put Caberfeidh 3-2 in front.

Fort William fought back though and Lewis Clark made it 3-3 on 82 minutes. A Jack Fraser free-hit asked questions of the Caberfeidh defence and Graham Campbell’s shot was deflected into the path of Lewis Clark on the Fort left. Shepherd’s initial effort was blocked but he calmly steered the rebound low into the net to the delight of the Fort William support.

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