Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018
St Duthus recorded their first win since September in resounding fashion with a 7-2 victory over Bunillidh Thistle in Helmsdale. Jamie Skinner opened the scoring for the Saints after just six minutes but despite having the best of play, the sides went in even at the break after Ethan Bews drew his side level with a spectacular lob from 35 yards. It took until the 71st minute for St Duthus to retake the lead and it was Ryan Patterson who netted the all-important goal. From there the floodgates opened as Saints added to their tally through Craig Ross, Ben Bruce, Ken Morrison and Finn As-Chainey (2). Billy Cairns netted a late consolation for the Couper Park side.
Golspie Sutherland secured their place in the semi final with a 3-1 win at home against Invergordon. A Martin Banks goal on the quarter hour mark gave the Sutherland side the lead before Danny Coghill extended their lead midway through the second half. Ryan Macleod halved the deficit two minutes later but Golspie secured their win 15 minutes from time when Liam Bremner sent the ball home from the penalty spot.
At the Highland Football Academy, Orkney avoided a first half scare to ultimately beat Alness United by 3 goals to 2 in the only Macleod & MacCallum league match of the afternoon, however the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Orcadian goalkeeper Archie Fowden. Liam Delday had opened the scoring for the Island side after 16 minutes before Calum Johnston pulled one back for Alness. Ten minutes before the break, Owen Rendall restored his side's lead and Delday scored his second a minute before half time. A second half goal from Shaun Grant had the game in the balance for its remainder, but Orkney held on for the win.
The Macleod & MacCallum league game at Muir of Ord between Inverness Athletic and Alness United was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Just before the Christmas break, Alness United and St Duthus served up an entertaining midweek game, playing out their league fixture on Wednesday, December 20th in front of a crowd gathered at the Highland Football Academy. A great start from Alness saw them 3-0 up after an hour thanks to goals from Gordon Finlayson (2) and Daniel Lowe. But a Saints comeback saw them pull back three goals in the space of five minutes. Ben Bruce finished well to first reduce the deficit before a quickfire double form Cammy Mackintosh, both scored inside the six yard box, brought the scores level for the final twenty minutes of the game. It was Alness who took the points in the end, when Shaun Grant nodded home a corner in the 90th minute.