At the start of this week Portree sat five points clear at the top of the Skye and Lochalsh League table, and still unbeaten, as they step up their quest to lift a first title in seven years.
Last Saturday they kept out in front with a 6-1 demolition of a Plockton side which, following a good run of form, had gone into the weekend game just two points off the summit.
Chris Rose grabbed the opener for Portree after 18 minutes, but a defensive mix-up after a Russell MacNeil pass allowed Gordon MacKenzie to pull Plockton level five minutes later.
The game had been pretty even up to that point, but just after the half-hour mark a flowing move down the right ended with Jordan Murchison squaring for Euan Forrest to thrash home an excellent finish. With their tails up, the home side extended their advantage five minutes before the interval when Allan “Ginger” MacKinnon lobbed home from the edge of the box.
Ten minutes into the second half Paul MacKinnon swept in the fourth following a neat solo run, and the fifth arrived after 65 minutes when a loose ball broke to Murchison and he drilled in through a ruck of players. Rose put the gloss on an excellent all-round Portree performance when he waltzed through to add the sixth with 15 minutes to play.
With the points sewn up, Portree gave late run-outs to Hugh Campbell — who earlier that day had won the Skye Half Marathon — and Garry Wilson and Malky Nicolson, a veteran strike pairing with a combined age of 101.
ON THE SAME NIGHT Glenelg, having conceded 19 to Sleat just four days previously, bounced back to beat Kyle and record a first win of the season.
Glenelg demonstrated the art of smash and grab against their mainland rivals, spearheaded by an attacking master-class from Nick Stein and Liam Taylor.
Against the run of play Stein opened the scoring for Glenelg in 25 minutes, finishing well after leaving several Kyle players in his wake. Ewan Ferrie equalised for Kyle shortly afterwards with a smart header from a Conan Urquhart cross. Liam Taylor put Glenelg ahead when, after robbing the Kyle defence, he beat several players and went through one-on-one to hit a crisp strike in the bottom corner. Stewart Johnston equalised for Kyle, while Arran Matheson had one shot cleared off the line just before the break.
The second half was one-way traffic, but despite Kyle’s possession the visitors missed too many opportunities through a combination of good goalkeeping and bad finishing.
Stein stroked a penalty home on 60 minutes after being pole-axed in the box by a poor challenge. As Kyle pressed, Glenelg’s tactics of launching the ball forward for their two pacey attackers to exploit paid dividends when a long through ball allowed Liam Taylor to race in and finish past the stranded keeper. Arran Matheson then pulled one back for Kyle with 10 minutes to go, but despite laying siege to the Glenelg goal they couldn’t find the required finish for an equaliser. With a minute to go a long ball out of defence allowed Liam Taylor to race down the right flank and his cutback was deflected in off Kyle defender Ali Brown to add to a thoroughly-miserable day for Kyle and a memorable one for Glenelg.
A SECOND DEFEAT within a few days completed a poor week for Portree Juniors when they went down 5-1 at GA United on Saturday, and now sit fourth in the table and trail Portree by six points.
Harry Rae netted a penalty to open the scoring and from then on the result was never in doubt. Iain MacIver forced home a second right on half time, and when Darren Buchan headed in the third after 50 minutes there was no way back for the islanders. Buchan grabbed his second after a fumble by the Juniors keeper, with Kenny MacKenzie volleying in the fifth after a through ball from Aonghais MacIver. Juniors’ late consolation came from a Danny Steele penalty.
In the derby at Feorlig three first-half goals ensured Struan took the spoils against Dunvegan.
The opening exchanges were even, but lacking in quality, until a great run and 25-yard-strike from Iain Beaton gave Struan a 20th-minute lead. Shortly afterwards the same player conjured up a good cross from the right for Iain MacCusbic to head home from six yards and make it 2-0. Just before half time MacCusbic cleverly lobbed the onrushing Dunvegan defence for Daibhidh McDonnell to run through and, with the faintest of touches, steer the ball beyond the keeper for number three.
Playing downhill in the second half, Dunvegan started brightly and were awarded a penalty on the hour mark. However, the spot kick from young John MacInnes was superbly saved by Danny MacLeod whose handling was faultless the whole game.