View Full Version : Inter-county match - Caithness V Orkney - 14.6.08

14-Jun-08, 08:38
inter-county match - Archer Shield

Caithness v Orkney at Sir George's Park, Thurso (Under-18's at 11.30am; seniors, 3pm)

18-Jun-08, 19:00
Caithness seniors drew 2-2 with Orkney but lost on penalties. see report below.

match report from John O'Groat Journal

Islanders enjoy a spot of revenge

Caithness 2, Orkney 2 (Orkney won 5-4 on penalties AET)
Published: 18 June, 2008

THIS roller-coaster inter-county tussle ended in defeat for the Caithness senior select after a nerve-tingling penalty shoot-out.

Last year, Orkney's lengthy run of Archer Shield victories was halted in similar fashion in Kirkwall. Skipper Kevin Groundwater lifted the historic trophy at Sir George's Park, Thurso, on Saturday after the roles were reversed.

Dounby's Steven Poke drilled the clinching spot-kick past home keeper Michael Gray after Swifts teenager Michael Petrie had sent his attempt wide.

A goalless first half largely devoid of penalty-box thrills gave no hint of the drama that was to come.

The tie looked likely to be settled by a Nigel MacKenzie goal for the hosts, but Neil MacDonald levelled before Wayne Monkman struck in the first minute of extra time to put Orkney ahead. Stewart Ross soon restored parity and both sides had opportunities to avoid the need for the dreaded shoot-out.

A swirling wind made life difficult, with both outfits starting cannily as they got used to the conditions and sized up the opposition.

Wick Rovers defender Alan Sinclair had to be on his best behaviour after being given a 12th-minute booking for a foul on Monkman.

The first half-chance came four minutes later when Ross combined with Jamie MacKenzie to give Mark Nichol a sight of goal, though he was crowded out before he could get in a shot.

The first goal attempt on 20 minutes followed a glorious 40-yard diagonal right-to-left switch from Gavin Henderson which fell perfectly to Nigel MacKenzie on the corner of the penalty box. The Swifts wide man cut in before clipping a low shot which Orkney keeper Davie Leonard did well to hold.

The home defence were not troubled until the 29th minute when Monkman's well-timed run gave him free passage up the inside-left channel. He should perhaps have done better with his angled finish, which eluded Gray but also flashed a couple of yards wide of the far post.

Shortly afterwards, Eric Bews's header from a corner just cleared Gray's crossbar.

There was little to choose between the sides, though the football on show was more for the technical purist than those who favour a direct, up-and-at-'em approach.

Seven minutes from the break, Orkney's Adam Stanger missed a chance which would have given him recurring nightmares had his side ultimately lost.

Monkman released George Keldie, whose inch-perfect pass gave Stanger a shoo-in. His face was as red as his shirt as he leaned back and sclaffed the ball over the gaping goal from inside the six-yard box.

Two minutes later, Nichol threatened with a fizzing, angled strike which needed a full-stretch intervention form Leonard to prevent it going in.

The Kirkwall Rovers keeper then had to dash out to smother a cross from the overlapping Ross, with several attackers closing in to pounce.

Caithness started the second period with more purpose and ambition and a determination to threaten Orkney in the wider channels.

Nigel MacKenzie was causing problems down the left flank and it was fitting that he should get the opening goal on 52 minutes. Released by a head-flick from brother Jamie, he careered down the touchline before checking inside and catching out Leonard with a shot that beat him all ends up on his near post.

The breakthrough bolstered the hold Caithness had of the game as they enjoyed the lion's share of possession as well as regularly threatening in the final third.

After 58 minutes, Alan Farquhar should have done better than shoot straight at Leonard after being given an inviting opening by Nigel MacKenzie.

Orkney were seldom seen in attack, though Stanger came desperately close to atoning for his earlier howler when he sent a rasping 25-yarder just over on 65 minutes.

A minute later, Caithness almost extended their lead when Nichol's headed connection from Ross's corner forced a good save from Leonard.

After 71 minutes an injury forced off Castletown defender Stuart Florence, who was arguably his side's top performer.

The visitors' equaliser on 73 minutes was against the run of play when the home defence was caught short-handed during a snap counter-attack. Bews's well-weighted pass sent Stanger racing into the box and, though his effort was beaten out by Gray, Kirkwall Thorfinn's MacDonald stabbed the rebound into the net.

The leveller induced a sea change in the pattern of the game and it was Orkney who now looked favourites to get the winner. Stanger and Jon Tait both had decent efforts blocked by Gray, though Wick Rovers' Colin Davidson almost hit the jackpot with an 87th-minute strike which flashed past the left upright.

Caithness had hardly had time to absorb the interval instruction from manager Duncan Gray when they found themselves behind. MacDonald delivered the killer pass to Monkman and the Hotspurs hitman wasted no time in steering his finish between Gray and his far post.

Caithness recovered to equalise after 101 minutes when Petrie's clever free kick was played short to Ross, who drilled the ball past Leonard.

Caithness substitute Sandy Sutherland made a big impact as his pace and tricky footwork posed new problems for the visiting defence. The Wick Groats striker almost put his county ahead soon after the second turnaround when he finished off a sparky move with a firm strike that Leonard did well to touch past the post.

Stanger had earlier gone close for Orkney and the final chance fell to Farquhar, who fired a decent effort just past.

The shoot-out provided an exhibition of penalty-taking. I'd defy any keeper to have got near any of the nine out of 12 attempts which were netted.

The first six were all successful, with Ross, Sutherland and Lee Elder scoring for Caithness and MacDonald, Duncan Gray and Tait replying.

It was advantage Orkney when Leonard got to Henderson's attempt but that was annulled when the usually deadly Monkman struck the bar with his effort.

It was now sudden death and Sinclair and Chris Simson both stood up to the test.

Petrie, the youngest in the Caithness squad, showed commendable nerve in volunteering to take the next, which he screwed just wide of the left post.

That left the stage for Poke to drive his spot-kick into the right-hand postage-stamp corner of the net to spark scenes of jubilation in the visiting camp.

Caithness: Gray, Davidson, Florence (Petrie 77), Sinclair, Miller, Henderson, Ross, Farquhar, Nichol (Sutherland 86), J. MacKenzie, N. MacKenzie (Elder 90).

Orkney: Leonard, Tait, Flett (Gray 101), Groundwater, Bews, Stanger, Simson, Keldie (Poke 67), MacDonald, Monkman, Miller (Harcus 79). Subs not used: Bain, Aim.

Referee: R. Gunn.

18-Jun-08, 19:02
The Caithness Under-18's however won their trophy earlier 3-2 V Orkney at The Dammies.

report from John O'Groat Journal

County youngsters regain cup with Halkirk hat-trick
Caithness U18 3, Orkney U18 2
Published: 18 June, 2008

CAITHNESS under-18s deservedly regained the Corinthian Cup on Saturday after they won by the odd goal in five against their Orkney counterparts.

The margin of victory did not reflect the superiority the home youngsters exerted for large parts of the match at Sir George's Park, Thurso.

Both teams deserve credit for producing decent entertainment on a foul day with a swirling, capricious wind laced with regular thunderplumps.

Caithness contrived to dominate the opening half only to find themselves trailing to Gareth Johnston's fourth-minute opener.

Keiss striker Graham MacNab was inches away from connecting with a close-in header before the Stromness youngster finished off a quick-fire break with a delicate dink over home keeper Graeme Williamson.

It was thereafter a tale of woe in front of goal for Caithness, with Graham MacNab, Liam Mackay and Paul Mackay guilty of missing gilt-edged chances.

Pentland United's James Murray was desperately unlucky on the half-hour mark when his spanking 30-yard free kick rebounded back off the junction of the crossbar and the right-hand upright.

The breakthrough finally came seconds before the end of the 40-minute half when Grant MacNab's corner was not properly cleared and Paul Mackay scored with a well-executed half-volley with his left foot.

Grant MacNab was booked for dissent a minute before his side went in front on 46 minutes. Liam Mackay was sent clear and he ran through to slide the ball past keeper Gary Wilson.

Seven minutes later, it was 3-1 when Scott MacLean's long-distance through ball was coolly converted by Paul Mackay to produce a hat-trick of goals for Halkirk players.

Caithness looked in command but they were brought back to earth when a snap-shot from Thorfinn's Aaron McLean eluded Williamson to give Orkney renewed hope.

Liam Mackay of Caithness wins a header during Saturday's under-18 match against Orkney at Sir George's Park. John Baikie, 07789 557586

Thorfinn Stout was inches away from equalising after 61 minutes, then Graham MacNab went close at the other end.

Four minutes from time, Orkney substitute Ally Scott looked set for a free run-in on goal until he was floored by a fractionally late tackle by defender Ally Gunn. The Castletown youngster was booked for the challenge.

Caithness should have had the game put to bed but had to endure a further late scare before they could celebrate.

Grant Steven spoiled an otherwise faultless display at the back for the hosts with a miscued pass-back and Scott was inches away from connecting with it.

Caithness manager Stewart Ross was more than happy with the display of his team, though disappointed they had not converted more of their chances.

He said: "I thought we played some really good football, particularly given the weather conditions. There were a couple of late scares but we should have had the game tied up long before then."

Caithness: Williamson, Cumming, MacLean (Swanson 70), Steven, Gunn, MacKechnie (McLean 50), Grant MacNab, P. Mackay, L. Mackay (Clyne 50), Graham MacNab, Murray (Sinclair 70).

Orkney: G. Wilson, Flett, Low, Bews (Scott 38), Manson, Guthrie, Johnston, Pickles, MacLean (S. Wilson 70), Helliwell (E. Bews 70), Stout (Wood 65).

Referee: J. Munro.