Penalty shootout success for St Duthus against plucky Clach as Invergordon also book cup final berth

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Local rivals St Duthus and Invergordon will contest the Football Times Cup final this season – but they both had to dig deep to get there.

Clachnacuddin’s A team, who only joined the North Caledonian League this year, put on a brilliant show as they drew 2-2 with Tain Saints.

Ben Bruce put St Duthus ahead early on but Troy Cooper equalized for young Lilywhites in the 12th minute.

Former Caley Thistle star Ross Tokely restored Alan Geegan’s side advantage but Kieran Syrjanen equalized to lead the game on penalties.

Saints, who won the North Caledonian Cup in April, ensured they would advance to the final by winning 5-4 on penalties.

League champions Invergordon had to come from a goal down but emerged with a 3-1 win in their home semi-final against league leaders Loch Ness.

Shane Carling’s visitors had their nose in front thanks to Phil MacDonald’s opener in the 21st minute.

Late first-half goals from Benjamin Kelly and Ruaridh Patience turned the tie in Invergordon’s favor and Jordan Knight scored a crucial third goal 10 minutes into the second half.

A new name will be on the trophy, with the incumbents Thurso knocked out by the Saints in the final round. The date and place are to be confirmed.

Orkney’s punch stunned Golspie 6-1

Despite relinquishing the cup, it wasn’t all bad news for Loch Ness as they remain first in the league.

That’s because perfect starters Golspie Sutherland suffered a stunning 6-1 home defeat to Orkney.

Incredibly, two goals from Toby MacLeod and one each from Owen Rendall, Gregor Dowell and James Pickles put the Islanders up 5-0 at the break.

Joe Wilson made it six early in the second half before Billy Cairns’ response was mere consolation for the shocked champions of two years ago.

They are only a point behind first place, however, with Orkney now third, but six points off first place.

County Nairn children win raffle

Inverness Athletic could have finished third had they won, but were held 3-3 by hosts Nairn A County in a cracker.

The North Kessock-based side got off to an ideal start as goals from Aidan Hersee and Dean Allison took them 2-0 up at the break.

However, Stuart Finnie’s youngsters got back to level with responses from Ciaran Young and Ross Peters.

Inverness regained their advantage when Luke Mackay pushed them 3-2 ahead.

However, Nairn never gave up and a late penalty from Young earned them a point to keep them in 11th position.

Anglers hit the goal lane to rock the bridge

The biggest winners of the weekend were Halkirk United as their 8-1 rout at basement side Bonar Bridge propelled them into mid-table.

The struggling hosts, who had two men sent off, took the lead through Bruce Urquhart in the 21st minute, but a goal from Steven Anderson and Ben Sinclair made it 2-1 at the break for United.

And the Anglers took the win with Kuba Koziol’s brace, and goals from Innes MacIntosh, Hasheem Bremner and another each from Sinclair and Anderson made it 8-1.

Alness, five stars, climbs to fifth position

Alness United can also be pleased with their work as they recorded an impressive 5-0 victory at Thurso to move up to fifth place.

Both teams were six points before a ball was kicked and Callum Coli scored the only goal of the first half.

Jude Fraser added a second just after the restart and a brace from Alexander Mackay and a late goal from Michael Mckenzie earned United a good result on the road.

Saturday’s league matches (all from 2pm) – Clach A v Alness United, Bonar Bridge v Inverness Athletic, St Duthus v Thurso, Fort William v Nairn County A, Golspie Sutherland v Loch Ness, Halkirk United v Invergordon.

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[Shoot-out success for St Duthus against brave Clach as Invergordon also book cup final spot]

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