Whalsay and Celtic to contest final of pre-season football tournament
The final of the Highland Fuels Cup, the traditional curtain raiser to the outdoor senior football season, will see Whalsay taking on Celtic in Whalsay on Wednesday night. Whalsay defeated Whitedale on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the first semi-final while the other match ended in a 1-0 victory for Celtic over Spurs.
Whalsay 2, Whitedale 2 (after extra time, Whalsay won 5-3 on penalties)
On a cold night it was the hosts who were quickest into their stride and took the lead after 15 minutes when Brian Irvine found the net inside the box with an opportunist’s strike.
With Whalsay quicker to settle they passed up a few chances before Ian Simpson fired home a free kick from the edge of the box via the post to extend their lead before half time.
The second half saw a mostly scrappy game with not many clear-cut chances being created. However, the resilience of the visitors paid dividends with 15 minutes left when Alan Johnson punished a sloppy challenge on the edge of the box, firing in the resultant free kick into the corner of the net.
With less than five minutes remaining Whalsay gave the ball away on the halfway line and Jamie Wilson showed his pace, speeding away from the defence and slotting the ball into the far corner to send the game into extra time.
With just 10 minutes of extra time being played it was Jamie Wilson who nearly won it for Whitedale when he fired a shot goalwards that was pushed on to the post by the Whalsay keeper.
Alistair Johnson nearly snatched it for Whalsay with almost the last kick of the game but his effort was screwed just wide.
The resulting penalties saw Whitedale miss just one kick but with Whalsay holding their nerve with all five they progressed to the final.
Spurs 0, Celtic 1
The second semi-final proved to be quite an even game between the two town sides, although weather conditions did not allow either team to get into their passing game with scoring chances few and far between. The most notable was a James Johnston effort which went narrowly wide from inside the box.
The second half started better for Spurs with Scott Morrison producing a fine save from Paul Grant in the Celtic goal. At the other end Spurs keeper Kyle Duncan was called into action with two good saves before seeing a John Simpson effort beating him before crashing off the bar.
Celtic got the breakthrough with 20 minutes left when a wicked deflection fell to the feet of Lowrie Simpson who finished well.
Spurs pressed for an equaliser with their best effort falling to Stuart Hall who saw his shot hit the outside of the post.
On the night Celtic edged it on possession with Spurs having the better clear-cut chances.
Best for Spurs were Duncan in goal and Lewis Kay at the back, while for Celtic the creative Daniel Johnston and the powerfull running of Ross Moncrieff stood out.