A WIN for Rangers this week made sure of the Cluness Cup and the league title in under-16 football. Rangers were unbeaten in all their eight games. Elsewhere Whitedale won a close encounter with Whalsay while Thistle drew with Spurs.
Rangers 7, Northern Rovers 2
Rangers started strongly and were soon in front as Ross Groat scored with a near post header from a Robert Smith cross.
Daniel Johnston scored Rangers second. After showing good control taking down a high ball he smashed the ball into the roof of the net. Lewis Anderson was on hand to nod in a header at the back post from a Declan Adamson corner to make it 3-0.
Rangers continued to dominate and added a further two before half time. Smith scored with a long-range effort into the bottom left hand corner and Johnston got his second after a neat one-two with Connor Regan in the box.
Rovers started the second half with renewed vigour and were soon rewarded with a goal after a strong run and cross by David Thomson was finished from close range by Mathew Law.
Law got his second by lobbing the ball past the advancing keeper after the Rangers defence failed to deal with a high through ball.
Rangers were creating plenty of opportunities to score but a combination of poor finishing and bad decision making meant they didn’t add to their tally until late in the game.
Adamson finished low at the near post after a fine solo run and Jake Constable completed the scoring with after good work on the left.
Rangers were presented with the Cluness Cup after the match by Gordon Thomson.
Whitedale 1, Whalsay 0
With Rangers all but having won the league a victory for either side would secure second place.
The game started with the home side pressing forward, taking the game to the visitors with the help of the prevailing wind.
A number of half and clear cut chances failed to reward their ascendancy at this time.
The strong running on the left by Whitedale’s Scott Jeromson was the main source of danger but the Whalsay defence stood firm with Stewart Goodlad in the middle marshalling his team mates well.
As the half wore on Whalsay’s central midfield threesome of Sandy Kay, Martin Stevenson and Blaine Muchmore began to assert themselves against Whitedale’s pairing of Alan Johnston and Ali Scott. Their neat passing threatened to scythe its way through the Whitedale defence but no clear chances came their way and the half ended goalless.
Five minutes into the second half a quick counter attack by Whitedale put Richard Sinclair through on goal but Whalsay keeper Davy Williamson spread himself brilliantly to deny the normally clinical striker.
Both teams were now pressing forward on every occasion, looking for the breakthrough.
A near miss by Jeromson was immediately countered by Whalsay with loan striker James Shearer and Mutchmore forcing Whitedale keeper Craig Fraser into a superb double save.
As is often the case in close games an error or stroke of luck can prove crucial. A shot from Sinclair was well saved but the rebound fell to Mathew Williamson. His fierce shot rebounded off the post and struck at least two Whalsay players before finding its way into the net.
The competitive and excellent game really opened up with Whalsay, ably supported by a vocal travelling support, throwing everything at a resolute Whitedale defence.
During the latter stages, the central defensive pairing of Jordan Morrison and Adrian Morrison were both outstanding in keeping the Whalsay attack at bay and the home side ran out victors.
Spurs 1, Thistle 1
Thistle started brightly against the breeze and created a number of half chances against the home side. Wide men Matthew Ward and Gavin Anderson were both dangerous early on for the Jags with their direct runs and crosses.
After 15 minutes an Anderson cross found Ward free at the back post and he scored to put Thistle 1-0 up. At this point Thistle were on top and pushed forward at every opportunity but they could not beat keeper Rory Gibson again, who was having a fine game.
Spurs slowly fought back and as half time approached they deservedly equalised when Luke Hastings fired into an empty net from 40 yards following a mix up in the Thistle defence.
In the second half both teams worked hard and there were chances at both ends to win it. Thistle had the better of the chances but their final ball and finishing often let them down.
Best on the night for Spurs were Shaun Mavor and Rory Gibson, while Thistle were best served by the ever-reliable Magnus Isbister and Matthew Ward.
Ness United 0, Rangers 11
Ness started well but as time went by in the first half Rangers began to dominate, their first goal coming from some good midfield work which resulted in Hayden Thomason opening the scoring.
Ness tried to play football but were unable to keep the ball as Rangers chased and harried the ball at every opÂportunity.
It ended 6-0 at half-time with Daniel Johnston adding two goals, as well as Declan Adamson, James Aitken and Robert Smith getting on the score sheet.
Ness came back in the second half but again were unable to capitalise on the work of Lynda Flaws and Bobby Leask. Rangers added further goals through Johnston, Adamson, Connor Regan and Ross Groat.
It was a good all-round performance from Rangers with Hayden Thomason and Declan Adamson standing out.
Best for Ness were Bobby Leask and Lynda Flaws as they kept trying to play football through the hard times, and captain James Smith who did his best to keep the team working as Rangers piled on the pressure.
Ness United 3, Delting 1
Ness went in to the game against Delting in need of a win, and they managed to pull off their first of the season, with a 3-1 win over the visitors.
Ness started well and their pressure eventually paid off after 20 minutes when Bobby Leask struck to put the home side one-nil up.
Delting were also looking for their first win of the season and equalised from a corner as Martin Neeson was allowed a free header in the box.
After half time Ness took the game to Delting and soon went ahead after Liam Graham struck the ball past the keeper. Delting continued to push for the equaliser but James Smith was marshalling his defence
well and they thwarted the Delting threat whenever it reared its head.
Ness finished the game off when Sean Smith got a well deserved goal with 10 minutes to go.
It finished 3-1 to Ness and was a welcome improvement in the performance after the Rangers game on Sunday.
Best on the night for Ness United were the improving Chris Halcrow, James Smith and Bobby Leask. For Delting Martin Neeson and the keeper were the standouts.