THE SHETLAND under-12 football development squad went to Orkney recently to compete for the Northern Counties shield.
As well as Orkney and Caithness, for the first time Inverness Caledonian Thistle from the Scottish Premier League sent two teams.
In group A, Shetland White and Shetland Navy played well but failed to take chances when they came. The group caused the loudest cheer of the day with Shetland Navy against Inverness Caley B when Gary Sutherland buried the ball in the corner to give his team a 1-0 victory.
In group B, with Shetland Blue and Caley A both unbeaten the final group match would decide who went into the final. The game was won when Liam Flaws was first on to a through ball to score with a low drive.
Shetland Blue played Orkney Red in the final. Shetland started brightly but missed several very good chances in the first half.
The second half and extra time were even and with neither team looking like scoring, the game went to penalties. Rob McDairmid, who had not conceded a goal in open play, was the hero as he saved Orkney’s final penalty to give Shetland a 4-3 shootout win. Captain Sam Maver received the shield.
On the Sunday sunshine was replaced by wind and rain, which got worse as the day went on. In the first inter-county for the John Manson Trophy Shetland A started with the wind behind them and went straight on the attack.
After Orkney failed to clear the third corner Cameron Gibbs fired home from 18 yards. Soon after Lee Irvine was first to react and made it 2-0 when he flicked home a free kick.
Orkney nearly scored when the bar and an excellent save from Ian McCracken kept them out. Shetland slowly started to control the game with good passing from defence through the midfield to the forwards.
Lee Irvine won Shetland a penalty when he was fouled in the box and Kyle Swannie give the keeper no chance from the spot kick. Sam Maver scored the goal of the match with an unstoppable drive to make the final score 4-0.
Captain Cameron Gibbs, who was also player of the match, received the cup from John Manson.
With the weather getting worse Shetland B failed to score with the wind advantage in the first half against Orkney. With the game looking like ending scoreless a speculative Orkney shot took a wicked deflection to give Orkney a 1-0 victory. Rhea Nicolson was player of the match.
An Orkney/Shetland select then played Inverness Caley. As the conditions deteriorated with virtually the last kick Caley scored to win 2-1 against a tiring select side who were playing their second game in terrible conditions. Eion Leask was player of the match.
● LERWICK Rangers Football Club held their annual under-12 football tournament last Saturday, with eight teams taking part in both A and B competitions.
There was a lot of good football produced by all the teams.
The A competition was keenly contested with many of the matches ending in draws or narrow victories.
Eventually Ness United came out on top, beating Spurs in the last round of matches to secure victory.
The B competition was an even tighter affair with all the teams taking points from each other. After the last round of matches there was a three-way tie at the top between Rangers, Spurs and Thistle. Spurs won the penalty shoot-out to end up as winners.