The Northwards Shetland Works League kicked off last weekend with fine weather and good pitches for the time of year.
The league has been reduced to 10 with the late withdrawal of Cosmos, giving fixtures secretary Steven Jarmson yet another headache. However, with the three new teams of Burra, West Side Rebels and Lerwick PL, a great season is expected.
In the opening games Burra took the honours of the new kids when they beat West Side Rebels. Wrultizers overcame a very stubborn Banks while Services edged out Malakoff and Chernobyl beat West Linga Ramblers.
This weekend sees the debut of Lerwick PL, with the Poles keen to show their continental style against Banks. Mossbank also see their first action against Services and midweek there are preliminary ties in the DITT Cup.
Banks 1, Wrultizers 3
Wrultizers started by trying out an ambitious 3-5-2 formation in an attempt to dominate the midfield. The tactic seemed to work as they had all the early play and pegged Banks deep in their own half. The Tizers were moving the ball around well with Duane Nicolson and Andrew Boyd attacking well on the wings but being thwarted by some excellent defending by the Banks defence.
For all the Tizers pressure it was Banks who almost took the lead when a quick break left a Banks forward one-on-one with the keeper only for him to take a fresh air swipe at the ball. Banks’ second attack of note proved to be disastrous against a team which likes to play on the counter attack. The ball was won by James Manson who released Alan Smith in midfield. He turned and drove into the opposition half before playing a delightful ball over the banks defence which Danny Carter raced on to to nonchalantly dink over Banks keeper Richard Polson.
The second half started with Banks coming more into the game with Jeremy Duncan driving just wide, but it was Wrultizers who doubled their lead when Carter met a Boyd corner to emphatically head home.
Carter completed his hat trick on the hour mark when he again clinically flicked the ball past the Banks keeper to become the Wrultizers joint second top goal scorer of all time.
Wrultizers could have killed the game off 10 minutes later when Alan Smith hit a goal-bound shot only for Ivan Mouat to tap the ball in from an offside position as the ball crossed the line.
Banks where handed a lifeline moments later when a David Thomson cross was turned into his own the net by Wrultizer manager Adam Doull. Banks nearly pulled one back when the legendary Brian “Chasy” Georgeson had a shot deflected just past the post.
In the last seconds Carter nipped trough a static Banks defence only to be floored by the keeper, giving referee Derrick Bradley no option but to issue the keeper with a red card and point to the spot. After considerable moaning and begging Alan Smith placed the ball on the spot and with the last kick of the game blazed it high and wide of the post.
Best on the night for the Wrultizers were Boyd and Carter, while Banks keeper Polson performed well despite his late red card.
Chernobyl 3, West Linga Ramblers 0
Having dusted down their boots for another season of the “glorious game”, Ramblers were quick to settle only to see Chernobyl take the early lead.
Robbie Goudie collected a David Smith pass before turning his marker and firing home from a seemingly impossible angle.
Linga attempted to respond but they were unable to trouble the hoops defence with Will Arthur and Peter Smith in unbeatable form.
With Chernobyl starting to dominate chances came and went but a combination of the woodwork and early season rustiness ensured the half ended with no further goals.
The hoops started the second period on the offensive, doubling their advantage within minutes of the restart when Goudie slotted home his second again following good work from Smith.
A swift passing move on the hour mark saw Magnie Malcolmson slice open the Ramblers rearguard, allowing George Abernethy to squeeze the ball under the advancing keeper to seal the result.
To their credit West Linga continued to press and only the outstretched fingertips of Colin Fraser denied Gary Leask a deserved late consolation.
Burra 5, West Side Rebels 1
This was the first meeting between the two clubs since 1989 with Rebels looking for a first win against Burra.
With only a minute on the clock Burra were one up thanks to Bradley McKenzie, followed by another four goals with McKenzie adding two more for his hat trick and one each for Adam Manson and Danny Pirie.
Credit should go to the Burra manager who changed things around in the second period, giving the younger boys a game which along with cramp and fatigue creeping in to the home side meant Rebels came more into the game. On the hour mark Guy Tindall scored with a great free kick to give the visitors some hope of a comeback, but this was not to be and Burra collected the points.
Best on the night for Burra were John William Laurenson, Maurice Fraser, Lindsey Thomson and the three scorers. Rebels’ keeper Elliot Tait took the man of the match award for his side, ably helped by Magnie Einarsson and young Jordan Leask.
Services 3, Malakoff 2
Services won narrowly against Malakoff, with Steven Leckie and Craig Jenkins scoring for the boat builders.
Fixtures (Kick-offs 6pm weekends, 6.30pm midweek, unless otherwise stated)
Tomorrow – Northwards Shetland Works League: West Side Ramblers v Chernobyl at Aith (5pm, referee Derrick Bradley); Mossbank v Services at Clickimin South (Robbie Leask); Banks v Lerwick PL at Seafield (Archie Constable); Wrultizers v Burra at Gilbertson Park (Robert Geddes).
Tuesday – DITT Cup: Wrultizers v Sandwick at Gilbertson Park (Derrick Bradley).
Wednesday – DITT Cup: Burra v Services at Burra (Steven Goodlad).