Shetland clinched a hard fought Milne Cup victory over Orkney thanks to an Alan Duncan header in the first period of extra time.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and had the first chance of the game, Jon Tait heading narrowly over from a free kick. The game then swung up to the other end where Eric Thompson played in strike partner Ross MacDougal. Unfortunately the chance was passed up as MacDougal blazed over the bar.
Shetland gradually exerted more control on the contest and were clearly the better side though a goal proved elusive as a host of chances were wasted.
This almost cost them dearly when with five minutes to go Wayne Monkman put Neil MacDonald through on goal and only a brave block from debutant goalkeeper Eric Peterson kept the game scoreless.
This seemed to jolt the home side into action and moments later an Eric Thompson snap shot was cleared offthe line.
Karl Williamson passed up a glorious chance when he robbed Adam Stanger of the ball on the edge of the Orkney penalty area and chose to pass to an offside MacDougal when the situation really required an attempt on goal.
The goal that finally separated the two sides came half way through the first period of extra time. Alan Duncan crashed a Leighton Flaws corner down off the cross bar and just over the line despite the best efforts of Orkney goalkeeper Davy Leonard.
Orkney looked a tired side in the second period of extra time and Shetland seemed to be comfortably playing out time when with only moments to go keeper Peterson was called upon to make a smart block from Monkman.
In truth Shetland fully deserved their victory despite a spirited performance from Orkney. The defensive pairing of Merv Jamieson and Richard Arthur proved resolute to all that Orkney could muster and in Eric Thompson Shetland undoubtedly had the outstanding player on the park.
Full report in next week’s Shetland Times.