Two second-half goals from striker Ross McDougal saw Shetland retain the Milne Cup in the senior football inter-county at a wet Pickaquoy on Saturday afternoon.
The first half was very close with Shetland probably just shading it on chances produced, the two best coming from players making their county debuts. Thistle midfielder Neil Laurenson struck the junction of the post and bar with a left-foot volley and Orkney keeper Paul Bain produced a superb save to push away Brian Irvine’s fierce netbound shot.
At the other end the home side was denied on two occasions by perfectly-timed interceptions by Shetland left back Ross Moncrieff.
The other main talking point in the first half was when Bain came off his line to challenge Shetland’s Leighton Flaws just inside the box. From some parts of the ground it looked a penalty, and perhaps even further punishment for the keeper, but after consultation with his assistant, referee Mike Cursiter decided Bain had played the ball first and awarded a corner kick.
Orkney were actually slightly on top when the first goal came in the 70th minute. Flaws, who was much more prominent after the break, made good ground down the right and cut the ball back for McDougal. He missed the first attempt but when the ball broke back to him the Delting man made no mistake, taking a touch to his right before lashing the ball past the helpless Bain.
With 10 minutes remaining James Johnston fed the now rampaging Flaws on the right and his cross was met at the back post by the head of McDougal to make it 2-0.
There was no way back for Orkney and McDougal almost got a hat trick when he knocked yet another Flaws cross a foot wide of the post.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day Orkney defeated Shetland 2-1 in the hockey inter-county, all the goals coming from penalty corners in the second half. The score flattered the visitors with keeper Toni Sidgwick, deservedly named player of the match, standing between Shetland and a much heavier defeat.
For full reports and more photos see Friday’s Shetland Times.