There were mixed fortunes for the Shetland teams in Saturday’s annual inter-county matches, with the footballers winning a close 1-0 game at Gilbertson Park in Lerwick and the hockey players going down 2-0 to a well-drilled Orkney unit at Brae.
James Aitken, one of five players making their debuts in the football encounter, proved to be the matchwinner when he struck with just under 10 minutes remaining to see off an Orkney side which proved difficult to break down.
The turning point appeared to be when Erik Thomson was introduced as a second-half substitute, his intelligent running and work rate bringing a new dimension to the home side’s play.
Captain Merv Jamieson lifted the Milne Cup, presented by legendary county striker Bert Sinclair, and also received the Ian Manson trophy for man of the match for his consistent defending.
Meanwhile the Shetland hockey team were unable to prevent Orkney making it nine wins in a row, with veteran Shona Slater racking up a record 31st appearance in the series of matches.
Orkney took the lead in the first half when Karen Groat popped up unmarked in the penalty area and calmly fired the ball into the net, to the dismay of the home team.
Despite some brave defending and excellent goalkeeping from Toni Sidgwick, Orkney made it 2-0 with around 10 minutes remaining. Sidgwick initially saved well from a penalty corner but was very unlucky when the ball spun off a defender and sailed past her into the goal.
The Jemima Walterson Trophy for player of the match was presented to Fiona Miller of Orkney, who played a major role in the heart of her team, while captain Inga Kemp accepted the Lady Hamilton Cup.
For full reports and photos see The Shetland Times on Friday.