Groats title win is just gr-eight
Wick Groats boss Kevin Anderson saluted his champions after they clinched their eighth league title in a row.
Goals from Graham MacNab and Sean Stewart sent them on their way against Staxigoe United and despite the visitors pulling a late goal back, Groats held on to win 2-1 to retain their top-dog status.
It has been a remarkable season for the Upper Bignold side whose work this season is still not yet done as they have both the David Allan Shield and Highland Amateur Cup finals to look forward to.
Win both and they will match the clean sweep of trophies they bagged four years ago.
Even if they falter in one or both finals, they still have the Colin Macleod Memorial Cup and the Eain Mackintosh Trophy in the bag – along with the one prize Anderson treasures above everything else. The league title.
He said: "Winning trophies is always great to do but as Bill Shankly once said, the league is your bread and butter and that's the main one you strive to win.
"To win it eight times in succession is fantastic. I imagine there have been a few sore heads this morning but the celebrations were well deserved.
Having a very good squad at this club makes my job easier
"The boys did well to wrap things up last night because as always, Staxigoe give you a very tough game – had we slipped up, then we would have faced a potential banana skin at Lybster on the final day. Given how much they've improved from last year, we could still have lost it.
"I've heard it said 'do you not get tired of winning?'. Not at all. The boys always set themselves new targets and want to go and achievement as much as they can with us.
"Some of the lads were still here more than a decade ago when we were in the second division so they know what it's like not to be winning titles and don't particularly want to go back to those days.
"We're in the middle of what is the club's glory era – we'd only won the title twice before we got the first of our eight in a row – and we very much want it to continue.
"We've a great blend of youth and experience amongst the players and we all work hard for each other.
"Where do I come into all of this? Well lets just say that having a very good squad at this club makes my job easier.
With the league taken care of, attention now turns to Saturday's David Allan Shield final at The Dammies in Thurso [3pm kick-off] against Staxigoe.
Anderson added: "Given we've done what we've set out to do and secured the league title, there is slightly less pressure on us for this one.
"Of course we want to win the Shield because winning a cup final is a great feeling when you do it.
"However, as we know from the two league games we've had against Staxigoe, they will not make it easy for us.
"They edged the first half in last night's game and although we were in charge for most of the second, they still kept on battling and gave us a nervous final five minutes when they pulled one back.
"Plus they're the only team to have taken anything from us when we drew 2-2 against them earlier this season so we'll have to be at our very best on Saturday."