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James keeps up his special relationship with Eain Mackintosh Cup


By Alan Hendry

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James Mackintosh scores the opening goal for High Ormlie Hotspur. Picture: James Gunn
James Mackintosh scores the opening goal for High Ormlie Hotspur. Picture: James Gunn

James Mackintosh insists High Ormlie Hotspur will be taking it “game by game” in their pursuit of further silverware this season after retaining the Eain Mackintosh Cup at the weekend.

The 25-year-old has a special relationship with the competition. He is a nephew of the late Eain, in whose memory it is played, and for the second year in a row he scored the opening goal in the final to lay the foundations for a Hotspur victory.

His close-range strike on 31 minutes came shortly after Staxigoe United’s Joe Anderson had been sent off. Ethan Kevill’s free kick made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time and that was how it ended, with Staxigoe unable to take advantage after Hotspur defender Aidan Reid was dismissed for a second bookable offence with just under 20 minutes to go.

And so, just as he had done after the 6-0 triumph over Wick Groats a year ago, the Hotspur number 10 was invited to step forward to receive the trophy from his grandmother Mary Mackintosh in front of the pavilion at Recreation Park in Halkirk.

High Ormlie Hotspur's James Mackintosh receiving the Eain Mackintosh Cup from his grandmother Mary Mackintosh. Picture: James Gunn
High Ormlie Hotspur's James Mackintosh receiving the Eain Mackintosh Cup from his grandmother Mary Mackintosh. Picture: James Gunn

“It’s always sweet to score the first one,” Mackintosh said afterwards.

“If we hadn’t got the second goal before half-time I think it would have been a different game. It’s easier said than done to manage the game, and then Aidan got sent off.”

High Ormlie, who are third in Caithness AFA Division One, have a David Allan Shield first-round tie at Lybster on Wednesday night before their Highland Amateur Cup quarter-final at home to Black Rock Rovers on Saturday.

“We’ll just take it game by game,” Mackintosh said. “We’re still in the Highland Amateur Cup and hopefully we’ll win on Saturday and proceed from there.”

Staxigoe United manager Colin Sinclair said: “It was going to be a tough game regardless. But playing with 10 men for three-quarters of the game was always going to be hard.

“To be fair, I thought the boys stuck at it well. In the second half I thought we maybe slightly edged it, without creating anything.

“I’m proud of the boys – they battled away. We had a couple of chances at the end and it could have been a different game then.

“The second goal was the killer, just 30 seconds before half-time. It just put the heads down, the timing of it.

“That’s what really cost us the game. It was always going to be an uphill battle then with 10 men.”

Staxigoe United manager Colin Sinclair watching the cup final slip away from his team. Picture: James Gunn
Staxigoe United manager Colin Sinclair watching the cup final slip away from his team. Picture: James Gunn

Sinclair had words of support for Anderson, who was shown a straight red 25 minutes into the final for a foul on Aaron Wilson.

“He has been one of our best players this season,” Sinclair said of the 19-year-old defender. “I’m not going to blame him for it – he has been exceptional for us this year.”

Early in the game, with the scoreline still at 0-0, Jimmy Budge was presented with a clear sight of goal but put too much power on his shot after keeper Lewis Gallacher misjudged a through ball on the edge of the box.

Sinclair felt Staxigoe had a strong case for a penalty in the second half and he was also left to rue a missed chance by substitute Martin Banks, who blazed the ball over the bar from a decent position.

“It’s fine margins, but take nothing away from High Ormlie Hotspur – they are a good team and we knew it was going to be difficult,” the Staxigoe manager said.

Acks moved to within two points of second-placed Swifts in Caithness AFA Division Two with a 3-1 victory over Watten at the Dammies on Thursday night. Graham Bremner hit a double.

Halkirk are now fourth after they won 3-1 at home to Top Joe’s.

Caithness Ladies’ last fixture in the SWF Highlands and Islands League before their summer break ended in a 3-2 defeat to a strong Orkney side in Stromness on Saturday. The Caithness scorers were Kerrie Martin and Carly Erridge.

Caithness Ladies’ next match will be their SWF Highlands and Islands Cup semi-final against Sutherland on Sunday, August 18.


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