League rivals to fight it out for cup glory
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PENTLAND United this week kept alive their last chance of cup glory this season when they battled through to the final of the David Allan Shield.
Still very much in the chase for the first division title, United have so far drawn a blank in knockout competitions.
Opponents and defending champions Wick Groats will be aiming to ensure a very rare absence of cup silverware in the Dunnet trophy cabinet.
United’s semi on Monday at Castletown was settled by a Grant Steven header five minutes from half-time.
The home side had reeled off six straight wins going into the match – the first of two clashes in three days against their neighbours.
They had the first clear-cut chance after 30 minutes but Chris Sutherland scuffed wide from 10 yards.
What proved the winner came from a deflected James Murray free kick which fell kindly for Steven to nod over keeper Stuart MacCulloch.
Castletown’s neat approach play was not matched by a cutting edge in the final third.
With less possession, United regularly threatened on the counter.
Stuart Florence, Castletown’s best performer, was inches away from the equaliser with a volley from the penalty spot before MacCulloch acrobatically turned a Murray header wide.
In the other semi at Upper Bignold, Rovers completed well in the first half but were overrun by town rivals Groats after the interval.
Stewart Ross’s men went ahead thanks to youngster James Mackay’s stonking half-volley from outside the box.
Rovers drew level following an accurate setpiece delivery and a perfect headed finish from Colin Chalmers.
Groats upped the tempo after the turnaround and took a firm grip after Grant MacNab set up two goals for Liam Bremner.
Derek Shearer added a fourth to confirm Groats’ passage through to the final in Thurso on August 13.