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McLean hails High Ormlie's togetherness ahead of Highland Amateur Cup semi-final against Wick Groats


By Alan Hendry

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High Ormlie Hotspur defender Aidan Reid wins a header against Staxigoe United's Colin Davidson earlier this season. Picture: James Gunn
High Ormlie Hotspur defender Aidan Reid wins a header against Staxigoe United's Colin Davidson earlier this season. Picture: James Gunn

Player/co-manager Rob McLean has hailed the sense of togetherness among the High Ormlie Hotspur squad and insisted they are full of confidence going into Saturday's Highland Amateur Cup semi-final against holders Wick Groats.

High Ormlie reached the last four of the tournament for the first time when they overcame Golspie Stafford on penalties after their quarter-final ended 3-3 after extra time.

Looking ahead to the all-Caithness semi at Castletown's Back Park, McLean said: "Our boys are really excited for Saturday. While we appreciate that Wick Groats have been strong in this competition before, we'll be going into the match with no fear and full of confidence that we can get a result.

"We have put in some fantastic performances to get to this stage so we will be eager to continue our run.

"Of course the semi-final stage of any competition comes with a certain pressure. However, a number of our players have experienced and dealt with this kind of pressure in recent North Caley seasons, so I feel this bodes well for us.

"There is a real sense of togetherness within our group, and we won't be fazed by our opponents. We will have a very strong squad on Saturday.

"We hope the people of our local community will rally round our team and get out to watch the match. I'm sure it will be an exciting afternoon for everyone involved."

Wick Groats edged out Staxigoe United 2-1 in the third round of the competition. Here, Staxigoe's Marc Coghill pulls away from the grip of Graham MacNab. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Groats edged out Staxigoe United 2-1 in the third round of the competition. Here, Staxigoe's Marc Coghill pulls away from the grip of Graham MacNab. Picture: Mel Roger

Wick Groats beat Inverness team IRN Security 4-0 at Ardersier in the last round.

Groats manager Kevin Anderson said: "We are expecting a really tough game, as you would at this stage of the competition anyway. High Ormlie Hotspur have given us two really tough games this season already, and Saturday will be no different.

"They have a really good team and on their day they're capable of beating anyone in the county. We probably go into the tie as favourites but we know that counts for nothing – it's who shows up on the day."

Results – David Allan Shield, quarter-finals: Castletown 2, John O’Groats 0; Lybster 3, Acks 3 (Lybster win 5-4 on penalties); Staxigoe United 1, Wick Groats 2; Wick Thistle 1, Pentland United 2 (AET).

Steven Cup, semi-finals, second leg: Keiss 2, Thurso Pentland 1 (AET, Keiss win 4-2 on aggregate); Swifts 4, Castletown 2 (Castletown win 7-5 on aggregate).

David Allan Shield, semi-finals: Castletown 1, Lybster 0; Wick Groats 3, Pentland United 1 (AET).

Fixtures – Friday – Steven Cup final: Castletown v Keiss (at Lybster, 7pm).

Saturday, August 6 – Highland Amateur Cup, semi-finals: Ness v Pentland United (at Culbokie, 1pm); Wick Groats v High Ormlie Hotspur (at Castletown, 3pm).

Monday, August 8 – Division Two: Keiss v Thurso Pentland; Swifts v Watten; Top Joe's v Castletown (7pm).

Tuesday, August 9 – Division One: Acks v Wick Groats; Pentland United v High Ormlie Hotspur; Wick Thistle v John O'Groats (7pm).

Wednesday, August 10 – Division One: Staxigoe United v Lybster (7pm).


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