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Three county sides targeting a place in Highland Amateur Cup final


By John MacLeod


Ryan Campbell of Wick Groats tackles Pentland United's James McLean during last week's county league top-of-the-table fixture at Ham Park which Groats won 3-1. The teams meet again on Saturday in the last four of the Highland Amateur Cup. Picture: James Gunn
Ryan Campbell of Wick Groats tackles Pentland United's James McLean during last week's county league top-of-the-table fixture at Ham Park which Groats won 3-1. The teams meet again on Saturday in the last four of the Highland Amateur Cup. Picture: James Gunn

THE first all-Caithness Highland Amateur Cup final in 11 years is a distinct possibility with three county teams battling it out for the coveted trophy.

Pentland United defeated Castletown in the 2008 final – the sixth of eight wins in the tournament for the Dunnet side.

Castletown is the venue tomorrow for the eagerly awaited semi-final clash between United and Wick Groats.

Groats will start as favourites for the tie, but manager Kevin Anderson struck a cautious note.

"The game could go either way," he said. "Pentland are the holders of the cup and I'm sure they will have that extra bit between their teeth after us putting them out of a few competitions.

"But it makes for a good game with the two teams trying to play football – hopefully it will go the same way as the other five games.”

Groats will be without Sean Stewart, who is attending a wedding, while James Mackay is struggling with a hamstring injury.

However, Sandy Sutherland is free from suspension and Ryan Campbell is also available.

Pentland United manager Michael Gray is hoping he can finally lead is side to a victory over Groats.

He said: “No two games against Wick Groats have gone the same way this season. In the league game last week their performance was well ahead of ours – they fully deserved their win. But we have more than enough in our dressing room to cause them problems.

"If we can apply ourselves in the right way I'm confident we can get a result.”

The holders, making their third successive semi-final appearance, will be at full strength apart from Gary Mackay, who has work commitments.

We've done a bit of homework on Avoch – we are expecting a tough game.

Staxigoe United manager Andrew Banks was relieved all his players came through the midweek win against Thurso Acks unscathed ahead of tomorrow's Highland Amateur Cup semi-final clash against six-time winners Avoch at Golspie.

“It was good to get a win ahead of Saturday's game but the most important thing was to get through it without picking up any injuries and we managed to do that,” Banks said. “We've done a bit of homework on them – we are expecting a tough game.”

Blair Duncan, who missed the Acks game, will be available to face Avoch.

Liam Bremner, who made only his second appearance of the season against Acks, will also feature.



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