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We’re not there just to take part, insists Keiss co-manager ahead of Steven Cup showdown

By Alan Hendry

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Castletown's Connor Macleod tries to dispossess Carter Mackay of Keiss during a league match earlier this season.
Castletown's Connor Macleod tries to dispossess Carter Mackay of Keiss during a league match earlier this season.

Castletown will be seen by many as favourites in Friday's Steven Cup final – but their opponents Keiss have no intention of merely making up the numbers.

"If you want to win cups you have to beat the best teams and that’s exactly what we’ll be aiming to do," Keiss co-manager Kai Tait said.

The knockout trophy for Caithness AFA Division Two clubs will be at stake when the teams meet at Cow Park in Lybster with a 7pm kick-off.

Castletown have already wrapped up the second division title. Keiss are sitting third in the table, a point behind Swifts.

Keiss needed extra time before beating Thurso Pentland 2-1 in the second leg of their semi-final on Monday, going through 4-2 on aggregate.

Castletown lost 4-2 to Swifts the same night but progressed with a 7-5 aggregate score.

Tait said: "We had to battle hard. Thurso Pentland were up for the game and made it difficult for us.

"I think we showed great character to come back and win the game. We’ve really come together these past couple of months and we've had some great results.

"The defence has been playing very well, which is such an advantage to stay in games when not playing at our best.

"Castletown will probably go down as favourites – they have had a great season and fair play to them. But we’re not there just to take part – we want to win this cup.

"We have suspensions, but we’ve a very good squad and can rotate in a lot of positions which won’t affect how we play our game."

Teenager Elliot Cormack scored twice for Lybster.
Teenager Elliot Cormack scored twice for Lybster.

Pentland United continue to fight on all fronts this summer after edging out Wick Thistle in the quarter-finals of the David Allan Shield.

The Stabbies had to rely on an own goal in extra time to win 2-1 at Wick's Upper Bignold Park on Thursday night after James Murray's opener for United had been cancelled out by a Danny Coghill penalty.

The Dunnet outfit have already collected the Colin Macleod Memorial Cup and the Eain Mackintosh Cup, while they have a Highland Amateur Cup semi-final this weekend and are battling with Wick Groats for the county league title.

The Stabbies meet Groats in the last four of the David Allan Shield tonight (Wednesday) in Wick.

Jonah Martens and Stewart Atkins scored for Groats in their 2-1 win against Staxigoe United in their semi on Friday. Ross Davidson was on target for Staxigoe.

Castletown beat John O'Groats 2-0 at Back Park on Friday to set up a home semi-final with Lybster this evening. Jack McKechnie and Adam Gunn got the goals for the second division champions.

Lybster's quarter-final at home to Acks went to penalties after the teams were locked together at 3-3 after extra time.

Sixteen-year-old Elliot Cormack scored twice for the village side and Gary Swanson got their other goal. Acks' scorers were Andy Hardwick, Joe Sutherland and Kyle Innes.

Colin MacRae netted the decisive kick as Lybster prevailed 5-4 in the shoot-out.

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).

Fixtures – Wednesday – David Allan Shield, semi-finals: Castletown v Lybster; Wick Groats v Pentland United (7pm).

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).

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