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We’ve done it the hard way: High Ormlie Hotspur retain Eain Mackintosh Cup


By Alan Hendry

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High Ormlie Hotspur players and management celebrate after retaining the Eain Mackintosh Cup, along with Eain's mother Mary. Picture: James Gunn
High Ormlie Hotspur players and management celebrate after retaining the Eain Mackintosh Cup, along with Eain's mother Mary. Picture: James Gunn

High Ormlie Hotspur player/co-manager Ryan Sutherland Jnr praised his team-mates for their game management after they lifted the Eain Mackintosh Cup for the second season in a row.

First-half goals by James Mackintosh and Ethan Kevill gave Hotspur a 2-0 victory over Staxigoe United in front of a big crowd at Halkirk’s Recreation Park on Saturday.

Staxigoe went into the match on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run but it was always going to be difficult for them after their young defender Joe Anderson was sent off with 25 minutes played.

High Ormlie also finished with 10 men when Aidan Reid got his marching orders with about 20 minutes remaining, but by then the damage was done.

“I thought we started well,” Sutherland said. “To be fair, I thought Staxigoe played well with 10 men.

“I thought we were really professional, managed the game well, didn’t rush it. But fair play to Staxigoe, they put up a really good performance – they’re a really good team, they’ve got a lot of good players.

“It’s really good to get our first silverware of the season and it’s especially good to win it for the Mackintosh family.”

Ethan Kevill slams in High Ormlie's second goal with a free kick just before half-time. Picture: James Gunn
Ethan Kevill slams in High Ormlie's second goal with a free kick just before half-time. Picture: James Gunn

Staxigoe’s hopes suffered a serious blow when Anderson brought Aaron Wilson crashing to the ground with a mistimed tackle. Referee Liam Bremner had no hesitation in brandishing the red card, leaving Staxigoe to play for more than an hour with 10 men.

Hotspur soon made the most of their numerical advantage as they grabbed the opener on 31 minutes. Aaron McNicol played the ball through to Wilson, who touched it on to Mackintosh, and he poked it in from close range.

The holders took a decisive step towards retaining the trophy when they doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time after being awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area. Kevill stepped up and slammed it low to the right of Leo Shearer.

Mark Munro almost made an instant impact for High Ormlie after coming on as a substitute. His dipping shot was clawed away by the diving Shearer nine minutes into the second half.

Staxigoe United goalkeeper Leo Shearer can only look on in despair as Ethan Kevill's free kick makes it 2-0 to High Ormlie Hotspur. Picture: James Gunn
Staxigoe United goalkeeper Leo Shearer can only look on in despair as Ethan Kevill's free kick makes it 2-0 to High Ormlie Hotspur. Picture: James Gunn

Hotspur were also reduced to 10 men on 71 minutes when Reid was shown a second yellow card.

High Ormlie, who overcame Wick Groats and Pentland United on their way to the final, will be targeting more silverware before the end of the summer.

“We’re absolutely buzzing to get that over the line,” Sutherland said. “It has been a very good run, putting out Wick Groats, Stabbs, then Staxigoe in the final.

“We’ve done it the hard way but I think it shows the quality of our team, putting out those three teams, and hopefully there will be more success to come this season.”

Staxigoe United defender Joe Anderson is shown the red card by referee Liam Bremner 25 minutes into the Eain Mackintosh Cup final. Picture: James Gunn
Staxigoe United defender Joe Anderson is shown the red card by referee Liam Bremner 25 minutes into the Eain Mackintosh Cup final. Picture: James Gunn

Results – Division Two: Acks 3, Watten 1; Halkirk 3, Top Joe’s 1.

Eain Mackintosh Cup final: High Ormlie Hotspur 2, Staxigoe United 0 (at Halkirk).

SWF Highlands and Islands League: Orkney 3, Caithness 2.

Fixtures – Tuesday, July 9 – David Allan Shield, round one: Acks v Wick Thistle; Staxigoe United v Halkirk; Top Joe’s v Keiss; Watten v Swifts (all 7.15pm).

Wednesday, July 10 – David Allan Shield, round one: John O’Groats v Thurso Pentland; Lybster v High Ormlie Hotspur; Pentland United v Castletown (all 7.15pm).

Friday, July 12 – Steven Cup, quarter-finals, first leg: Acks v Top Joe’s Halkirk v Swifts; Watten v Keiss (all 7.15pm).

Saturday, July 13 – Highland Amateur Cup, quarter-finals: High Ormlie Hotspur v Black Rock Rovers (Ormlie, 3pm); Pentland United v Ness (Culbokie, 12.30pm); Sleat and Strath v Avoch (3pm); Stornoway Athletic v Helmsdale United (Maryburgh, 12.30pm).

High Ormlie's Ethan Kevill tries to get past Grant Aitkenhead of Staxigoe United down the right wing. Picture: James Gunn
High Ormlie's Ethan Kevill tries to get past Grant Aitkenhead of Staxigoe United down the right wing. Picture: James Gunn
All seven teams line up before the start of the seven-a-side tournament for over-35s prior to Saturday's Eain Mackintosh Cup final in Halkirk. Wick (in red and white) beat Halkirk (red and black stripes) 1-0 in the final. Picture: James Gunn
All seven teams line up before the start of the seven-a-side tournament for over-35s prior to Saturday's Eain Mackintosh Cup final in Halkirk. Wick (in red and white) beat Halkirk (red and black stripes) 1-0 in the final. Picture: James Gunn

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