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Wick Groats now just one win away from retaining county title


By John MacLeod


Graham MacNab (centre) is congratulated on scoring Wick Groats' second goal in the top-of-the-table clash with Pentland United last week. MacNab was again on target versus John O'Groats as the county champions moved closer to retaining the title. Picture: James Gunn
Graham MacNab (centre) is congratulated on scoring Wick Groats' second goal in the top-of-the-table clash with Pentland United last week. MacNab was again on target versus John O'Groats as the county champions moved closer to retaining the title. Picture: James Gunn

WICK Groats are just one win away from clinching their eighth successive county league Division One title.

Goals in either half from Graham MacNab and Mark Macadie were enough to secure all three points for Groats in a 2-0 victory at John O'Groats this week.

“The boys played well again,” said Groats manager Kevin Anderson. “We dominated for long spells. It was probably on a par with the best football we've played all season, although we could have been a bit more clinical.

"But it's another three three points and a hopefully a step closer to retaining the league.”

Groats took the lead after just three minutes when Graham MacNab got on the end of a Scott Risbridger cross to knock the ball in at the back post.

Groats made sure of the points midway through the second half when Mark Macadie scored with a left-foot screamer into the top corner.

It was probably on a par with the best football we've played all season, although we could have been a bit more clinical.

Pentland United kept their title challenge going with a no-nonsense 6-0 win against Thurso Swifts.

Sean Campbell and Marc Begg scored just after the half-hour mark to give United a 2-0 interval lead. Begg was on target again early in the second period and Innes Macintosh chipped in with a couple more before Murray MacIntosh rounded off the scoring late on.

Pentland United manager Michael Gray said: “Our quality and movement started to hurt them as the game went on. They defended in depth well and worked hard, but over the piece we were more than comfortable.”

Staxigoe United survived the loss of an early penalty to beat Thurso Acks 4-2.

Louis Webster's spot-kick gave Acks an early lead but Staxigoe hit back with a Martin Banks double before the break.

Grant Aikenhead fired Staxigoe 3-1 up on the hour mark when he slotted into the bottom corner of the net.

Acks' Sean Munro reduced the deficit with a long-range effort, but Grant MacNab made sure of the points when he broke from the halfway line to score.

Jonah Martens hit a hat-trick as Lybster breezed to a 6-0 home win over Castletown to move into fourth place in the table.

Gary Weir scored twice and player/manager Bobby Gunn got the other one.

In Division Two, Wick Thistle won with something to spare in a 7-2 victory against Halkirk to stretch their lead at the top to 13 points.

Greg Gunn, Ross Mackay and Marc Gunn all bagged braces, while Andy Falconer got the other one for Thistle.

The matches between Thurso Pentland and High Ormlie Hotspur and Top Joes and Keiss were postponed.

Fixtures: Tonight (Friday, 7pm) – Steven Cup final: Wick Thistle v High Ormlie Hotspur (at Lybster).

Saturday – Highland Amateur Cup semi-finals (3pm): Wick Groats v Pentland United (at Castletown); Avoch v Staxigoe United (at Golspie).

Monday – Division Two (7pm): Halkirk v Top Joes; High Ormlie Hotspur v Wick Thistle; Watten v Thurso Pentland.

Tuesday – Division One (7pm): Pentland United v Thurso Acks; Thurso Swifts v Lybster; Wick Groats v Staxigoe United.



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