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Wick Groats power through to semis after early Castletown strike

By John MacLeod

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Benn Murray battles with Ben Sinclair in the Castletown v Wick Groats tie. Picture: James Gunn
Benn Murray battles with Ben Sinclair in the Castletown v Wick Groats tie. Picture: James Gunn

WICK Groats powered their way through to the last four of the Colin MacLeod Memorial Cup thanks to a second-half surge in a 4-1 win against quarter-final opponents Castletown at Back Park.

Castletown got off to a dream start when Adam Gunn scored after just 90 seconds. But a double from Grant MacNab and further goals from John Budge and Mark Macadie saw Groats get over a sticky start to the tie.

Groats manager Kevin Anderson felt his side were worthy winners.

“We knew it was going to be tough," he said. "We made it hard for ourselves and weren't at the races in the first half. Castletown are a good team and with it being the Colin MacLeod Memorial Cup and Colin's association with Castletown we knew they would be well up for it.

“But the better team won in the end. Although 4-1 probably flattered us, we certainly deserved to win.”

Gunn caught the Groats defence napping in the opening minutes of the game and he found the back of the net with a rasping 25-yard drive.

There were chances at either end before MacNab levelled on the half-hour mark with a sublime finish from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Groats upped their game after the break and Budge headed them into the lead on the hour mark following a corner kick.

Groats keeper Graeme Williamson punches clear. Picture: James Gunn
Groats keeper Graeme Williamson punches clear. Picture: James Gunn

MacNab scored the goal of the tie 10 minutes later when he played a slick one-two with Sandy Sutherland on the edge of the area and curled a first-time shot into the far corner of the net.

Young Macadie rounded off the scoring 10 minutes from the end when cut inside and beat a defender to the ball to score from 10 yards.

Sean Campbell helped himself to four of his side's goals as Pentland United crushed Lybster 7-0 at Cow Park.

Cameron Montgomery chipped in with a couple of goals and Kyle Innes got the other one as United maintained their free-scoring start to the season.

John O'Groats held on for a 2-1 win against doughty opponents Wick Thistle at Upper Bignold Park.

Goals from Grant Budge and Jimmy Budge saw John O'Groats in the driving seat. But a late goal from Greg Gunn made for a tense ending to the tie.

A Lewis McKechnie goal was all that separated the teams as Thurso Swifts disposed of High Ormlie Hotspurs.

Colin MacLeod Memorial Cup semi-final draw: John O’Groats v Pentland United; Swifts v Wick Groats. Ties to be played on Friday, May 10, with a 6.45pm kick-off.

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