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Old Master Ronaldo settles MacTavish thriller

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Gary Innes | 21:15 UK time, Monday, 21 June 2010

The Co-operative MacTavish Cup final was the featured match of the day at the weekend, and didn't disappoint.

Kilmallie arrived in a double-decker bus, all kitted out with Top Gun aviators, thanks to Euan Soddart, who had managed to get a swap off-shore - to stay on shore, for the big game.

Kingussie were favourites from the start and 17-year-old Ryan Bothwick fired them ahead with a terrific early strike. Ronald Ross netted shortly after to make it two.

At this point, I think most thought the final would be done and dusted by half time, but Kilmallie had other ideas.

A great reply from Liam MacDonald saw the Caol underdogs reduce the deficit but, before they could enjoy it, Ronaldo Ross, with sublime control, waltzed past the Kilmallie defence and slipped home his second.

At 3-1 the next goal was crucial, and Kimallie made sure we had a game on our hands.

rosscup595.jpgOne minute into the second half, captain John Stewart had the ball in the net before Michael Rodgers scored to level the match.

The Bught Parks were alive, and before long Liam (Goof) MacDonald had every Kilmallie supporter, at home, and in the Grandstand, jumping in the air, with a stunning strike, to see the First Division outfit ahead 4-3.

Fatigue was taking its toll on Kilmallie and they had to make changes. They brought back John Stewart, and Michael Rodgers and this changed the run of play, with Kingussie back into the driving seat.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, manager Stevie Bothwick's son, Ryan, put one hand back on the cup for Badenoch, with his second scorcher of the day, and one I'm sure he will watch many times over on replay.

With one-minute left of normal time, you could have put your mortgage on who would be the hero. None other than old Ronaldo tapped the ball into an open net for the winner.
It was an unfortunate miss from Kilmallie keeper Kevin Toye after a great afternoon between the sticks.

It was an outstanding final and the underdogs could certainly travel back to Lochaber with their heads held high. However, Kingussie lift the first silverware of the season for the North and will be dreaming of grand slam.

Saturday's live final on the BBC was my first experience of co-commentating.

I was alongside Hugh Dan MacLennan and the seasoned pro made it as easy as possible for me. I had a swear box to my left, in case of any slips, but thankfully the piggy bank went home empty.

Straight after the match I dashed off to Kiltarlity, to play our own league fixture against Lovat. Gordy MacKinnon was first to find the net for Fort, shortly followed by a goal from James Clark. And two-second half goals from myself wrapped things up.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newtonmore stay top after beating Glenurquhart 2 - 1 at home. Glasgow Mid Argyll had a great victory away to Bute winning 3-1, while Oban Camanachd lost 0-4 to Inveraray.

This week in the top flight, MacTavish champion's Kingussie take on Bute at the Dell, while league leaders Newtonmore tackle Oban Camanachd at the Eilean.

Fort William are back at An Aird this week, with their league tie against Glenurquhart. The Glen boys have lost a little form of late but I'm sure they will be looking to rectify that on Saturday.

Fort have been playing well away from home but can be unpredictable at An Aird. However, at just over half way through the season, and sitting second with a game in hand, Fort are really starting to click together.

In the South, the Celtic Cup is up for grabs, between Inveraray and Kyles Athletics. Both clubs remain close in the league, which should make for an exciting match.

I'm sitting by the pool in Turkey writing this week's blog. I booked a last minute flight out in case things went horribly wrong with the commentating. Because of this I will miss the visit of Glenurquhart.


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