ColGlen picked up a crucial victory away from home against promotion rivals Bute, in a result which could go a long way in determining South Division One supremacy.
It was yet another perfect day for shinty at the Meadows in Rothesay, with a large and vocal crowd greatly adding to the atmosphere in this top of the table clash.
From the outset, this contest was played with an incredibly high tempo. Visitors, ColGlen, who have had several very hard fought games in recent weeks, used this experience to put pressure on a home team who were looking like a side who have enjoyed too many easy games of late – with this proving to be the difference in the game. The physically stronger away team always looked dangerous on the attack, while the Islanders relied on breakaways.
The Glen went ahead after 20 minutes when Auryn Kerr finished off a fine move with a powerful strike, leaving the home keeper with no chance.
Bute would look dangerous in their occasional forays up the park, yet a combination of poor finishing and a failure to pass to team-mates in better positions cost them dearly. This allowed ColGlen, and the ever dangerous Dan MacDonald, to double their advantage as he turned his marker and found the back of the net with a fine finish after 38 minutes.
The home side thought they had pulled a goal back when Iain McDonald bundled the ball over the line. However, the joy was short lived, as referee Lachie Wood chopped the goal off deeming the ball to have been kicked over the line.
Following the half-time break, both sides continued to perform at a high tempo, with the visitors still dominating most of the scoring opportunities.
Things got even worse for Bute when forward Scott Harvey was given a straight red card following dangerous play, leaving the home side with 11 men. However, this ended up spurring the islanders on to play better shinty, as they enjoyed more possession and ventured up the park towards the away goal.
Despite the hosts improving, another ColGlen strike would seal this crucial victory, as a well taken Dan MacDonald effort made it three for his side, as well as his 18th of the season.
To Bute’s credit, they kept pushing for a way back in this contest despite being three goals and a player down. An excellent Craig Fisher run which saw him beat several defenders and the goalkeeper before slotting the ball in to the net, gave his side a lifeline with ten minutes left to play.
However, this wasn’t enough, as ColGlen made the journey back over the Colintraive ferry with a valuable two points.
This leaves the Glen four points clear at the top, with Bute still having two games in hand. The two will meet again on September 24 in Gelndaruel, in what could be a title decider.