Monday, 3 July 2017

Kilchoan FC Win Coll Match Thriller

From Craig Lindsay:

Kilchoan 4-4 Coll (Kilchoan win 2-0 on penalties)

Kilchoan FC came out on top for the third year running in the 9th annual challenge match in what turned out to be a frenetic end-to-end tussle on a dreich Saturday afternoon.

It was the Islanders who took the lead early on with Andrew Fraser's goal, when he took advantage of a loose ball in the Kilchoan penalty area. The lead didn't last long, however: Craig Lindsay picked out young Mitchell Cameron to level matters. The wind was with Kilchoan in the first half and another crossed ball from Lindsay caused Coll goalscorer Fraser to handle the ball and gave Iain Macdonald the chance to give the hosts the lead from the penalty spot - which Macdonald did with aplomb. It turned out to be the last goal of the half, as both teams shored up their defence and cancelled each other out.

With the wind now working against Kilchoan, the pressure was against the home side as Coll came out for the second half all guns blazing. However it was Kilchoan who grabbed the opening goal of the second half as Macdonald picked out Calum Ruairidh Foxley who finished superbly to score his first goal for the side and give the hosts a two goal advantage. Despite doubling their lead, Kilchoan were under the cosh and two quick goals, one of which was courtesy of penalty from Coll captain Graham Griffiths, brought Coll level. Nerves had now fully set in for the Kilchoan boys as they began to struggle to get the ball out of their half, further increasing Coll's belief that the match was firmly in their hands. Roy Thorburn, who has been a constant threat to Kilchoan in previous years, capped off the Islander's fine comeback with a deft finish through Justin Cameron's legs to put the visitors back in front. Kilchoan rang the changes as they pressed forward eagerly in search for the equaliser, but again nothing seemed to fall and hope of a third win in a row over Coll faded as the minutes passed. However, with the final play of the game, a long ball from Lindsay found Macdonald in space to hammer home and cause the home support to erupt. Referee Gus MacLean would later state that there were just four seconds left to play as the ball hit the net.

And so to penalties. In a near carbon copy of last year's drama, Coll could not get past Cameron and strikes from Macdonald and Calum MacPhail were enough for the home side to prevail, much to the heartache of the Coll boys who had fought so gallantly only to fall short, once again, on penalties.

The win now takes Kilchoan to 5 wins to Coll's 4 since the challenge match first started back in 2008. The 10th year anniversary match will take place on the Isle of Coll in 2018.

Many thanks to Craig Lindsay for report & photo.

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