North of Scotland Cup Final, Mosset Park, Forres, 6/10/19
Game of the season so far. Excellent viewing from start to finish.Very much needed after the blank draw the previous day. I have always been meaning to go to a HFL related final. I managed to fulfil that today with Wee Man in tow. The car journey on the way up was filled with “I hope there are goals”, “Daddy will there be goals”, “why was there no goals yesterday”(Deveronside 0-0 Benburb in the Scottish Cup was the previous days viewing) . So I had my fingers crossed for a few. I need not have worried as there were plenty with a lot of action throughout. Also to add to the great spectacle, the pies are still absolutely fantastic. The best in the business bar none. Proper chunks of stake in sublime gravy. Nobody does it better than the Can Cans
I turned up to this with a neutral head on. This attitude was quickly changed when I noticed the shitehousery tactics ICT had deployed. They have a reputation for being “hammer throwers” and this did them no favours today. Off the ball kick outs, late tackling, cynical tackling, leading with elbows in the air and manhandling. They also had a habit of surrounding the referee over the slightest of things and also ganging up on players over bugger all. These just a few of the tricks. The team was littered with fuds too Nikolay Todorov and Charlie Trafford being two of the worst culprits with the latter being a victim of me telling him he was a fanny. This leading to Wee Man asking what a fanny was and me backtracking trying to explain that I actually called him a fairy(which was also appropriate to be fair ). The fact ICT were a bunch of bullies put me firmly in the Brora camp. Which if you know me is very unusual as I never usually want Brora to win due to their financial superiority over a good chunk of the HFL. This because I hate money causing gulfs in fitba at all levels anywhere. Come to think of it, Brora were probably the richer of the two clubs today if the recent Caley rumours are true.
The game was a game of two teams with two different styles. The Invernesians with the aforementioned acting like playground bullies and Brora trying to get the ball down and play. Most of the time they were prevented by foul after foul from Caley. Brora thought they were dealt a blow with the early loss of Jordan Macrae with a shoulder injury on fifteen minutes. This actually changed the game in the favour of the Cattachs as the replacement Paul Brindle turned out to be in my eyes the man of the match as he acted as a great out ball and caused numerous problems for ICT. Inclusive of a fantastic effort from thirty five yards which brought out an equally fantastic save from the Caley keeper MacKay. This being the best chance of the first period. This was untill the last kick of the half when Brora took the lead through Dale Gillespie after he slotted the ball under the keeper from close range.
Substitute Brindle was unlucky not to double the HFL teams lead early in the second half when he pulled out a decent save from the keeper. The next goal was to go to the boys in blue when gobshite Todorov was poorly marked leaving a simple header to take the Jags back level. This got Caleys tails up and they tried to force the issue and got their reward from a stunning thirty yard freekick from Harper with around fifteen minutes to go. But Brora were not out of this and they found themselves back on level terms immediately when the Championhsip team failed to clear their lines leaving Martin “Digger” MacLean to smash home from ten yards. This irritated ICT and the challenges they put in in the aftermath of the equaliser proved it. This leading to Broras Brindle seeking retribution with a wild lunge which led to him being headbutted by Caleys resident arsehole Trafford who inexcusasbly was not sent off by the referee. A headbutt and raising his hands to Brindles face twice. Both players were to escape with bookings. I though the match was heading to extra time until the Cattachs substitute Kyle MacLeod tapped home from close range when MacKay in the Inverness goal made a hash of a cross ball. The team from Sutherland held on for the final two minutes and put their name on the trophy for the seventh time in their history. Justice prevailed. The footballers won and I actually found myself warming to Brora as they are a very very good fitba playing side. Best performance by a team this season bar none. Congratulations to Brora. Very well deserved. I think the HFL trophy will join the North of Scotland Cup in the Dudgeon Park trophy cabinet come April.
Me still 160, Wee Man 34