Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Triumph for Fort William at An Aird.

Fort William won the Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Cup for the second time in three years courtesy of a 3-2 extra-time victory over Glasgow Mid Argyll at An Aird on Saturday 24th August  2019. This result rounded off a successful season for Fort because as Mowi National Division champions they were already assured of promotion to shinty’s Premier League

In this contest, Fort William started the stronger side and might have gone ahead inside two minutes were it not for the fact that frontman Alexander Macmillan’s early strike found the GMA post rather than the net. Not long after that Glasgow keeper Robert Dunnings pulled off an excellent double save first from Arran MacPhee then from Lachie Shaw. Fort’s MacPhee was also unlucky to see another of his attempts strike the crossbar.

Eventually after a goal-less first half GMA opened the scoring in 54 minutes when a cut back from half-forward Mark Bain set up full-forward Calum McLay to finish nicely from inside the “D”.

Fort William equalised shortly afterwards through a low shot from Alexander Macmillan which was deflected past Dunnings who was late to see it coming through a crowded back-line.  The Mid Argyll reaction was immediate with the ball fed forward directly from the throw-up allowing McLay the space and time to score putting his side  2-1 ahead.

With this score on the board Mid Argyll were unlucky not to go further in front but, their best attempt, an excellent strike by McFadyen which was heading for the top-corner was superbly deflected away from the net by the caman of Fort keeper Paul MacKay.  That aside Mid Argyll kept their noses in front – and looked like they were going to hold on to win until just four minutes from the final whistle Fort substitute Padraig McNeil profited from a rebound of a fine Dunnings save to pop home the equaliser.

Extra time followed – but in this phase Fort William were firmly in control and McNeil finally clinched the trophy in 95 minutes when he once again had the presence of mind to pounce on a rebound after Dunnings had stopped the initial drive from Victor Smith.

Disappointment then for Glasgow Mid Argyll who have now lost back to back Balliemore Cup finals at An Aird. For Fort William, while their real job is to prepare for next season’s Premier League experience the afternoon was a delight with their captain Arran MacPhee alongside former captain James Tangney picking up the trophy from former Fort player John MacLeod who represented sponsors Liberty British Aluminium.

Ross Brown was the match referee.