Bute Shinty Club’s second team fell to a 3-0 defeat against their Inveraray counterparts on Saturday in their first home match of the 2014 season - but the margin of defeat was slightly harsh on a Bute side who showed plenty of signs of promise for the campaign to come.
Niall Shaw opened the scoring for Inveraray only four minutes into the match after Bute keeper Bob McKechnie parried Fraser Watt’s shot, but the hosts soon found their feet and more than matched their visitors for the rest of the first half.
Tam McCready should have levelled the scores after Inveraray keeper Scott MacLachlan beat away a Tom McMillan effort, but the Bute man scooped the rebound over the bar - and nine minutes before the break young Ryan Craig came agonisingly close to an equaliser when his close-range shot rattled MacLachlan’s left-hand post.
But Inveraray survived until the interval with their lead intact, and doubled their advantage just two minutes after the restart when Iain MacDonald took advantage of a rare slip by defender Chris McGowan to bury the ball in the back of the net.
And the same player made the points safe after an hour after some nice interplay with captain Watt, giving McKechnie no chance with a low drive into the bottom corner.
Despite the defeat there were promising signs for coach David Kilpatrick to take from the game - most notably the performances of debutants Graham Hyatt and Arran Cameron and of school pupils Ryan Craig, Ben Clarke and Craig McKay, who are already beginning to show signs of learning from the wiser old heads around them.
* A below-strength Bute first team had a day to forget in Strathpeffer on Saturday after losing 8-1 to Caberfeidh in the Marine Harvest National Division.
Craig Morrison opened the scoring for the hosts midway through the first half, and though Graham Fisher levelled for Bute just three minutes later, that was as good as it got for a Bute side who travelled north only the bare bones of a squad.
Morriso finished the match with four goals to his name, while Ally MacLennan notched a double and Martin MacDonald and Liam Symmonds also got their names on the scoresheet.