A stirring late fightback brought down the curtain on Bute Shinty Club’s 2014 season on Saturday as the island club’s second team recovered from two goals down to secure a point from an entertaining clash at the Meadows.
Craig Fisher’s beautifully-struck shot gave the home side an eighth-minute advantage, but Glenorchy, seeking only their second away win of the campaign, were in no mood to surrender meekly - though the Dalmally side could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to be their day when they missed two penalties in the space of four minutes, Martin MacKillop seeing his effort brilliantly saved by Bute keeper Bob McKechnie before Kieran Gallagher shot wide of the target.
But MacKillop levelled the scores four minutes before half time, and as the interval approached Roddy Cairns bundled home from close range to give Glenorchy a 2-1 lead at the break.
And it looked like curtains for Bute when MacKillop rifled past McKechnie ten minutes after the restart to extend the visitors’ advantage.
Three minutes later McKechnie pulled off an outstanding save to prevent what would have been an own goal by one of his team-mates - and Bute, inspired by their keeper’s heroics, went on to turn up the heat on the Glenorchy defence in the game’s final quarter.
An inadvertent kick by Glenorchy keeper Graham Morrice allowed young Scott Harvey to pull one back for Bute from the penalty spot, and Bute’s relentless pressure finally paid off when veterans Graham Fisher and James Craig combined for Craig to knock home the equaliser from everyone’s favourite distance, roughly half an inch, six minutes from time - earning the islanders the point they needed to overtake local rivals Col-Glen in the league table and secure a fourth-place finish in the South Division Two standings.