Oban win keeps Bute’s perfect record intact

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BUTE showed no ill effects from their three-week weather-enforced lay-off on Saturday as another convincing win saw the island side move a step closer to their goal of a one hundred per cent league record.

David Whitelaw led the way with a hat-trick, while Roberto Zavaroni weighed in with a double and James Craig completed the scoring to round off a good team performance.

Having secured their place in shinty’s Premier League, Bute were able to go into this game in a relaxed mood, with a number of fringe players from the club’s second team keen to make an impact in the senior squad.

Having beaten their hosts 12-0 when the teams last met it was no surprise to see Bute go into the attack straight from the throw-up, with good movement from all four forwards, but it took until the 25th minute for the visitors to open the scoring, when a well taken shy by captain John McCallum picked out Zavaroni, whose overhead flick found Whitelaw at the back of the D with the time and space he needed to strike a well-hit shot into the Oban net.

With the deadlock broken it took only four more minutes for Bute to add a second, with good inter-play by Zavaroni and Graham Fisher finding Whitelaw 20 yards out at the other side of the D, again with room to pick his spot for goal number two.

Despite dominating the play it took Bute until just before half time to add the third goal which put the result beyond any doubt, a good ball out of defence from Iain MacDonald setting up Zavaroni for a shot from 25 yards which gave the Oban keeper no chance.

The half-time team talk emphasised the need for Bute to keep the same tempo as in the first half, with the forwards not getting a break; John Beattie replaced Hector Whitelaw in defence in order to gain more first team experience, but most of the game continued to be played in the Oban half, and Whitelaw completed his hat-trick within five minutes from inside the D after more good work by Fisher in the build-up.

Zavaroni converted Bute’s fifth from the penalty spot, and Craig completed Bute’s tally with a well-struck shot from 35 yards after breaking forward from midfield.

With the hard work done, substitutes Neil McKirdy and Jason Reid came on to gain experience of playing at a higher level, and both contributed to the game in the closing stages and were unlucky not to get their names on the score sheet.

* This Saturday, October 1, Bute travel to play Taynuilt in their penultimate league match of the season.

Throw-up is at 2.30pm and players should meet at the garage at 10.30am – anyone unavailable is asked to contact Barry Martin ASAP.