Shinty: Bute hot on leaders’ heels as title chase nears climax

The battle for shinty's South Division One championship has come down to a two-way fight between Bute and Lochside Rovers: here John MacCallum is seen on the attack for Bute during a 4-0 win for the islanders when the two teams last met in Rothesay.
The battle for shinty's South Division One championship has come down to a two-way fight between Bute and Lochside Rovers: here John MacCallum is seen on the attack for Bute during a 4-0 win for the islanders when the two teams last met in Rothesay.

Bute Shinty Club’s first team play their last home game of the season this Saturday - knowing that a win over Strachur at the Meadows is essential if they’re to keep their title hopes on track.

Bute lie two points adrift of leaders Lochside Rovers at the top of South Division One, but the islanders have one game in hand - and while Bute also have a superior goal difference to their rivals, their main priority on Saturday is to pick up the two points which will keep the title race alive.

Bute have already defeated Strachur away from home twice this season - in the league in March and in the Camanachd Cup two months later - while the Cowal men have struggled in the league, with three wins and three draws to their name and a total after deductions of only five points.

Bute have also embarked on a five-match winning run since a surprise 3-0 loss away to Lochside in early September, their most recent success being a 4-0 win away to Kyles Athletic’s second team.

Lochside, meanwhile, have brought forward their final game of the season, an away match against Glenorchy which will now also be played this Saturday, rather than on October 31 as originally planned.

If both teams win on Saturday, the championship race will come down to the very last match of the campaign, a tricky away tie for Bute against Oban Celtic which is due to be played on November 7.

This Saturday’s match between Bute and Strachur, however, gets under way at the Meadows at 2.30pm, and we’ll have live score updates on Facebook and Twitter if you’re unable to get to the game in person.