Shinty: Bute lose their grip on Premier place

Iain MacDonald and a grounded Robert Walker scrap for possession during Bute's 5-1 home defeat by Inveraray on Saturday.
Iain MacDonald and a grounded Robert Walker scrap for possession during Bute's 5-1 home defeat by Inveraray on Saturday.

BUTE Shinty Club’s first team surrendered their place in the Orion Group Premiership in tame fashion on Saturday after a 5-1 defeat at home to Inveraray condemned the islanders to relegation back to the regional level of the game.

Bute’s survival hopes, already hanging by a thread before the game, were delat a further blow when Garry MacPherson opened the scoring for the Argyll side - clearly still on a high after reaching the final of the Camanachd Cup seven days previously - in only the second minute.

Captain Robert Walker saw a sizzling half-volley rattle the Inveraray crossbar as the home side looked for a way back into the match, but three goals in five minutes from the visitors - a double by Ruaraidh Graham, either side of MacPherson’s second - ended the match as a contest well before the interval.

Chris Crawford added a fifth for Inveraray six minutes after the restart, with Graham Fisher’s 68th-minute strike the only crumb of comfort for a deflated and downhearted Bute team.