Slideshow: Shinty - Lochside win keeps Bute title bid on course

James Craig’s first half double was the highlight of a 3-0 win for Bute’s first team at home to Lochside Rovers on Saturday which keeps the islanders’ league title bid on course.

Top scorer Robert Walker also found the net as Bute moved into second place in a three-way tie at the top of the table and a step closer to a second South Division One championship in three years.

Bute defender John Beattie holds off a Lochside Rovers opponent during the islanders' 3-0 win in Rothesay on Saturday.

Bute defender John Beattie holds off a Lochside Rovers opponent during the islanders' 3-0 win in Rothesay on Saturday.

All three goals were scored before half time, with Craig giving his marker the slip to open the scoring on 13 minutes before adding a second from close range after a well-worked move five minutes before the interval.

Walker tied up the points with his 18th league goal of the season just before the break, and though the second half was flat by comparison, there were still positives for the hosts in the form of first team debuts for two of the club’s younger players, Scott Dunn and Liam Poole, in the closing stages.

But the Bute players wore their biggest smiles of the day a few minutes after the final whistle when news filtered through that leaders Glasgow Mid Argyll had lost for the first time in the league this season, going down 2-0 away to Glenorchy.

Saturday’s results have created a three-way tie at the top of the table, with Bute and Glasgow Mid Argyll on 20 points from 12 games and Glenorchy on the same points total after 15 matches - and with Bute and Glasgow Mid Argyll due to meet at Yoker on August 17 and in Rothesay on September 7, the stage looks to be set for a fascinating climax to the season.