GARRY MACPHERSON’S 74th-minute penalty saw Bute emerge empty-handed from their key Premiership clash at Winterton Park on Saturday.
A frustrating afternoon saw the islanders enjoy their share of possession and create plenty of chances, but the Inveraray goal survived intact - which only increased the annoyance of the men in red as they trooped off at full time.
Bute could have taken the lead in the opening seconds of the game, when James Craig won possession from the throw-up and worked the ball to Graham Fisher, who in turn found Robert Walker up front - but the Bute captain fired his shot just wide of target.
The best chance of the first half also fell to the Bute skipper, again after being set up by Fisher - but Walker had, if anything, too much time to pick his spot and will be disappointed not to have made more of the attempt.
Inveraray, by contrast, posed relatively little threat to a Bute defence who again played strongly, with Brian Liddle the stand-out performer at the back.
But a glorious afternoon for shinty eventually proved the visitors’ undoing with a quarter of an hour to go, when goalkeeper Kevin Queen inadvertently lost sight of the ball in the glare of the sun, and his accidental kick gave ref Billy Wotherspoon no choice but to award a penalty, converted by Macpherson to give Inveraray the win and increase the gap between the sides to three points at the foot of the table.
* This Saturday, May 12, Bute put their disappointing league form to one side when they travel north to take on Oban Celtic in the first round of the Artemis Macaulay Cup.
Throw-up is at 2.30pm, and players should meet at the garage at 10.30am - anyone not available is asked to contact Barry Martin ASAP.