Robert Walker led the way with a 22-minute hat-trick as Bute Shinty Club’s first team defeated Strachur 6-2 on Saturday.
Walker’s first was Bute’s only successful attempt on goal in a first half they thoroughly dominated - but they went into their half-time huddle on level terms after Strachur veteran Brian Dickie beat Bute keeper Kevin Queen with the Cowal side’s only shot on target of the open 45 minutes.
That left Bute needing to dig deep on a day when only full points would do in the South Division One title chase - but any nerves were soon put to bed when Walker completed his treble with two goals in the first four minutes of the second half.
Dickie’s second gave Bute further notice that more work was required to make sure of the points - but Gordon McMillan re-established Bute’s two-goal lead when he made it 4-2 less than a minute after the restart.
Duncan Davidson got his reward for a hard shift in the forward line when he added number five for the islanders just after the hour mark, but a good day for the islanders hit a sour note when veteran James Craig was sent off midway through the second half for retailation after apparently being struck in the face.
But Bute’s remaining 11 players knuckled down and were never seriously troubled in the remaining quarter of the game, with Davidson’s second on 72 minutes completing the scoring and giving Bute thie rthird victory of the season at Strachurmore.
Saturday’s game had been due to take place in Rothesay, but was switched to Strachur on the morning of the match after heavy overnight rain left the Meadows unplayable.
* Full report in the next issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, November 5.