Shinty: Lovat lament for Bute as visitors battle back to win

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BUTE’S losing streak in the Orion Group Premiership was extended to a seventh straight game on Saturday as a gritty Lovat side came from behind to seize victory at the Meadows.

But the home side were left cursing their luck after a late strike from Robert Walker was ruled out by referee David Mitchell, who did not see the Bute captain’s effort cross the line - though several spectators, and at least one visiting player, felt the powerful shot had rebounded off the stanchion at the rear of the goal and back into play.

Ali Carmichael, recalled to the first team’s ranks due to the absence of four regulars who were away at T in the Park, gave the hosts the ideal start after quarter of an hour, latching on to a neat through ball from Roberto Zavaroni before calmly slotting his shot past Lovat keeper Stuart MacDonald.

But the visitors levelled two minutes before the break when Owen Ferguson seized on a poor clearance by Bute keeper Kevin Queen to snatch the equaliser from close range.

And just a minute after the restart, good link-up play between Greg Matheson and Lewis Towse resulted in Matheson striking a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Lovat enjoyed the better of the second half until a reshuffle of the hosts’ ranks saw Hector Whitelaw pushed into the forward line in the closing stages, but the changes were to no avail, and Walker’s goal-that-wasn’t with only two minutes remaining left Bute five points adrift of Premiership safety.

There’ll be a full report from Saturday’s match in the new issue of The Buteman, on sale from July 12.

There’s a double bill of shinty action in Rothesay this Saturday, June 14, with the Bute first team hosting Glenurquhart in the Orion Group Premiership and Bute’s second string welcoming Ballachulish to the Meadows for the semi-final of the Bullough Cup.