Bute Shinty Club’s second team fought back from behind on three occasions to earn a well-deserved point from a 3-3 draw at home to Inveraray in Marine Harvest South Division Two on Saturday.
Lewis MacNicol’s hat-trick had the Argyll side four minutes from victory, but after first-half equalisers from Bob McKechnie and Liam Poole, Stewart Stirling struck with time ticking away to ensure the spoils would be shared at the end of an entertaining encounter.
MacNicol opened the scoring with just seven minutes played, but the hosts equalised in bizarre fashion six minutes later when visiting keeper Scott MacLachlan allowed a Graham Fisher free hit to drift into the net, thinking no other player had touched the ball - but referee Neil MacDonald saw that McKechnie had got the faintest of glances to Fisher’s set-piece and awarded the goal.
Inveraray were back in front within four minutes, MacNicol snapping up the rebound after Bute keeper John Whitelaw saved from Fraser Watt, but once again Bute weren’t behind for long, Poole levelling with a beautifully-struck angled drive from 20 yards.
There was no further scoring in the 50 minutes that followed, but MacNicol finally opened up a tightly-fought second period when he latched on to Ruaraidh Graham’s through ball to shoot across Whitelaw’s bows and into the far corner of the net.
However, Bute refused to cave in and after good work by young Ryan Craig and the not-quite-so-young Tom McMillan, Stirling’s angled drive past the helpless MacLachlan pulled Bute back on to level terms for the third and final time.