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  1. It's Coming Home as Harry Claims the Match Ball The Inverness Cup has been revived and there was a 'one off' game to decide who will look after this substantial trophy for the next year when it will all be done again between the Caley Jags and Inverness Clachnacuddin. It's a whopper of a trophy capable of holding many a dram and it was first played for in 1895 when Caledonian won the inaugural event. Last played for in season 2005-2006, Forres Mechanics are the current holders. The 'Can Cans' are the oldest association football club in the North of Scotland and are one of only two original teams to play in the Highland League since its first season in 1893, the other being Clachnacuddin. A fairly youthful Inverness XI took to the pitch bolstered by Doran, Duffy Samuels and a couple of newstarts in Brooks and Harry Lodovica who set the tone with a first half hat-trick. Lewis Mackie bagged the last goal after Calum Ferguson scored for Clach. That meant that Inverness CT have now won this trophy eight times. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness Cup Final: In front of an estimated crowd of 400ish, Adam Brooks had an early effort tipped onto the post and behind by keeper Daniel Rae. After quarter of an hour Austin Samuels was put through by Robbie Thompson but he dragged his effort wide, however five minutes later big Harry Lodovica headed home an Aaron Doran corner via the underside of the bar to open the scoring. Cammy MacKay then had to look lively to keep out Connor Bunce's free-kick after twenty minutes. Big Harry and Lewis Hyde both went wide but keeper Rae then brought down Big Harry and he picked himself up before converting his penalty on the rebound after Rae had saved the initial spot kick. Harry notched his hat-trick moments later when he headed in from Doran's free kick. Straight from the restart Clach won a penalty of their own but Calum Ferguson's low spot kick was saved by Cammy Mackay. HALF TIME: 0-3 Into the second half and Aaron Doran shot wide before Clach pulled one back when Ferguson scored to narrow the gap. Inverness had made some changes prior to the goal, Lewis Mackie, Jonathan Bain, Calum MacLeod ON, Wallace Duffy, Adam Brooks and Austin Samuels OFF. Mackie thumped in from inside the box fifteen minutes after coming on to restore our three goal lead. With the game running away from Clach we fielded another couple of substitutes into the final five minutes: Sam Thompson and Ben Meacher on, Aaron Doran and Ali Nixon off. As it was, Harry's Hat-Trick set us up nicely and Lewis Mackie rounded it off with an excellent strike for Inverness to regain the Inverness Cup for the eighth time. All the best to Clach for the season ahead and they battled well having previously lifted this trophy fourteen times. Robert on CTO: We ended up with only MacKay, Hyde and Lodovica (and arguably Robbie Thomson) on the pitch from our first team squad, plus five from the Academy and two first year Graduates, so a creditable result in the circumstances. Image from @TMPfoto As Frank Bruno used to say after his fights: "where's Harry?" Well, here he is with the match ball after scoring three in the final. It was his first start for the club and what an impact he made. He's a big lad at full stretch and will be a handful for defenders once he gets up and running. Man of the Match for his first half heroics but there were also some accomplished performances from some of the younger players on display, notably Robbie Thompson and Jack Walker, and even olde codgers like Aaron Doran put in a good shift. Great confidence boost for all and a smashing strike from Lewis Mackie for the fourth goal. I see that Clach have signed goal scorer Calum Ferguson who started his career at Inverness ten years ago before moving on. Date: 22/**08/2023 Venue: Grant Street Park, Inverness Attendance: 400 Referee: Gordon Seago Clachnacuddin: 1 Manager: Jordan MacDonald Lineup: Rae; D Morrison, Cormack, S Morrison, Sutherland, Ferguson, Anderson, Bunce, Riddle, Nicolson, Hennem Subs (not used): MaCleod, Mitchell, Adams, Cooper, Mackenzie, Calder, Urquhart, Macphee, Peterkin Scorers: Ferguson (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; S Nixon, Duffy (Mackie 60), Walker, A Nixon (S Thompson 85), Brooks (Bain 60), Thompson, Hyde, Doran (Meacher 85), Samuels (Macleod 60) Lodovica. Subs (not used): Ridgers; Scorers: Lodovica (16, 36, 39), Mackie (75) Booked: none Sent Off: none
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