Tolsta Football Club in 2004
Eilean an Fhraoich Cup - Tolsta youngsters show some promise
It was with some trepidation that Tolsta entered the 2004 competition having fared poorly against Highland Amateur Cup holders Lochs the year beforfe, but this was a much improved performance by Tolsta, despite eventually going out to Carloway over two legs.
In the first leg in Tolsta, a young team with one or two stalwarts matched Carloway throughout, but some defensive frailty at key moments gifted a few soft goals which rather flattered the opposition who ran out 6-3 winners. Tolsta's goals were scored by Alex MacIver (2) and Mark MacLeod.
Tolsta are pictured before the second leg, at the excellent football pitch and facilities at Carloway. Back row (l-r) Andrew MacLeod, Angus Murray, Kenny Morrison, John Morrison, Murdo Alex MacKenzie and Donnie Murray. Front Row (l-r) Alex MacIver, Alastair Henderson, Alasdair MacIver, Garry MacLeod, Iain MacIver and Innes MacKenzie.
The team was somewhat depleted for the second leg through injury and unavailability and the game was lost 3-0. This, again, was particularly disappointing as Tolsta could not turn their possession into goals while Carloway capitalised on some defensive lapses for their first two in the first half. Donnie 'DA' was a welcome addition to the team and he played superbly in the Left Back slot until an old war wound curtailed his movement in the second half. He played on gamely because Tolsta had used their only substitute, Iain MacIver having come on for Andrew MacLeod who had been scythed down early in the first half by Goalkeeper Craigie, making a late bid for the Olympic Judo team. In the event Craigie got a yellow card and was lucky to stay on although he was replaced at half-time having evidently hurt himself as much as the Tolsta player.
This did not help Tolsta's cause however and it took strong performances from all concerned to stay in touch, with John Morrison of the Aths, Donnie 'DA', and Garry MacLeod prominent. Credit should also go to Innes MacKenzie making his first appearance for Tolsta for a dogged performance at Right Back. Despite another first round exit, this was an improvement on last year, and certainly no disgrace against reasonably strong league opposition who play every week. We wish Carloway luck in the next round and they will have to up their game considerably against the Rudhachs.
Over the two games, it was particularly encouraging to see some young prospects emerge, such as Mark MacLeod from Back Juniors; Murdo Alex Mackenzie (of 200/400 metres fame); 'Ali' MacLean, Garry MacLeod, Iain MacIver, and Goalkeeper 'Ali' MacIver who play for Ness Juniors. There is no doubt that these players playing regular league football helped the team overall in terms of fitness and competitiveness and this augurs well for future campaigns if Tolsta can keep them.
Tolsta are pictured before the second leg, at the excellent football pitch and facilities at Carloway.
Back Row Left to right Andrew MacLeod, Angus Murray, Kenny Morrison, John Morrison, Murdo Alex MacKenzie and Donnie Murray.
Front Row Left to right Alex MacIver, Alastair Henderson, Alasdair MacIver, Garry MacLeod, Iain MacIver and Innes MacKenzie.
The Hampden Experience
We must make special mention of two of our players, 'Ali' MacIver and Garry MacLeod, both of whom turned out earlier this year for the all conquering Nicolson Institute team which narrowly lost the Scottish Schools U-18 Cup Final on penalties at Hampden. They followed this up by winning the North of Scotland Cup at Victoria Park, Dingwall, which is a major achievement by any standards. They were joined in that team by Ross Hall who is of course mac Christine Anndra Beag, currently a star player with Back and one of the best prospects in Lewis and Harris football. We hope that these players' success at regional and national level will spur on other young people in the village to take an active involvement in football at local level initially. We may yet see a team in the Lewis and Harris League, but players must take the lead in this.
'Ali' sporting the Tolsta strip he was wearing when he played at Hampden