St Duthus 3 Loch Ness 0

Saints prepared for cup final week with a stunning 3-0 win over title contenders Loch Ness. The highlight was a 'perfect' hat-trick for Finn As-Chainey who put the monster men to the sword with a stunning treble.

Early pressure from Loch Ness heralded little success, with Danny Gillan and his defence doing well to thwart most of the visitors' attempts to penetrate the eighteen yard box.

On ten minutes, Gillan was called into action at his near post, having to touch the ball just wide after a dangerous glancing header from Ryan Ingram.

Saints threatened from set pieces and twenty minutes in, a looping Daniel Christie free kick eventually fell to Finn As-Chainey 10 yards from goal, but the winger hit the side netting.

With Loch Ness labouring in attack, Saints punished their lacklustre opponents with a goal on 34 minutes. Jake Lockett, breaking down the right hand side, managed to beat his man and cut along the byline. There was some claims for a penalty as he was floored with a lunging tackle, but a corner was awarded.

From the resulting corner kick, Christie sent the ball into a packed six yard box and after a couple of deflections, Finn As-Chainey pounced to nod into the far corner of the net. The wing man's wheel-away celebration sent him into a collision with Lockett, with the latter going down for a standing 8-count.

There was little else on offer from either side in the first half, but the second started at twice the pace. Saints, looking to double their advantage, nearly did just that with a free kick from Paul Gair that was nearly diverted past Harrison by his own defender.

Moments later a great ball across the face of goal from Lockett only narrowly evaded Kyle Mackenzie at the far post. At the other, some resolute defending kept a persistent Loch Ness out as the ball was eventually shot wide of target.

The Inverness side did eventually get the ball in the net on the hour mark, a headed effort from a free kick, but the goal was immediately ruled offside, with the scorer, Ingram, flagged by the far side assistant.

The wind was starting to come out of the Loch Ness sails though as Saints began to hit them ruthlessly on the counter.

Substitute Caillean Eaglesham could have done better with his chance on 75 minutes when, after doing very well to break into the box, he decided to the lay the ball off into empty space, when a chip or shot on goal may have heralded a goal.

A second goal eventually arrived for St. Duthus on 83 minutes and it was a spell of persistence that paid off, As-Chainey closing down goalkeeper Harrison to disposses him before tucking the ball into the net with his right foot.

Loch Ness were unlucky not to pull a goal back immediately after through when a speculative effort from outside the box rattled Gillan's far post.

But it was to be curtains for Loch Ness at the end of normal time with a third goal for Saints. Jamie Skinner, doing well to gain the break of the ball, found Adrian Voigt, who in turn did well to slip the ball into As-Chainey, and the forward battled through the backline to find the net with a composed left foot finish.

It was a 'perfect' hat-trick for the Saints man, his second for St. Duthus, with the header, right and left foot finish to cap off a Glenmorangie Man of the Match performance in the club's final home game of the season.

Team - Danny Gillan, Will Ross, Daniel Christie, John Skinner, Duncan Davidson, Jamie Skinner, James Mackay (Lewis Smith 88), Paul Gair (Adrian Voigt 69), Jake Lockett, Kyle Mackenzie (Caillean Eaglesham 58), Finn As-Chainey
Sub not used - Justin Rogers

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