THE CARLTON have won the first silverware of the new Forres and Nairn welfare season.
The Forres side became inaugural winners of the Calum Riddell Memorial Cup with a sensational 5-2 win over league champions Elgin Thistle at Station Park in Nairn.
The competition, introduced in memory of the 28 year-old former Nairn County and Nairn St Ninian player who passed away last year, was being played for a year to the day since Calum’s last game for Nairn County and also on the day two memorial benches were unveiled in his honour at the ground.
Carlton scored first on 18 minutes when Mark Macphee smashed a loose ball home and the Forres side, in their first final in six years, added two more in two minutes to put themselves 3-0 up by the half hour. Macphee rifled home his second and Andrew Stables netted a 20 yard free kick to give the Carlton a commanding half-time lead.
Graham McLaren pulled one back for Jags with a volley and Raymond Anderson made it 3-2 with 20 minutes to go. A minute later Chris Ross forced the ball home to extend Carlton’s lead again and in the closing minutes Gregor Ewen made sure of the win.
The start of the Harry Fairbairn Welfare League saw Westerlead hammer Red Lion 9-0. Mervyn Grant and Andrew Ferguson both scored hat-tricks for the Nairn side, with Paul Morganti, Graeme Kennedy and Ryan McPherson also on target. Both sides were shown red cards, the Beastie’s miserable evening not helped by James Harold’s red card while Kyle Whyte and Matty Rankin were both given their marching orders.
Champs Elgin Thistle came from behind to defeat Elgin Caledonian 7-1.. Graham McLaren’s penalty for Jags cancelled out an own goal Caley opener and Stewart McLaren opened his league tally with four goals, while Zac Mylchreest and Kieran Hyndman also scored.
Carlton thumped Forres rivals Mosset Tavern 7-1 helped by Stuart Engelmann’s treble with Dominic Robertson, Jordan Allan, Liam Ross and Wayne Hanson finding the net as well. David Bromley got the Mosset goal.
Kinloss Sappers edged out Lossiemouth 5-3 helped by a brace from Zak Lewis and further goals by Iain Walker, John Henderson and Ross Thomson. Aaron Thompson, Charlie Scott and Patrick Farrell scored for Lossie.
In Nairn, Uncle Bobs and Nairn United played out a 1-1 draw at the Riverside.
Fixtures, Harry Fairbairn Welfare League, Wednesday (7.00): Mosset Tavern v Uncle Bobs ( Roysvale); Westerlea v Nairn United (Riverside). Thursday (7.00): FC Elgin v Kinloss Sappers (Pinefield); Lossiemouth Welfare v Elgin Thistle (The Cage, Lossiemouth). Monday (7.15): Elgin Thistle v FC Elgin (Pinefield); Uncle Bobs v Red Lion (Riverside)