Published: 13/05/2013 07:59 - Updated: 13/05/2013 08:08

Clach soar to fifth place finish

Clach's Blair Lawrie (left) netted the winner at Turriff on Saturday.
Clach's Blair Lawrie (left) netted the winner at Turriff on Saturday.

CLACH secured fifth spot in the Highland League after Saturday’s battling 2-1 victory at Turriff United.

This is an incredible improvement for Iain Polworth’s Lilywhites, who finished 10th last season.  

Turriff visit Grant Street on Saturday for the final game of the season, but already the Merkinchers have a tally which is 16 points better than their 2011/12 total.

Defender Neil MacDonald scored his fifth goal in a decade when he popped up to score on 35 minutes after Scott Graham’s effort came off the woodwork.

Seven minutes into the second half, Turriff United levelled the game when Donald Fraser connected with a delivery from Stephen Gauld.

However, Clach notched their ninth victory on the road this season when Blair Lawrie’s free-kick caught on home goalkeeper Willie Gatt to finish in the back of the net.

Turriff, who are 11th in the table, will head to Inverness on Saturday looking for a measure of revenge.

Nairn County stunned Formartine United 3-1 to deny Steve Paterson’s side the Highland League title on Saturday.

Their shock win, which came at the end of a week where Nairn midfielder Wayne Mackintosh’s baby son Alfie was laid to rest, was a real surprise.

It now means Formartine must take a point or three from Cove Rangers this weekend after the Allan Parkers won 2-0 at Rothes.

Despite having 11 first-team players missing through a combination of injury, work commitments and a wedding, Nairn’s win at Pitmedden was impressive.

They survived early pressure from a Formartine team who knew victory would see them over the finish line and stunned the hosts on 15 minutes when Martin MacDonald’s header gave the visitors the lead from a Conor Gethins free-kick.

However, Formartine powered back into the contest and drew level just before the break when Craig McKeown scored from a free-kick after Michael Morrison had brought down Daniel Park on the edge of the penalty box.

Instead of the goal inspiring the red-hot title favourites, they found themselves trailing early in the second half when Gethins picked up a pass from Gregg Main and rounded keeper Andy Shearer to score.

Irishman Gethins took his stunning goal tally to 38, alongside Formartine’s Michael Ewen, when he sent a terrific 40-yard lob over Shearer into the net.

The former Ross County forward has scored a few like these, but to do so in such a significant game was all the more sensational.

Fourth-placed Nairn finish their campaign this Saturday away to Huntly.

Elsewhere in the league, Wick Academy remain third after their 4-0 home win against a vastly under-strength Strathspey Thistle side and 2012 champions Forres Mechanics stormed to a 3-0 win at Buckie Thistle.

In the Breedon Aggregates Cup final, Keith came from behind to shock Inverurie Locos 2-1 at Princess Royal Park in Banff to lift the silverware.

Fort William’s Highland League fixture at home to Lossiemouth will take place this Wednesday after Saturday’s game at Claggan was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Basement side Fort, who go to Brora Rangers in Saturday’s final game of a tough campaign, are four points behind the Coasters, so need the win on Wednesday to have any chance of avoiding finishing last.

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