THIS was the Bay’s biggest game of the season when they travelled to Inverness for the semi-final of the Grill League Cup.
In the first minute Miller put a cross right across the Bay goal but found no takers. MacGregor then tested Glennie with a shot but the Bay keeper was up to the challenge.
Inverness had most of the advantage early on, however a Cadger free kick caused Young a problem but the Inverness keeper saved at the second attempt.
Miller beat Glennie to a through ball but his cross was headed clear by Johnny Watson.
Inverness continued to press. Turner latched on to a loose ball but his final cross came to nothing. In another Inverness attack Murdoch crossed for Turner but the latter wasted the chance by putting the ball wide. Miller was causing the Bay problems at this stage and the Bay defence had to defend resolutely.
Cadger again tested Young with another free kick from midway in the Inverness half but the Inverness keeper dealt with it.
Inverness continued to press with a shot from MacDonald being blocked and Glennie had to tip a MacLean header, from a Miller cross, over the bar. Mason also put his shot over the bar.
Tocher made a rare surface into the Inverness half but was blocked by Inverness defence.
Following neat interplay by Inverness, Andrew Fraser put his shot well wide and a combination of Glennie and the Bay defence foiled the same player a few minutes later.
Cadger tried to put Lynch through but the pass was too long. On 29 minutes Lynch latched on to a loose ball, raced through the Inverness defence and then slotted the ball into the net to give the Bay the lead. Inverness continued to press and a MacKenzie shot was, luckily for the Bay, just turned round the post by Johnny Watson.
In a Bay attack a Shaw cross was miss-hit by James Watson. MacGregor’s shot went wide and then Glennie did well punching an Andrew Fraser corner clear when under severe pressure. A rare break by the Bay saw Morrison put his effort wide.
Glennie was again in action when he had to come off his line and save at the fact of Turner and the Bay keeper had to make two attempts to thwart MacDonald. Irvine attempted to put Lynch clear on the left but the pass was again too strong.
The second half started in lively fashion when another Cadger free kick midway in the Inverness half went just wide of Young’s right hand post.
Johnny Watson then saved the Bay with a timely clearance of the line. MacKenzie broke clear for Inverness but pushed his shot wide of goal following a pass from K. MacLean. A MacGregor cross then went across the Bay goal with no takers.
The pressure from Inverness eventually paid off when a MacDonald free kick was eventually slotted home by Mason after 66 minutes.
Irvine tried a long-range effort when he latched on to a clearance from the Inverness defence but the effort went over. Young then saved well from Wilby when the latter was put through by Morrison. Murdoch made a good run down the left but his cross again went across the Bay goal and out of danger. A MacDonald long ball for K Fraser was just too long and MacLean tried a through ball but Glennie easily collected.
In 81 minutes Inverness went ahead when Mason slotted home from a K. Fraser corner. Inverness continued to press and it looked all over for the Bay until a shot from Irvine was deflected past Young with a couple of minutes remaining.
The game then went to penalties with Inverness winning 5-3.
So now it’s back to league business after the Cup adventure for Cruden Bay with a visit to RAF Lossiemouth on Saturday.
For their Grill League Cup exploits the Bay were awarded Division 2 Team of the Month for August.
CRUDEN BAY: Glennie, Donaldson, Johnny Watson, Sangbarani, Cadger, Morrison, Shaw, Irvine, Tocher, Lynch, James Watson. Subs: Danny Watson, Sangster, Wilby, Daniel, Wedderburn, McIntosh, Simmers.