SKYE Camanachd scored three second half goals in nine minutes to seal a 4-3 away victory over Caberfeidh and keep their hopes of survival in the Marine Harvest Premier League alive, however tenuously, until the final week of shinty’s long summer season.

There is still the issue of an impossibly large goal difference which they take with them into their last away fixture of the season against Oban Camanachd, one of the sport’s top teams, but it’s to the islander’s credit that they have kept themselves competitive right to the end.

For interim manager Donnie “Digg” Macdonald – he took over the helm to help the club see out the season after the resignation of former manager John Macleod three weeks ago – the result, whether it has come too late in the day to affect the relegation struggle or not, is still most welcome. “It was a very positive performance. We fought hard for the win but once when we got ahead I always felt we were going to win though we did not kill off the game as we should have. When the results go with you it is obviously a happier dressing room and the boys should enjoy that feeling and then be ready to give everything next week in Oban.”

That Skye were ultimately destined to pick up both points by the final whistle was in no way clear from the pattern of the early exchanges, though they did open strongly forcing Caberfeidh goalkeeper Ewan Pilcher into early saves from Skye wing forwards James Pringle and Ruaraidh Macleod.

Despite their early rearguard action, Caberfeidh then got into their stride after the opening quarter of an hour and took a firm grip on the midfield with powerful hitting forward from under 21 internationalist Blair Morrison. This resulted in a series of chances for their forwards with top scorer Kevin Bartlett eventually firing past Skye goalkeeper Ryan Morrison in 25 minutes for the opening goal of the afternoon. Very shortly afterwards the home side doubled their lead when winger Ruaraidh Macleman knocked home the rebound after an initial drive by Bartlett had been blocked by Morrison.

Caberfeidh should probably have pushed on to seal the game but as the first half progressed they seemed to lose focus. Skye were allowed to get themselves back into the match just before the break when a strike from Ruaraidh Macleod brought out a diving save from Pilcher only for the ball to come back into the path of Skye front man James Pringle who flicked the ball into the net from close range.

The goal certainly lifted Skye and after the restart the islanders began their fight back in earnest. Ruaraidh Macleod levelled the tie in 51 minutes when he picked up a little slipped ball from Will Cowie to score from just outside the “D”. Cowie himself was next on the scoresheet for Skye when he accepted a neat reverse pass from sub Daniel Morrison to finish from close range and his strike was quickly followed by Pringle’s second goal of the afternoon when he profited from an untidy goalmouth scramble to pop the ball over the line to put Skye 4-2 ahead.

The breathtaking pace of the Skye attack then eased off and Bartlett profited from the drop in tempo to score a third goal for Cabers in 64 minutes to set up a nervy finish for the islanders. They did, however, manage to see the game out but it took a double penalty save late in the match from rookie keeper Morrison to prevent Bartlett from levelling the tie and finally snuffing out Skye’s survival hopes.