FC Cattolica 2 v Benbecula FC 2

BENBECULA FC rounded off their domestic season with a week’s trip to Rimini in Italy and for those of you who are not sure as to where Rimini is, it is on the Adriatic Coast of Italy where beaches and warm weather are constant.

The tour began with a late night flight from Prestwick Airport to Bergamo in Milan which was around two hours long followed by a four hour coach journey from Milan to Rimini with a break mid-way.

The squad arrived at the hotel in the early hours and after a few hours sleep it was up and about ready for the first game of the tour against top local Amateur Side FC Cattolica.

FC Cattolica play in the next league down from Serie D so the standard of opposition was very high indeed and when Benbecula arrived at the ground early evening they were shown to the changing rooms which were unbelievable to say the least, sheer quality!

When the team got changed they were shown to a warm up pitch which again was of a high standard and then to the main pitch itself which was all seated (5,000) with floodlights and the grass was like a carpet.

The pitch was watered before the match as the weather was still hot and humid but the team itself enjoyed playing on this surface immensely.

The match kicked off with FC Cattolica having the majority of possession and it was all about pass and move, not one long ball in question at all.

They played really nice football and were young and fit and used to the warm conditions and when they went in front after 20 minutes it came as no real surprise after a lovely sweeping move!

Benbecula took a while to get used to the conditions but when they did they equalised with a great finish from Mark MacRury who got on the end of a Don Dons MacPherson pass to rifle it past the home keeper, after the keeper had made an initial save.

With Benbecula now settling into the game and conditions it was real end to end football with the ball kept firmly on the deck and on the stroke of half time big striker Colin MacPhail nearly knocked over the home goals with a piledriver which crashed back off the upright and at half-time the teams remained level at one goal a piece.

The second half was more of the same with Benbecula and especially Hector MacPhee and Don Dons MacPherson revelling in the conditions and it was no surprise when MacPhee cracked home a volley from 30 yards to put the islanders on top.

The Italians, as you can imagine, were fit and their number nine was proving a real handful for the Benbecula defence which had Butch Morrison as sweeper and in fine form, but with 10 minutes to go a through ball caught out the away rearguard and number nine Donnatelli burst through to fire home and put the sides level again. With only seconds remaining on the clock Colin MacPhail had a fine header tipped on to the bar by the home keeper and more or less from the re-start the whistle blew for full time.

A great game, superb stadium, weather and quality hosts and Benbecula now looked forward to their second game against Carabinieri FC.

Carabinieri FC 1 V Benbecula FC 4

The Wednesday game was played against a lower standard of opposition (Amateur Division 3) but again on a quality surface with facilities to match and although the home side scored within the first five minutes it was the visitors who took control and goals came from Mark MacRury, Colin MacPhail, Hector MacPhee and an OG, with the pick of the goals being an all MacRury affair, with Matthew starting a move to Donald and from his cross Mark finished off in style.

The conditions were again humid and Benbecula could have scored a few more goals against an older opposition who were fine hosts.

Immediately after the game the team were whisked away to an English Bar in Rimini town centre where they were able to watch the France v Scotland game and needless to say the night was a roaring success.

The rest of the trip was excellent but no need to put that down on paper!

The team are already planning next year’s trip to Spain in which they are lined up to take part in a Cup Competition against teams from all over Europe.

Squad was as follows : Matthew MacRury, Martin Buchanan, Martin Sloss, Don Morrison, Robbie Macvie, Ryan Macphee, Donald MacPherson, Hector MacPhee, Donald MacRury, Colin MacPhail, Mark MacRury, Jamie MacDonald and Ruaraidh MacDougall.

Missing were David MacInnes, Angie MacDougall, Sean MacInnes & Domhnall Carlin.
Source: Stornoway Gazette?

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