The final cup campaign of the season got underway on Friday evening with Tomatin Utd travelling to Cromdale to take on Grantown Utd. Both teams were under strength but still produced an entertaining match. Tomatin found themselves behind in the first minute for the second game running as Grantown opened the scoring through young Fraser Greenlees. As he managed to slip past Alan Bartlett and knock the ball in low past Garry Stuart.
The visitors responded on 12 minutes when Darren Kennedy was fouled by Grantown keeper Lindon O,Brien in the box and the spot kick was awarded. Alex Hamilton made no mistake with the penalty and the game was well poised at this point. Grantown went back in front in the 25th minute when Andrew Patterson rounded Fraser MacKay and his cut back from the bye line was tapped home by Gavin Wood.
There was a reall controversy after 35 minutes when referee David Robertson produced a straight red card to Tomatin defender Bartlett having deemed his tackle on Wood to have been both illegal and that he was the last man. It appeared to be a very harsh decision as everyone on the park could clearly see that Bartlett had got a touch on the ball first before following through to clear the danger. No-one bar the referee could quite understand the decision and it was Bartlett's first ever red card in his career and one that should not have been branded. To add insult to the injury Rob ??????? Scored from the resulting free kick to make it 3 - 1 at half time.
The sending off of Bartlett would prove to the decisive moment of the match and changed the whole complectin of what was up till then a good game. Tomatin replaced Stuart in goal for youngster Duncan as Stuart got a yellow card during the earlier sending off incident and was walking a tight rope. The home team took full advantage of the extra man and added a 4rth goal on 52 minutes when Wood was sent through to slide the ball underneath Duncan. The same player then set up Andrew "Panda" Paterson with an easy chance at the back post to make it 5 - 1 for Grantown.
The visitors threw veteran player manager Kennedy on into the middle of the park along with young Tom Bell as some of the others were tiring due to being a man down. This seemed to settle things down and Kennedy came close a couple of times before his young namesake fired in a good strike from 20 yards and credit to Tomatin as the refused to give up and Tom Bell netted shortly afterwards with a fine finish to bring it Back to 5 - 3.
The fight back was just too little too late and Grantown moved into next weeks semi final.