A-màireach thèid Caley Thistle tarsainn na Drochaid Ceasag airson na nàmhaidean aca ann an Inbhir Pheofharain a’ cluich. Gu cìnnteach ‘s e a gheam as inntinniche ann an Alba aig an deireadh sheachdainn, ‘s leis mar a tha na sgiobaidhean air a bhith a’ chluich gu ruige seo ‘s e geama doirbh a bhios ann dhaibh.
‘S e Ross County an sgioba Gàidhealach a th’ air a bhith soirbheachail am bliadhna, le tòiseach tòiseachaidh glè mhath aca ‘s iad sa 5mh aite san lìog. Seachdainn seo chaidh fhuair iad phuing ann an Dùn Deigh an deidh geama a chrìochnaich 3-3. Chaidh County 3-1 air thoiseach ach as deidh dha sgiobair Andrew Davies fhaighinn an cairt dhearg chaidh cùisean ceàrr. Mu dheireadh bha iad fòrtanach puing fhaighinn leis cho faisg ‘s a chaidh Dun Deigh ri tadhail a bharrachd fhaighinn ach rinn County a chùis ‘s fhuair iad as.
Fhuair Caley bhuaidh math air an aon latha ‘s iad a toirt a’ chiad chron don t-seusan Obair Dheathain le bhith bhuannachadh 2-1. Bha Ryan Christie, a dh’ fhàgas an sgioba airson Celtic san Fhaoilleach, uabhasach fhein math ‘s e a’ cuir air dòigh a’ chiad tadhail ‘s a’ chur an dàrna fhear san lion e fhèin. Chan e latha dearbh fhein soirbheachail ged ta, air sgath gun d’ fhuair e cairt dhearg e fhein san dàrna leth airson dà foul gòrach, an darna fhear an aghaidh Graham Shinnie a’ cluich còmhla ri Caley an uiridh. Ach ‘s e buaidh glè mhath a bh’ ann airson an sgioba a chuir iad ann an suidheachadh nas fheàrr san lìog.
Mar sin ged a tha County air a bhith nas fheàrr na na nàmhaidean aca airson a mhòr chuid den t-seusan sa, chan eil e ceart cho cìnnteach am bidh iad air tòiseach orra feasgar Disathairne.
Bidh Davies ‘s Christie ceadaichte cluich, leis an casg a bhios orra airson na càirtean dheirg tighinn gu bàrr as deidh a gheama seo tighinn. Leis cho math ‘s a tha an dà chuid dhiubh air a bhith don sgiobaidhean aca tha sin deagh naidheachd dhaibh.
‘S cìnnteach gu bheil làmh an uachdar air a bhith aig Caley thairis air County ‘on a thòisch na darbaidhean sa Phrìomh Lìog ach tha faireachdainn ann gu dearbh sgum bi a’ gheama seo beagan nas fhaisge. Chan eil County air bhuannachdadh anns na darbaidhean ‘on a gheam air Latha na Bhliadhn’ Ùr 2014 nuair a fhuair Scott Boyd ‘s Alex Cooper dà thadhail taobh a-staigh trì mionaid airson tòiseach math a thoirt do bhliadhn’ ùr na Staggies.
Turas seo chaidh a’ cluich iad ‘s e gheam car sàmhach a bh’ann, le tadhail bho Jake Jervis a cuir County co-ionnan an deidh tadhail bho Marley Watkins sa chiad leth.
Dh’fhaodadh tu bhith cìnnteach gum bi othail ann aig Pàirce Bhictoria Disathairne ‘s cuideachd gun tèid tadhail mhath air a sgòradh – tha gach sgioba air tadhail fhaighinn ann an 9 a-mach as na 12 geamaichean a th’ air a bhith eatorra ‘on a thainig Ross County suas dhan Phrìomh Lìog.
Chan ann fada gus am bith na dà dhiubh cluich a chèile a-rithist, leis County a’ siubhail do dh’ Inbhir Nis aig deireadh a’ mhios airson an cairteal cuairt-dheireannach de Chupa an Lìog. Leis a chothrom cluich aig Hampden ri fhaighinn airson a’ bhuannaiche – cha mhòr nach eil e a’ gheama a bu chudromaiche ‘s a bu mhotha a th’ air a bhith ann eatorra.
‘S mar sin ged a bhios a’ Ghaidhealtachd air biorain airson a’ chiad darbaidh Gaidhealach ann an seachd mhìos air Disathairne, bidh sùil geur aca air an ath thuras a bhios iad a’ cluich cuideachd.
A TRANSLATION – The Gaelic Column: First Highland Derby of the season
Tomorrow Caley Thistle will travel over the Kessock Bridge to play their rivals in Dingwall. Certainly it’ll be the most interesting game in Scotland this weekend, and with the way in which the two teams have been playing up until now it’ll be a tough game for both sides.
Ross County are the Highland team that have been most successful this year, with a fantastic start that sees them sitting 5th in the league. Last week they got a point in Dundee after a 3-3 draw. County went 3-1 ahead but skipper Andrew Davies was shown a red card and things turned sour for them. In the end they were lucky to escape with a point with Dundee mounting a challenge that saw them almost score another on several occasions near the end but County did enough to get away with it.
Caley secured a very good win on the same day as they inflicted the first defeat of the season on Aberdeen with a 2-1 win. Ryan Christie, who’ll leave the side for Celtic in January, was excellent as he set up the opening goal and put the second in the net himself. It wasn’t an altogether successful day for him though, as he was sent off in the second half for two innocuous fouls, the second against former Caley player Graham Shinnie. But all-in-all it was an excellent win for the side that has put them in a much better position in the league.
While County have been the better of the rivals over the majority of the season so far, it’s not quite as certain that they’ll be ahead of their opponents on Saturday afternoon.
Davies and Christie will both be eligible to play, as their bans for the red cards they picked up won’t kick in until after Saturday’s. With how good both have been for their respective sides, that’s good news indeed.
Without question Caley have had the upper hand over County since the derbies in the Premiership began but there’s definitely a feeling that this game will be much closer. County haven’t won against Caley Thistle since their New Year’s Day win in 2014 when Scott Boyd and Alex Cooper netted two goals inside three minutes to kick-off a great start to the year for the Staggies.
The last time the sides met it was a rather sedate affair, with a Jake Jervis goal putting County level after Marley Watkins struck for Caley in the first half.
You can be sure that it’ll be a lively game at Victoria Park on Saturday and that plenty of goals will be scored – with both teams netting in 9 out of the last 12 games between the sides since Ross County’s promotion to the Premiership.
It’s not long until the two sides will face each other again, with County travelling to Inverness at the end of the month for their quarter-final tie in the League Cup. With a place at Hampden at stake for the winners – it’s got to be one of the biggest and most important games the sides have ever had.
So while the Highlands will be full of excitement for the first Highland Derby in seven months on Saturday, one eye will be on the next time they meet too.