An explosive final half hour saw North Caledonian League champions Golspie Sutherland and Inverness Athletic share eight opening day goals.
In a classic, these two teams put on a terrific show, and it needed two late Golspie goals to earn last season’s league winners a point.
Almost an hour had gone of an engaging contest at King George V Park before the hosts took the lead through Liam Bremner.
NORTH CALEDONIAN LEAGUE – FULL-TIMES
Alness United 2 vs Invergordon 3
Golspie Suth 4 vs Inverness Ath 4
Halkirk Utd 3 vs Thurso 0
Nairn County 'A' 3 vs St.Duthus 2
— North Caledonian FA (@NorthCaleyFA) August 21, 2021
Thomas Lewis, a new loan signing from Clach, swiftly equalised for Athletic, but Bremner struck again to put Golspie 2-1 in front.
Two quick-fire goals from Lewis turned the game on its head as the Inverness team, now based in Ardersier, led 3-2.
A shock away win looked on the card when Keiran Duffty, who has just come in from Nairn County, extended the gap with just 10 minutes left.
Yet, Golspie are champions for a reason and Shaun Urquhart then Bremner again netted to make it 4-4 with five minutes to go.
The teams sought a late clincher, but had to settled for one point from a cracking opening match.
Derby delight for Invergordon
Invergordon, who are expected to push Golspie all the way for the crown, had to dig deep for the points in their derby away to Alness United, who won League Two last term before the return to one division this season.
The visitors led 2-0 before Alness stormed back to make it 2-2.
Callum Gow scored the winner for Invergordon on 77 minutes as they edged it 3-2.
Stoppage-time joy for Nairn reserves
Nairn County reserves, who only joined the NCL in League Two last year, defeated one of the dark horses St Duthus with a stoppage time clincher from Logan Hallam.
FULL TIME: Nairn County Reserves 3 St Duthus 2.
Ciaran Young with a double and Logan Hallam striking in injury time ensures it’s a winning start to the @NorthCaleyFA League season for the Reserves.
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) August 21, 2021
Halkirk impress and Scourie bow out
Halkirk are off and running as they swept to a table-topping 3-0 victory at home to Thurso.
One of last season’s newcomers, Scourie pulled out of the league and the association on Thursday night due to lack of commitment from some members of their squad.
That meant opponents Bonar Bridge were the idle side on opening weekend.