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SOME pre-season friendlies managed to beat the wet weather on Saturday February 18.
Kyles Athletic P
The 1.30pm throw up between the Aberdour and Kyles Athletic second teams at Silversands was postponed.
Fort William P
When Ballachulish’s scheduled fixture with the Kilmallie second team fell through earlier in the week, they moved quickly to arrange a friendly meeting with the Fort William second team at an Aird.
An unplayable pitch lead to a Friday afternoon switch of venue to Jubilee Park but this 1pm throw up was another casualty because of a waterlogged pitch.
The Caberfeidh second team recorded a 4-0 victory over Beauly’s second team in their 1pm throw up at Braeview Park.
Paul Ross, Stewart Krzyzanowski, Ruairidh MacLeman and Ally MacLennan, back after injury, got the Cabers’ goals in what was their final pre-season friendly match.
Boleskine beat the Strathglass second team 2-1 in their Challenge Cup match at Smith Park.
Penri Jones was on target for Strathglass in this 2pm throw up but goals from Neil Hope and Jamie Matheson gave new Boleskine boss Graham Black a winning start.
Dunoon Camanachd P
Glasgow University P
There was disappointment for Dunoon Camanachd when their pre-season friendly, a noon throw up against Glasgow University, was postponed as heavy overnight rain left Black Park unplayable.
Glasgow Mid Argyll 3
Glasgow Mid Argyll beat Bute 3-0 in their 1.30pm throw up at Yoker.
GMA were without Finlay MacMillan and Duncan ‘Ach’ MacRae through injury but they took the lead through Mark Bain.
Further goals from Craig Anderson and Calum McLay sealed the win.
Glasgow Mid Argyll 1
Earlier in the day, Glasgow Mid Argyll’s second team defeated Strachur 1-0 in an 11.30am throw up at Yoker.
Scott Anderson scored the only goal of the game just before half time.
Glengarry beat the Inverness second team 10-0 in their 2pm throw up at Craigard.
Raymond Robertson scored four times for the home side with Archie Johnstone, David Rodgers, Nick Dalgety, who has joined the team from Lochcarron, Scott Bremner, Alan Knox and Andrew Gilchrist getting the others. The wet weather in the second half made it difficult for both teams.
’Garry have a strong squad when all their players are available, whilst Inverness will continue to play their young players throughout the new season.
The Bute second team beat Glenorchy 3-2 in a 2pm throw up at Mart Park.
Robert McLaughlin put Glenorchy ahead on 15 minutes but Ruaridh Soane equalised 10 minutes before the break.
Glenorchy went in front through Duncan Buchanan three minutes after the re-start. Bute then drew level with Ruaridh Soane getting his second on 55 minutes. It stayed that way until five minutes from time when Neil McKirdy popped up to score the winner for the islanders.
Skye Camanachd 1
Glenurquhart beat Skye Camanachd 5-1 in their 2pm throw up at Blairbeg.
Glenurquhart were still without injured keeper Stuart MacKintosh so Garry MacKintosh was in goal. John Barr and Andrew Corrigan both played, with the latter in excellent form.
A weakened Skye travelled without Steven Morrison, Neil MacVicar, Kenny Campbell and Shockie MacLennan.
Glenurquhart took an early lead when Neale Reid put them in front on 12 minutes and Daniel MacKintosh added a second on 26 minutes.
Skye’s Danny Morrison pulled a goal back on 38 minutes and it remained 2-1 at the break.
The ‘Glen’ went on to add three more goals through Fraser Heath on 65 minutes, Callum Smith on 72 minutes and, with just five minutes remaining, substitute James MacPherson who came deep to gather possession and pushed the ball wide before smashing a powerful 35-yard shot into the net.
Kingussie bounced back from last week’s 3-2 defeat to Caberfeidh to beat Beauly 3-1 at the Dell.
Kingussie played better as a team this week and two goals from the returning Ryan Borthwick and a Savio Genini strike gave them the win.
Conor Ross countered for a young Beauly side which was minus David MacLean. Keeper Josh Grant was their top performer.
Fort William P
An unplayable Kirkton pitch led to the Saturday morning postponement of the 1.30pm throw up between Kinlochshiel and Fort William.
Kinlochshiel’s second team beat Lochcarron 4-1 on a wet day at Plockton High School’s all-weather pitch.
Scott MacLean put ’Shiel ahead on the half hour mark with the only goal of the first half.
Corran Campbell made it 2-0 on 65 minutes but Lochcarron’s Calum Finlayson halved the deficit a minute later.
A Lewis MacVicar corner took a deflection off a Lochcarron defender and the ball ended up in the back of the net to make it 3-1 on 70 minutes.
Scott MacLean scored his second five minutes later after a string of good passes.
Lochside Rovers P
The match between Lochside Rovers and the Newtonmore second team at Ganavan didn’t go ahead as the visitors were unable to raise a team.
Newtonmore over-came Inverness 5-2 at the Eilan.
Newtonmore won the game thanks to doubles from Iain Robinson and Paul MacArthur with Conor Jones getting the other.
James Cameron and Ewan Neilson, making his debut after signing from Taynuilt, countered for Inverness.
Oban Celtic 1
A powerful second half display gave Kilmallie a 6-1 win over Oban Celtic in their 2pm throw up at a windy Mossfield.
Oban Celtic took the lead thanks to a cracking Daniel Madej effort and that’s the way it stayed until the break.
Kenny Wotherspoon’s side could have been further ahead had it not been for some fine goal-keeping from Shane Gillies in the Kilmallie goal whilst an Ally McKerracher shot came back off the post.
The second half belonged to the Canal Parks side though and they went on to score six times without reply.
Ryan Stewart pulled Kilmallie level and a Mark Graham brace and goals from Bryan MacKay and Michael Rodger had the visitors 5-1 ahead.
Duncan Rodger rounded off the scoring with a goal direct from a corner with some confusion in the Oban Celtic back line as to whether a goal could be scored direct from a set-piece.
After the match, Oban Celtic manager Kenny Wotherspoon said: ‘We gave a good account of ourselves in the first half, especially with our movement up front.
‘We made seven changes in the second half to give the boys a run out.
‘We won’t make any changes this coming Saturday unless we have to. It’s the Robert Wylie Memorial Cup against Ballachulish and we want to win.
‘As far as I’m concerned. that’s our pre-season finished. Our competitive season starts this week.’
London Camanachd 3
There was shinty action south of the border too as London Camanachd recorded a 3-0 away win against Oxford. New signing Robert John Anderson got the first two London goals with Colin Tarbat getting the third.
Skye Camanachd P
The 2pm throw up between the Skye Camanachd and Glenurquhart colts at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree, was postponed as a number of the Skye players were suffering from a sickness bug.
Oban Camanachd 3
Oban Camanachd had a successful trip north where they beat Strathglass 3-0 at Cannich to lift the Murdo MacKenzie Memorial Cup.
Daniel Cameron got the Oban side off to a great start with a goal from close range in the opening minute.
Matt Rippon made it 2-0 fiveminutes later when he tapped the ball home from inside the ‘D’.
A superb 25-yard shot from Malcolm Clark flew into the top corner of the net to make it 3-0 on 56 minutes.
There was a good midfield battle throughout the game and the home keeper and defence did well to prevent Camanachd from increasing their lead.
Oban Camanachd boss Iain Hay travelled without Andrew MacCuish and Aidan MacIntyre. He played youngsters Lewis Buchanan and Daniel MacCuish who both performed well.
This was Oban Camanachd’s final pre-season friendly ahead of the start of the new shinty season.
Aberdeen University P
The 1pm throw up between Tayforth and Aberdeen University at Levenhall Links was postponed on Friday morning.
Shinty action this Saturday
The final pre-season friendlies take place on Saturday February 25.
Among the scheduled matches, Oban Celtic have a 2pm throw up against Ballachulish at Mossfield for the Robert Wylie Memorial Cup, whilst Lochside Rovers take on the Inveraray second team at Ganavan.
Fort William play Lovat at An Aird, whilst Lochaber are off to Bught Park to face Inverness.
Kilmallie take on Beauly at Canal Parks, whilst Skye Camanachd head for the Dell to play Kingussie.
The Glenurquhart and Strathglass first and second teams meet at Blairbeg whilst Glasgow Mid Argyll have home advantage against Kyles Athletic.
Newtonmore play Caberfeidh at the Eilan, whilst the Skye Camanachd seconds meet Lewis Camanachd in Portree for the Kaid MacLean Cup.
Col Glen play Kilmory and the Kingussie second team host Aberdour.
New balls please
Tanera Camans has completed trialling a new waterproof shinty ball which can last for more than a full game of shinty in all weathers.
Tanera Camans proprietor Alan MacPherson has developed the prototype which is made of a 100 per cent waterproof material.
His new design has an inner core which will not take on water, preventing the ball becoming waterlogged and going out of shape quickly.
A number of top flight teams have already used the new ball with great results. Feedback has been positive, including that from Lewis Camanachd who felt there was no discernible difference in the quality of the ball from the beginning to the end of a match despite playing on a wet surface.
Alan MacPherson said: ‘My main objective was to design a ball that was waterproof and would last more than one full game of shinty in all weathers. Currently as many as four to six balls are used in one match on a wet day.
‘Because of the way the new ball is made, it will never go out of shape and the inner core will never take on water. The performance of the ball, from feedback received, has been very positive and the ball feels more responsive on touch and is more durable.’
Testing is now complete and the new balls are now on sale. Any teams wishing to buy the ball should contact Alan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
John MacEachan, Oban
John MacEachan, one of the best-known figures in the Oban community and shinty circles in Argyll, died on Sunday February 12.
John, who was in his late 60s, retired around three years ago after a distinguished career in the building industry as sales director with Keyline and then Burdens.
He was a man with a keen interest in a variety of sports. Football, rugby, shinty and golf were the ones which took up most of his time and his commitment to all four knew no bounds, both as a participant and a supporter through his many fund-raising and other efforts.
The local rugby club, the Macaulay Association, Oban Celtic Shinty Club and Glencruitten Golf Club will feel his passing immensely.
Sadly, he finally succumbed to the illness which had slowed him down for the last nine months and he will be sorely missed by many people, communities and interests.
For all his battle with illness, he still managed to attend events of interest including the 2016 Camanachd Cup Final between Oban Camanachd and Newtonmore.
The sympathy of the whole shinty community is extended to Marianne, their family of four sons and a daughter, and John’s family.