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A NUMBER of pre-season friendly matches beat the elements last Saturday.
Oban Camanachd 3
Oban Camanachd took the field for the first time this season as Ian Hay’s side entertained Inveraray.
With the Oban High School 3G pitch on stand-by, an 8.30am Saturday morning pitch inspection ruled Mossfield playable.
Both teams were short of players with Lorne Dickie, Scott MacMillan, Daniel MacCuish and David Lafferty amongst the Oban Camanachd absentees.
Oban Camanachd took the lead on 10 minutes. Daniel MacVicar played in a ball from the left and found Aidan MacIntyre just outside the D.
MacIntyre, who had lost his marker, struck the ball into the top corner of the net to make it 1-0.
Oban Camanachd had keeper Gavin Stobbart to thank as Inveraray went on the hunt for a quick leveller.
It was then Inveraray custodian Scott MacLachlan’s turn to show his worth with some good stops.
The Oban side doubled their head on 37 minutes. Andrew ‘Papa’ MacCuish, who had a great battle with Garry MacPherson in the middle of the park, played a fine pass down the right to Aidan MacIntyre. MacIntyre ran in, drawing keeper MacLachlan and a defender, before slipping the ball to Craig MacDougall, who steered a shot into the open goal.
Whilst Inveraray had their chances during the first period, Oban Camanachd were dominant after the break.
They went 3-0 ahead on 37 minutes. Daniel MacVicar saw a 20-yard shot saved with his legs by goalie Scott MacLachlan but Aidan MacIntyre was quickly in to knock home the rebound for his second goal of the game.
The goal seemed to knock the zip out of the match and only a commanding performance from Scott MacLachlan prevented the hosts going further ahead.
Manager Hay was pleased with his team’s work. ‘It was a useful exercise for both teams. Inveraray are a good side and I’m sure they will go on to have a good season.
‘We had Lorne Dickie missing so ‘Papa’ MacCuish went into the centre and was very good. There wasn’t a bad player out there and young Daniel Sloss played really well at half back whilst Malcolm Clark, who had to come off for a bit for treatment to a cut head, was good on the wing.
‘Craig MacDougall did well and Aidan MacIntyre was always clever on the ball. He’s an intelligent player who creates chances for others.’
Oban Celtic 8
The Oban Celtic first team squad were due to travel to the Taynuilt Sports Field to play Taynuilt. However, this 2pm throw-up was postponed on Friday evening as the pitch was unplayable.
With Mossfield ruled playable for the clash between Oban Camanachd and Inveraray, Camanachd boss Ian Hay made his Oban Celtic counterpart Kenny Wotherspoon aware that the Oban High School 3G pitch was free for use so a hastily rearranged encounter between Oban Celtic and Taynuilt went ahead on the all-weather surface at 12.30pm.
Both teams did well to reassemble their squads at short notice although, understandably, both had key players missing.
Oban Celtic had 16 players to choose from, including two under 14s – John Douglas and Innes MacDonald – whilst Dylan Cooke, their pre-season signing from Glenorchy – started on the wing.
The teams played 40 minutes each way and, at the end of the first half, a brace from captain Daniel Madej and a spectacular Neil Carmichael volley gave Celtic a 3-0 cushion.
Oban Celtic, prompted by the excellent Daniel MacMillan, went for more goals after the restart but former Lochside Rovers keeper Beano Logan did well in the Taynuilt goals.
Both teams took the opportunity to chop and change their line-ups throughout the match.
Daniel Madej completed his hat-trick to make it 4-0, whilst Ross MacMillan added a couple of fine strikes with his brother Daniel MacMillan adding a seventh.
A debut goal from Dylan Cooke completed the scoring, making it 8-0.
Oban Celtic manager Kenny Wotherspoon said: ‘The match was a good work-out for both teams and I’m pretty pleased with how it went. It was also good for Celtic to give a couple of 13-year-olds 20 minutes of game time. We’ll move on to the Oban Camanachd match this Saturday. It’s a game I’ll miss as I’m away but it will be a good test for the players.’
Fort William 4
The Fort William second team lined up against Ballachulish in a 1.30pm throw up at An Aird.
Young Victor Smith, Padraig McNeil, who has rejoined the club after a season with Inverness, Scott Henderson and Grant Disher got the goals in Fort William’s 4-0 victory.
Balla’ confirmed that Scottish international John MacDonald will be their captain for the season ahead, taking over from Lorne Brown. Cian MacPhee will be vice-captain.
Glenurquhart and Inverness saw their first action of the new term when they met at Blairbeg.
Glen had keeper Stuart MacKintosh back from injury and Fraser Heath played but John Barr and Ally MacKintosh were missing as were Eddie Tembo, Arran MacDonald, Euan Lloyd, James Hurwood and Oliver Black.
The sides were level at the break with James Cameron on target for Inverness and Finlay Ralston scoring for the Glen.
Finlay Ralston got his second after the break and that proved to be the winner.
Glen’s James MacPherson had an effort ruled out for offside.
Inverness were also minus some regulars and they gave a good account of themselves against top flight opposition. David Campbell at full back and Dougie Rankin at buckshee back stood firm to withstand a lot of pressure and it finished 2-1.
The clubs’ reserve sides were also scheduled to meet but that encounter was called off on Saturday morning.
Caberfeidh and Strathglass were to meet at Castle Leod but an unplayable field led to a venue switch to the Dingwall Academy astro pitch with the teams playing 10-a-side.
It proved a testing afternoon for Strathglass, who were forced to include five second team players in their 15-man squad, as Cabers ran out 8-0 winners.
Craig Morrison and Ally MacLennan, back after injury, both grabbed a hat-trick with Blair Morrison and Calum MacKinnon getting the others.
Glasgow Mid Argyll 4
Glasgow Mid Argyll took on Tayforth at Yoker.
Craig Anderson and Seb MacMillan scored in the first half to leave GMA two up at the break.
Calum Mclay netted twice after the restart to round off the 4-0 win.
There were goals galore at Spean Bridge as the Newtonmore seconds edged out the Lochaber seconds by the odd goal in seven in their 1pm throw.
The Newtonmore goals were scored by Craig MacLeod, former Aberdeen University and Boleskine player Ewan Fraser, Cameron MacNiven and Iain Robinson.
A Max Campbell brace and Stuart Callison counted for Lochaber.
Strathspey Camanachd 3
Strathspey Camanachd welcomed Aberdour to a snowy Grantown Grammar School for a 1.30pm throw up.
The snowfall ahead of throw up could well have led to a postponement but both teams opted to brave the elements for what was a fine team building exercise.
Aberdour made a strong start, attacking their hosts but struggling to find the target.
’Dour were punished for their wastefulness when Strathspey, who gave debuts to a number of youngsters, went 1-0 up through Donald Colville.
The conditions made it difficult for both teams and Strathspey took their single goal advantage into the break.
The hosts made the better start to the second period and Donald Colville got his second to make it 2-0.
Aberdour fought their way back into the match and David MacKenzie pulled a goal back.
Strathspey restored their two-goal cushion when Dane Taylor found the net from distance.
’Dour, with five under-17 players in their squad, responded in the best possible way and went on to have their best period during the final 20 minutes of the match.
They got their reward as first Jamie Anderson and then a second from David MacKenzie made it 3-3.
Ally Abbott then put Aberdour ahead for the first time in the match and David MacKenzie grabbed a hat-trick goal to seal a 5-3 win.
The match between Marine Harvest Premiership champions Kinlochshiel and 2016 league winners Newtonmore at the Eilan didn’t go ahead.
North Skye P
South Skye P
Skye Camanachd took the decision not to play the Ewen Morrison Memorial Cup match between North Skye and South Skye at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree for fear of damaging the pitch ahead of their pre-season friendlies.
Liz Young Sixes
With six teams named for the popular Liz Young Sixes, it was the Blue team who took the honours following the 12.30pm start at Dalfaber.
The winning team was Owen Reid, Chris Holleysong, Rory MacGregor, Derek Young, Rachel Young, Jordan Reid, James Falconer, Somhairle Fraser and coach Barrie Dallas.
Strathspey Ladies are the champs
The final championship from the 2017 shinty season was decided when Lochaber Ladies and Strathspey Ladies met on Sunday February 4 with the Marine Harvest North Division 2 title at stake.
This 1.30pm throw-up was to take place at Grantown Grammar School but an unplayable field led to a venue reversal to Spean Bridge. This play-off came about when the sides finished level at the top of the table at the end of the season.
A close first half finished goalless but Strathspey’s Jessica Hart and then Jade Longworth got the goals that made the difference, cancelling out Anna Berardelli’s effort for Lochaber, to clinch a 2-1 win.
Strathspey are promoted to the Marine Harvest National Division 1 as champions although a second placed finish would also have allowed a step-up as Lochaber are a reserve side and their first team already competes in the top flight.
Kilmurray in at Taynuilt
Taynuilt have confirmed that Gerry Kilmurray will be their assistant manager for the 2018 shinty season.
Kilmurray will assist boss Neil Gillies and the side follow up last weekend’s friendly match with Oban Celtic with a game against Col Glen at the Taynuilt Sports Field this coming Saturday.
This weekend’s fixtures
The latest round of pre-season friendly matches takes place on Saturday February 10.
There is an Oban derby to look forward to at Mossfield as Oban Camanachd and Oban Celtic lock horns in a 2pm throw-up.
There should be a good match at Ganavan where Marine Harvest South Division 1 champions Lochside Rovers play host to Glengarry, newly promoted to Marine Harvest North Division 1 after winning the North 2 title. Throw-up in this one is also at 2pm.
There is also an interesting tussle between Fort William and Lovat at An Aird with Balgate an option if Fort’s home pitch is unplayable.
Inveraray are at home to Kinlochshiel whilst Strathglass have invited Skye Camanachd to Cannich.
Glasgow Mid Argyll host Newtonmore at Yoker whilst ’More’s Badenoch rivals Kingussie play Caberfeidh at The Dell.
The Skye Camanachd second team play Lewis Camanachd at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree with the John ‘Kaid’ Maclean Cup once again at stake.
Taynuilt and Col Glen clash and there is a Badenoch reserve team derby between Newtonmore and Kingussie at The Eilan.
Celtic, Sutherland, Bullough and Strathdearn Cup draws announced
Glasgow Celtic Society Cup Draw
The Glasgow Celtic Society Cup draw has been announced.
With just 10 teams taking part, there are just two first round
ties before the seeded teams enter the competition.
2017 winners Kyles Athletic and runners up Oban Camanachd
came out of the hat in opposite sides of the draw.
First Round – Saturday March 31
Col Glen v Taynuilt
Oban Celtic v Bute
Second Round – Saturday April 21
Oban Camanachd v Ballachulish
Oban Celtic / Bute v Glasgow Mid Argyll
Kyles Athletic v Tayforth
Col Glen / Taynuilt v Inveraray
Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup 1st Round
Saturday April 7
Kingussie v Scots Camanachd
Lochside Rovers v Aberdour
Glasgow Mid Argyll v Caberfeidh
Lewis v Beauly
Kilmallie v Lochaber
Inverness v Lovat
Glenurquhart v Boleskine
Strathspey v Strachur
Fort William v Glenorchy
Kinlochshiel v Skye
Byes: Lochcarron, Newtonmore, Inveraray, Kyles Athletic
Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup 2nd Round
Saturday May 5
Newtonmore v Glenurquhart / Boleskine
Lochcarron v Fort William / Glenorchy
Lochside/Aberdour v Kyles Athletic
Strathglass v Inveraray
Bute v Kinlochshiel / Skye
Glasgow MA/Caberfeidh v Kingussie/Scots Camanachd
Kilmallie / Lochaber v Lewis / Beauly
Inverness / Lovat v Strathspey / Strachur
Bullough Cup 1st Round
Saturday May 26
Glasgow Mid Argyll v Inveraray
Aberdour v Scots Camanachd
Byes: Bute, Kyles Athletic, Strachur, English Shinty Association
Lochside Rovers, Glenorchy
Bullough Cup 2nd Round
Saturday June 16
Strachur v English Shinty Association
Bute v Glenorchy
Glasgow MA/Inveraray v Lochside Rovers
Aberdour//Scots Caman v Kyles Athletic
Strathdearn Cup 1st Round
Saturday May 26
Lovat v Newtonmore
Glenurquhart v Beauly
Kingussie v Boleskine
Strathspey v Strathglass
Kilmallie v Caberfeidh
Inverness v Fort William
Lochcarron v Lochaber
Skye v Kinlochshiel
Strathdearn Cup 2nd Round
Saturday June 30
Lovat / Newtonmore v Strathspey / Strathglass
Lochcarron / Lochaber v Skye / Kinlochshiel
Glenurquhart / Beauly v Inverness / Fort William
Kilmallie / Caberfeidh v Kingussie / Boleskine