Portree win Donella Crawford sixes at Ardnamurchan

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The Donella Crawford sixes took place last week at Ardnamurchan High School, with a visiting Portree High School team taking the top spot.

This tournament is a key fixture for school teams in the shinty calendar and provides a platform for high school girls to come together and compete, while remembering Donella, who was a huge advocate of the girls’ game.

Twelve teams in total travelled to Strontian to take part in what was a great showing of girls’ shinty. For this year’s tournament, three new teams were welcomed with squads from Lochgilphead, Dunfermline and Culloden.

In the group stages each team played each other once allowing for the top two teams from each league to progress t the semi-finals. Portree High School and Plockton High School both finished their respective groups unbeaten with newcomers Culloden Academy coming second to Portree and Ardnamurchan A just pipping Lochaber A on goal difference to take the last semi-final spot.

The semi-finals were played in unison, four minutes each way. The match between Plockton and Culloden was an extremely tight, end to end battle with the score remaining 0-0, meaning extra time and the ‘golden goal’ rule came into play. Culloden found that crucial goal four minutes into extra time following some nice passing play on the left wing and a goal mouth scramble to put the ball past the Plockton ‘keeper.

On the other park a dominant Portree High School team managed to put two goals past Ardnamurchan, who came very close to scoring on a number of occasions but just couldn’t manage to find the back of the net.

The final showcased some fantastic shinty played by both teams. Portree, having beaten Culloden in the group stages, had a number of early chances at goal, prevented only by some wonderful saves from the Culloden goalkeeper. The second half is where Portree’s experience showed as they scored just after the restart.

With only a few seconds left in the game, the Skye side scored again, much to the delight of their travelling support. Culloden can be proud of their efforts, coming away with silver medals in their first competition.

Donella Crawford’s cousin, Alistair McMillan, was on hand to conduct presentations and hand over the medals and the trophy to winning team captain, Emma Gordon. Alistair took the time to comment, as did many of the coaches, on the rising standard of girls’ shinty and how it continues to improve each year.

The Camanachd Association would like to thank Alistair for agreeing to conduct the presentations on the day as well as Jake Green and Hanna Dougan for refereeing the event. Thanks also to Colm O’Rua and Ardnamurchan High School for hosting.