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There were top flight wins for Kinlochshiel and Newtonmore and Oban Celtic remain in pole position in the Marine Harvest National Division following the shinty action on Saturday March 17.
Marine Harvest Premiership
Early league leaders Kinlochshiel passed their toughest test so far this season when they beat Lovat 1-0 at Balgate.
Lovat had Callum Cruden back from suspension. However, Lorne MacKay was unavailable and Martin Mainland remained injured. Duncan Davidson declared himself fit and started on the bench alongside Chris Johnston and Thomas Fraser.
Kinlochshiel captain Paul MacRae was still sidelined with an elbow injury so Finlay MacRae continued at full back, where he was dominant. Forwards Oliver MacRae and Scott MacLean remained unavailable. Young Duncan MacRae started at wing centre, with Donald Nixon at centre and Fraser MacVicar and Duncan Matheson on the bench.
The only goal of the game came after 14 minutes. Lovat full back Drew Howie and Kinlochshiel full forward John MacRae had a great physical battle throughout but MacRae managed to wrestle himself free from Howie’s clutches and dribbled the ball towards goal before slotting it low past Stuart MacDonald’s right foot to make it 1-0.
A superb Stuart MacDonald save prevented the west coast side doubling their lead. The game was around 30 minutes in before Kinlochshiel goalie Scott Kennedy saw his first real action, dealing confidently with a shot which bounced awkwardly in front of him.
Kinlochshiel moved Jordan Fraser to full forward at the start of the second half.
The pitch wasn’t in its usual condition, with bumps in places, which may have contributed to two second half misses.
On 48 minutes, an angled ball found Keith MacRae on the Kinlochshiel left. He cut inside and had enough time to control the ball before twice teeing it up but, with Stuart MacDonald rushing off his line, MacRae’s effort went well wide of goal.
At the other end, with 15 minutes remaining, Marc MacLachlan couldn’t get enough power in his shot and Kinlochshiel scrambled the ball away to safety.
There were good contests all over the pitch including Callum Cruden and Keith MacRae and Greg Matheson and Mark MacDonald.
Kinlochshiel did enough to win what was a largely uneventful match on a bitterly cold day.
Drew Howie had a very good game in the Lovat defence but manager Fraser Gallacher will have concerns after seeing Daniel Grieve and Marc MacLachlan suffering heavy knocks.
Oban Camanachd 0
Newtonmore beat Oban Camanachd 1-0 in a game of few chances at Mossfield.
Aidan MacIntyre and Lorne Dickie joined Scott McKillop and Gavin Stobbart on the Oban Camanachd injury list. Cameron Sutherland continued in goal.
Kenny Ross started in goal for Newtonore but Glen MacKintosh missed this one through suspension. Steven MacDonald was also absent. Norman Campbell started at full forward where he had a great contest with Oban Camanachd full back Daniel Cameron.
Newtonmore won the toss and played with a strong wind at their backs in the first half.
The Oban Camanachd defence of Daniel Cameron, Willie Neilson, Garry Lord and Daniel Sloss played well throughout the game, but Newtonmore forward Evan Menzies punished some hesitancy in the home back line on 38 minutes. Oban Camanachd passed up three chances to clear the ball when Menzies ran in and he kept his composure to slip the ball past on-rushing keeper Cameron Sutherland to make it 1-0.
Efforts on goal during the first period were rare, with Cameron Sutherland making a couple of saves and his counter-part Kenny Ross only having one stop of note.
Andrew McCuish and Jamie Robinson were having a great battle in the middle of the park and one good Oban Camanachd move ended with Scott MacMillan shooting past the post on the angle.
Garry Lord was forced off with a hip injury at half-time. Scott MacMillan, who started up front, dropped back into defence to cover with Chrissie MacMillan, who was himself carrying an injury, coming off the bench.
It was tight again in the second have with the midfield area congested.
The Oban side now had the wind in their favour but Cameron Sutherland was again the busier of the two keepers in the second period, saving well once with his hand and twice with his feet.
Malcolm Clark dropped back into the Oban midfield and can be pleased with his contribution.
Willie Neilson went off late in the game with a knee injury and youngster Evan MacLellan, himself not fully fit, was given a run out for the closing stages.
This was Newtonmore’s first competitive match this year and there will be more to come from them, starting with a derby meeting with Kingussie at The Eilan this weekend.
It doesn’t get any easier for Oban Camanachd as they are off to Kirkton to play league leaders Kinlochshiel on Saturday.
Oban Camanachd manager Ian Hay doesn’t have his injury problems to seek and Aidan MacIntyre’s absence is now likely to be measured in months rather than weeks. Hay could also have done without fresh injuries to Garry Lord and Willie Neilson.
Reflecting on the game, Ian Hay said: ‘We just didn’t create enough chances during the 90 minutes and that was the most disappointing thing for us. We lacked that bit of creativity and failed to open Newtonmore up.
‘I suppose you could say we could have dealt better with their goal and sneaked a goal-less draw but you’d have to say that Newtonmore deserved to win the game.
‘We’ll have to assess the injury situation later in the week but we currently have six players out with injuries and another two playing whilst carrying knocks so it’s a real test of our squad.’
Kingussie and Glenurquhart shared the points following a goal-less draw at The Dell.
Kingussie ground staff put in a tremendous effort before the game to clear the pitch of snow to allow the game to go ahead.
Fraser Munro was still out injured, whilst Kingussie manager John Gibson also had to do without Louis Munro and Sandy Elrick.
Glenurquhart manager Iain MacLeod finally had young defender Lachie Smith free of his four-match ban. David MacLennan was free to play for Glenurquhart but he will miss this Saturday’s home meeting with Lochaber after picking up a one-match suspension for passing through the disciplinary points threshold.
Kingussie, who introduced James Hutchison as a second half substitute, had the better of the 90 minutes and Glenurquhart’s Stuart MacKintosh was the busier of the two keepers, making three or four great saves during the game.
Craig Dawson, however, had to be alert to make two stops of note towards the end of the match to prevent Glenurquhart grabbing both points.
The home forwards were also wasteful at times and Kingussie will see this as a point lost rather than a point gained.
Kyles Athletic 1
Newly-promoted Caberfeidh picked up a valuable point, drawing 1-1 with title contenders Kyles Athletic at Castle Leod.
Caberfeidh were missing Scott McLauchlan with injury and Jamie MacKintosh through illness.
Kyles Athletic forward Sandy MacKenzie served the second game of a two-match ban.
Caberfeidh took the lead after 11 minutes when a Gavin McLauchlan through ball was missed by a couple of visiting defenders and Kevin Bartlett ran on, one-on-one with the keeper, and finished in style to the delight of the home support.
It took an impressive Ewan Pilcher save midway through the first half to prevent Kyles restoring parity.
Kyles continued to launch wave after wave of attack into the second half but the Caberfeidh defence was resolute, although the home side were always a threat on the break.
The Tighnabruaich side finally got back level with just 15 minutes remaining. Grant Irvine, who started in attack but was moved back to midfield during the first half, surged forward, finding the back of the net from just outside the ‘D’.
Caberfeidh worked hard to contain the Kyles Athletic forwards throughout the game and they will be the happier with a point which sets them up nicely for this Saturday’s match on Skye.
Marine Harvest National Division
Oban Celtic 1
A Daniel Madej goal five minutes from time gave Oban Celtic a 1-1 draw with Inveraray at Ganavan.
Oban Celtic manager Kenny Wotherspoon was without Neil Carmichael, Andy Hunt and Rory Bruce. Daniel Madej and Ross MacMillan both played through the pain barrier – Madej with a damaged ankle and MacMillan with a heavily strapped left hamstring.
Inveraray boss Ruaraidh Graham was still minus the suspended Allan MacDonald.
This was a scrappy encounter and the Oban side will feel they missed more clear-cut opportunities in front of goal.
The opening goal came on 64 minutes when Lewis Montgomery put Inveraray ahead.
And that’s the way it stayed until five minutes from the end when Oban Celtic captain Daniel Madej levelled.
Speaking after the match, Oban Celtic manager Kenny Wotherspoon said: ‘We have come such a long way over the last two years. A couple of years ago, we could have taken a heavy beating in a game like this but the difference is we now feel extremely disappointed to only come away with a point.’
Fort William 2
Glasgow Mid Argyll 2
Late goals from Arran MacPhee and Jack Fraser completed a Fort William comeback as they drew 2-2 with Glasgow Mid Argyll at An Aird.
Sean Cameron, Sean Cruickshank, Graham Campbell and Mark Grant were all missing for Fort William.
GMA’s John Don MacKenzie served a one-match suspension for passing through the disciplinary points threshold at the end of last season. Finlay MacMillan was on holiday, whilst Ewen Murray was at a wedding.
After a goal-less first half, Craig Anderson gave GMA the lead on 42 minutes. Anderson’s 30-yard shot from a central position took a deflection off a defender and the ball went into the top right corner of the goals.
Referee Martin MacLean penalised Fort William keeper Paul MacKay for a ‘kick’ inside the ‘D’ on 77 minutes and Craig Anderson stepped up to grab his second goal of the game.
Fort William came storming back though and finished the match well with GMA made to pay for not killing the game off.
Arran MacPhee pulled a goal back on 82 minutes from a corner. Arran MacPhee controlled the ball just outside the ‘D’ before hitting it low into the bottom corner of the net.
Fort William co-managers Victor Smith and Adam Robertson moved Jack Fraser from full centre to full forward and the switch paid off on 86 minutes. Young substitute Victor Smith hit a great strike which forced an equally fine save from GMA goalie Robert Dunnings. However, Jack Fraser picked the ball up from the re-bound, outside the ‘D’ and dribbled goalwards before sliding the ball past the keeper to make it 2-2.
The result sets up a mouth-watering derby between Fort William and Kilmallie at An Aird this Saturday.
Inverness were shock 3-2 winners against title hopefuls Kilmallie at Canal Parks.
Kilmallie manager Mark MacPherson had Martin Stewart free of suspension but Michael Rodger and Craig MacIsaac served the final games of their bans.
Callum McLeod has taken over the first team managerial duties at Inverness. He had Arran MacMaster free of his ban but Jason McLeod and James MacKenzie were missing. Davie Glass returned after a long period of injury to make up the 13-man squad.
Inverness had a fine first half and could have been even further ahead than their three-goal interval lead.
James Cameron put the Highland capital side ahead after three minutes, scoring against his former club.
The visitor’s prolonged period of pressure continued and Matthew Clark made it 2-0 on 35 minutes.
It got even better for Inverness when Michael Price added a third three minutes later.
Kilmallie fought back after the restart and pulled a goal back on 50 minutes when Innes Blackhall scored following a disputed free-hit on the edge of the ‘D’.
Daniel Stewart made it 3-2 with a good strike from a few yards outside the box.
Kilmallie pressed hard for a leveller but the Inverness defence stood firm and defended well to seal a morale-boosting win.
Beauly and Strathglass served up an entertaining 2-2 draw at Braeview Park.
Both teams started the match with key players missing including Liam Girvan and Ryan Tillman for the hosts and Lawrence Jones, Michael Stokes and Archie Wotherspoon for the visitors.
Beauly made the stronger start and Jack MacDonald and Sean Stewart both hit shots wide in the opening 10 minutes.
There was a good battle in the middle of the park between Beauly’s Calum Morrison and Hamish Myers from Strathglass whilst wing centres Angus Renwick and Lewis Douglas also had a fine dual.
Strathglass went ahead against the run of play. Full forward Ally McAdams turned his marker and placed a good pass to Steven Hyslop who drilled the ball low past keeper Josh Grant’s right-hand post to make it 1-0 with 25 minutes on the clock.
It only took four minutes for Beauly to draw level. Angus Renwick got past his marker and hit a speculative lob from 30 yards out. With the low sun in keeper Adam Todd’s eyes, he could do little as the ball dropped behind him and into the net.
Josh Grant and Adam Todd both made fine saves before the end of the first half.
Beauly had the wind in the second half and they used it to their advantage from the re-start.
On 52 minutes, Angus Renwick hit an excellent long shy from the left which deceived the Strathglass defence, landing perfectly for Robbie Brindle who tucked it past the keeper to put Beauly ahead for the first time in the game.
The Strathglass defence played well and restricted Beauly danger-men Jack MacDonald and Sean Stewart to a few opportunities on goal.
The first booking of the match came on 71 minutes when referee John Angus Gillies flashed a yellow card at Lewis Douglas for a reckless swing at Calum Morrison.
Strathglass drew level with 15 minutes remaining, the goal again coming from a shy. Lewis Douglas hit the ball in from the right, finding Darren Reid, who turned his marker and hit an unstoppable piledriver from 25 yards out leaving Josh Grant helpless.
Strathglass piled on the pressure in an effort to get a winner but Josh Grant was equal to their efforts, ensuring his side earned a share of the points.
A draw was a fair result and whilst Strathglass defenders Donald Fraser and George Phimister did well, Beauly wing centre Angus Renwick was undoubtedly the man of the match, covering much of the pitch whilst also being strong in tackles.
Marine Harvest North Division 1
The Newtonmore seconds scored twice in each half to beat the Glenurquhart seconds 4-0 at The Eilan.
Chris Sellar got the opener on 14 minutes and added a second five minutes before the break.
It was Chris Sellar again for Newtonmore, completing his hat-trick on 64 minutes to make it 3-0.
Neil Stewart added a fourth for the early league leaders on 71 minutes.
Skye Camanachd 4
Ross Gordon and Ruaraidh MacLeod both scored twice as the Skye Camanachd colts beat the Kingussie colts 4-0 at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree.
Skye added veteran Allan MacLeod and youngsters Ruaraidh MacLeod and Conor Gilpin to the squad which lost to Glengarry a week earlier.
Rory Fraser at full back and Kevin Thain at full forward provided the experience for a young Kingussie side which had beaten Glenurquhart a week earlier.
Kingussie opened with a strong wind at their backs and both teams had chances before Ross Gordon’s 44th minute opener. Connor Gilpin got onto Martin Pringle’s corner from the right. His effort was deflected into Gordon’s path and he finished well, tucking the ball into the corner of the net to give Skye the lead at the interval.
Ruaraidh MacLeod thumped home a re-bound to make it 2-0 on 67 minutes after Kingussie keeper Robert Shiells had saved from Martin Pringle who had been played in by Ross Gordon.
Ross Gordon got his second when he tucked the ball into the corner of the net after 67 minutes.
Ruaraidh MacLeod got his second when he slammed the ball high into the net to make it 4-0 a minute from time.
Fort William 3
The Fort William reserves scored three times in the second half to beat the Kinlochshiel reserves 3-0 at Kirkton.
Kinlochshiel gave first starts to Arron Jack, James Gunn and Calum Coghill.
David Wright was free to play for Fort William but he will miss Saturday’s trip to Glengarry for passing through the disciplinary points threshold.
After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, thanks mainly to good goalkeeping from veteran Kinlochshiel custodian Graham Kennedy, Scott Knox opened the scoring five minutes after the re-start and a Greg Kelly double on 68 and 82 minutes rounded off the win.
Ewan Falconer played well for Kinlochshiel but Sandy MacDiarmid required a hospital visit after suffering a blow to the face.
Aberdeen University P
Winter weather in Aberdeen led to the postponement of the game between Aberdeen University and Glengarry as the host’s Balgownie pitch was unplayable.
Marine Harvest South Division 1
Lochside Rovers 1
Champions Lochside Rovers picked up their first point of the season when they drew 1-1 with Ballachulish at Jubilee Park.
It was encouraging for Ballachuish that they were able to name five substitutes for the game.
Lochside manager Gareth Evans had just 12 players so he named himself as substitute.
The visitors fielded a very young forward line of Euan Logan, Ross Campbell, Lewis Buchanan and Lennon Campbell.
Lochside created the game’s first real chance after six minutes when Lewis Buchanan ghosted in at the back post, but keeper David Pearce saved well with his feet.
The Oban side took the lead on 30 minutes. Neil MacFarlane played a corner to the back post. Michael MacQueen made a great run forward from midfield, gathered the ball and beat two players before setting up Ross Campbell who slammed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
This was Ballachulish’s first game of the new season and they levelled through Stuart Robertson on 38 minutes. Michael MacQueen had dropped back into defensive area to help clear a Ballachulish attack but he was unable to get the ball away and the hosts won possession through Scott Henderson. The ball was steered goalwards by Stuart Robertson but Lochside keeper Brian MacCallum missed it and it trundled over the line.
Brian MacCallum later made a fantastic save with his feet to deny Stuart Robertson a second whilst, at the other end, Lochside hit the post twice.
Lorne Brown, a key player for Ballachulish, started the game in the forward line but moved into defence for the second half after Ross MacLean was injured.
Gareth Evans replaced Euan Logan 10 minutes after the re-start and he almost made an immediate impact but spurned a chance at the back post.
Both sides will take much from the game. Lochside Rovers manager Gareth Evans hopes to have players back for this Saturday’s home match against Aberdour whilst Ballachulish will go into their home clash with Col Glen with plenty confidence.
Col Glen 3
Col Glen came from two goals down to beat Bute 3-2 in a remarkable match at Otter Ferry.
Neil McKirdy put Bute ahead after two minutes and added a second on 25 minutes.
Bute, who were minus Ian McDonald, Robert Walker and Ryan Craig, were stunned as Col Glen’s second half substitute Sandy Paterson pulled a goal back on 50 minutes.
There was worse to follow for the islanders as Connor Kennedy made it 2-2 on 80 minutes.
Just a couple of minutes later, Sandy Paterson, who last played for the Skye Camanachd second team under their former boss Davie MacVicar, gave his new manager Ronnie MacVicar, Davie’s brother, a first competitive win when he grabbed what proved to be the winner.
The sides also contested the Hamish Carmichael Memorial Trophy with Col Glen taking the honours.
Kilmory played their first match of the season, beating Taynuilt 2-0 at MacRae Park.
Alister MacArthur gave Kilmory the lead on 23 minutes. He received a ball from Alex Cunningham in the half forward position and turned his marker before hitting a great shot, low and hard inside of the far post.
Hal Jones made it 2-0 on 34 minutes. Alex Cunningham’s shot from far out was saved by keeper Beano Logan and Jones ran in, striking the ball on the half-volley from inside the ‘D’.
This was a good game but the pitch tore up in the second half which made it difficult for both teams.
Kyles Athletic 4
The meeting between the Kyles Athletic second team and Tayforth was switched to Levenhall Links earlier in the week.
All the goals came during the first half.
Innes MacDonald gave Kyles the lead on nine minutes and Brandon Wilson added a second on 19 minutes. Brendon Thompson pulled a goal back on 26 minutes, but Kyles were not to be denied.
Ross MacRae made it 3-1 on 35 minutes and Luke Thornton extended the visitors’ advantage four minutes before the break.
The match between the Inveraray seconds and the Aberdour seconds was postponed as The Winterton was unplayable, having not recovered from the previous week’s senior match between Inveraray and Fort William.
Marine Harvest North Division 2
Strathspey Camanachd 1
The Caberfeidh reserves are the early North 2 league leaders after they overcame Strathspey Camanachd 3-1 in their 1.30pm throw-up at a cold Grantown Grammar School.
There was a physical opening to the match and although Caberfeidh made the better start, Strathspey always looked dangerous on the break.
Caberfeidh, who travelled without marksman Stewart Krzyzanowski who grabbed a hat-trick against the Lochaber seconds the previous week, went in front on five minutes when Alan Ross knocked home a re-bound off the keeper.
The goal settled Caberfeidh and they passed up a couple of opportunities before going 2-0 ahead on 20 minutes when Ruaridh McCreadie turned his marker before blasting an unstoppable shot past the keeper.
The visitors knew a third goal would put them out of sight but it was Strathspey who pulled a goal back on 42 minutes when a looping Arron MacBean effort dropped just under the crossbar to make it 2-1.
Caberfeidh introduced 14-year-old Kyle Grant from the start of the second half. He took over from Kyle MacLeod who had suffered a back injury.
Caberfeidh restored their two-goal advantage on 70 minutes when, in a crowded goal area, Kyle Grant capped a memorable afternoon by lofting the ball over the keeper to make it 3-1.
Lochcarron made it two wins out of two when they beat the Lovat second team 2-0 at Battery Park.
Both teams had won their opening fixtures and it was Lochcarron’s Lance MacCuish who opened the scoring on 16 minutes and the hosts took their single goal advantage into the break. Liam Arnott added a second on 72 minutes to seal the win. Lochcarron travel to league leaders Caberfeidh reserves this Saturday.
The Lochaber second team were too strong for the Inverness second team, winning 4-0 at The Bught Park.
Max Campbell gave Lochaber the lead on 10 minutes with Sam Lees adding a second on 20 minutes. Harvey Allison made it 3-0 on 75 minutes with Iain Fyfe rounding off the scoring five minutes later.
Lewis Camanachd 0
Boleskine, who finished bottom of the table last season, scored twice late in the game to beat Lewis Camanachd 2-0 in their 1.30pm throw-up at Smith Park.
Former Inverness player James Munro broke the deadlock on 80 minutes with Neil Hope adding a second five minutes later.
Strathglass W/O v
The Strathglass colts were given a walk-over when the Kilmallie colts were unable to raise a team for their match at Cannich.
Andrew Mcalister stood down as Kilmallie second team boss during the week and the club are currently actively seeking a replacement.
The Beauly seconds were without a fixture in this 11-team league.
Marine Harvest South Division 2
Strachur showed they will be a force in this division when they beat Aberdour’s second team 6-1 at Strachurmore.
Ian MacLennan gave Strachur the lead on 14 minutes and Stuart Robertson added a second on 25 minutes.
Iain MacLennan got his second on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors a 3-0 interval lead. Iain MacLennan completed his hat-trick on the hour mark whilst Stuart Robertson got his second seven minutes later.
A fourth Iain MacLennan goal of the afternoon on 82 minutes made it 6-0 before Aberdour’s Brandon Marshall notched a consolation strike a minute from time.
Oban Celtic P
The Oban Celtic second team will have to wait another week before making their league return after their match against Glenorchy was postponed as the Mart Park was unplayable.
Glasgow Mid Argyll P
It was confirmed earlier in the week that the game between the Glasgow Mid Argyll and Bute second teams will be rearranged.
The Women’s Camanachd Association’s focus was on the lower leagues on Sunday March 18.
Marine Harvest North Division 2
Glengarry defeated Lovat 4-1 in their 2pm throw-up at Balgate.
Fiona Urquhart netted for the home side but a Elaine Cameron hat-trick and a Emily Gordon strike gave Glengarry the win.
Kinlochshiel made their competitive debut, going down 4-2 to the Lochaber second team in their 2pm throw-up at Spean Bridge.
Natalie MacDonald and Caitlin MacDonald bagged doubles for Lochaber with Maree MacKenzie and Eilidh MacInnes getting the Kinlochshiel goals.
Skye Camanachd 0
Strathglass were too strong for the Skye Camanachd second team, winning 9-0 in their 1.30pm throw-up at Cannich.
This was the new Skye Camanachd second team’s first competitive match but there was to be no opening day success.
Mattie Jones and Cassie Dorrian grabbed hat-tricks, Freya Strachan scored twice and Ciorstan Hughes and Eleanor Mann got the others.
Glenurquhart beat Lovat 2-0 at Blairbeg on Saturday March 17.
Hazel Hunter and Claire Hannon were on target.
Marine Harvest South Division 2
Oban Lorn 0
Glasgow Mid Argyll 2
Oban Lorn went down 2-0 against the Glasgow Mid Argyll seconds in their 1pm throw-up at Ganavan.
Katie Mullen and Amy Harris made the difference.
Ardnamurchan W/O v
Cowal & Bute
The Ardnamurchan second team were to play their first competitive match at this level but Cowal & Bute were unable to raise a team so Ardnamurchan were awarded the points.
The 1.30pm throw-up between Dunadd and Tayforth was postponed because of an unplayable pitch.
Travis Perkins National First Shinty festivals
Inverlochy were double winners at the Travis Perkins National P5 and under and P7 and under First Shinty Festivals which took place in Fort William on Saturday March 17.
Inverlochy, captained by James Clark, won the P5 and under event at Lochaber High School, beating Taynuilt/Lochnell in the final.
Newtonmore Primary School won the National P5 and under fair play award.
Inverlochy swept the boards with a 4-0 win over Bute in the P7 and under final at the Nevis Centre. Drakies Primary School won the National P7 and under fair play award.