Shinty round-up

Kinlochshiel’s John Macrae gets the champagne flowing as his team gather for a team picture. Kyles Athletic v Kinlochshiel in the Artemis MacAulay Cup Final, played at Mossfield, Oban.

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Kinlochshiel won the Artemis Macaulay Cup, Newtonmore went further ahead at the top of the Marine Harvest Premiership and Kilmallie returned to the top of the Marine Harvest National Division following the shinty action on Saturday August 18.

Artemis Macaulay
Cup – final

Kyles Athletic 2
Kinlochshiel 3

A strong first half performance helped Kinlochshiel lift the Artemis Macaulay Cup for the second time in three years after they defeated holders Kyles Athletic 3-2 in their 2pm throw-up at Mossfield, Oban.

Kyles fought off Inveraray and Oban Celtic before edging out Oban Camanachd 2-1 to reach the final whilst Kinlochshiel took a tougher path, following up a 2-1 win over Newtonmore with single goal victories over Kingussie and Lovat.

It was a wet day in Oban but the pitch looked in good condition despite the rain making the surface slippery.

The timing of the final clashed with the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, so Oban Celtic player Michael MacKinnon piped the teams onto the field and he did the job well.

Ahead of throw-up, Macaulay Association president Davie Thomson, Graham Mitchell from sponsors Artemis and Argyll and Bute Depute Provost Roddy McCuish were introduced to the players.

Kyles Athletic manager James Perlich was dealt a blow during the week with news that wing centre Thomas Whyte had suffered ligament damage in the league win over Skye the previous week so he watched from the sidelines on crutches. Dunkie Kerr started in his place. Roddy MacDonald had recovered from a shoulder injury, suffered towards the end of June, and took up a place on the bench. Andrew King returned to defence, but Donald Irvine was missing.


Kinlochshiel manager Johnstone Gill. Photograph Neil Paterson.

Kinlochshiel boss Johnston Gill welcomed Oliver Macrae back into the starting line-up after he missed the previous week’s league win over Lochaber. Duncan ‘DA’ Macrae came back into the fold and started on the bench. Keith Macrae was also named as a substitute.

Kinlochshiel started with the wind in their favour and made the most of the advantage.

Macaulay finals are building a reputation of being high-scoring affairs with an average of 6.5 goals over the last six finals and there were only a couple of minutes gone when Kyles keeper John Whyte made a great save with his left hand to keep out a powerful Jordan Fraser strike from the left before the keeper used his feet to keep out John Macrae’s effort from the rebound.

Kinlochshiel continued to do most of the early attacking and got their reward on seven minutes. Kyles failed to deal with a long Donald Nixon shy from the left and Oliver Macrae nipped in to win possession and played the ball low to John Macrae around the penalty spot. Macrae out-muscled Calum Miller before stretching to lay the ball off to 16-year-old Duncan Matheson on the right.

With Cammy Keith drawn to try and clear the ball, Matheson had time to let the ball run across his body before sending the ball low across the keeper and into the far corner of the net to give Kinlochshiel a 1-0 lead.

John Whyte was the calmest player on Mossfield when he palmed down a spectacular effort from Ali Nixon and swept the ball away, with Duncan Matheson looking to profit from any slip-up.

Both defences took command with the Tighnabruaich back-line the busier and Neil MacVicar particularly effective in his first national senior final.
Kinlochshiel full forward John Macrae and Kyles full back Callum Miller were positioned at the edge of the ‘D’ for each goal-hit and when one such effort looked to deflect off Macrae’s stick on 28 minutes, the ball broke to the Kinlochshiel right where Callum Miller raced out and tried to clear. His ball forward went to Duncan Matheson who knocked the ball inside to John Macrae who, with his back to goal, took a couple of steps forward to make space before turning and cracking the ball into the top corner of the net, beating a helpless keeper on his left side.

John Macrae got his second and Kinlochshiel’s third three minutes later. Duncan Matheson gathered another loose clearance out of the Kyles defence and his ball forward flicked off Jordan Fraser’s caman to the Kinlochshiel left where John Macrae had run across goal with Callum Miller on his shoulder. However, as Macrae quickly turned inside, Miller lost his footing on the greasy surface and Macrae leathered the ball over keeper John Whyte’s left shoulder and into the net to make it 3-0.

A good Mark MacDonald challenge halted Scott MacDonald but Kyles attacks were rare and Scott Kennedy in the Kinlochshiel goal was untroubled.

With only a couple of first half minutes remaining, Duncan Matheson and Jordan Fraser exchanged passes following a Kinlochshiel corner on the left and Fraser’s shot cannoned off John Whyte’s shoulder for a corner.

Kinlochshiel almost added a fourth when Duncan Matheson swung in the resultant corner. The ball dropped for Ali Nixon at the edge of the ‘D’ but he steered the dropping ball just the wrong side of the post.

Kyles stayed on the field during the interval and made a change with Roddy MacDonald taking over from Colin MacDonald in attack.

The Tighnabruaich men now had the elements in their favour and they looked a different prospect from the restart with MacDonald’s introduction giving them a noticeable boost.

Scott Kennedy made a comfortable save with his feet to keep out Grant Irvine’s low shot and, soon after, an excellent Donald Nixon block halted Dunkie Kerr from Robbie MacLeod’s free-hit. Kinlochshiel responded and John Whyte saved well with his feet to keep out Jordan Fraser’s shot.
Kyles engineered an opportunity when Roddy MacDonald won the ball on the left and played Scott MacDonald through on goal, but Scott Kennedy spread himself to save at the expense of a corner with Kyles claiming in vain for a penalty.

Kinlochshiel captain Paul Macrae, centre, with goalscorers John Macrae, left, and Duncan Matheson.
Photograph: Neil Paterson.

A second Kyles Athletic change on 57 minutes saw Ross MacRae replace Dunkie Kerr and the move paid dividends a minute later when Macrae pulled a goal back with his first touch. Roddy MacDonald’s rampaging run forward saw him twice win challenges and when the ball broke to Ross Macrae, he sent a clean strike goalwards which went in off the keeper’s thigh to make it 3-1 with 58 minutes played.

Kinlochshiel immediately made their first switch with Scott MacLean coming on for Jordan Fraser.

Kyles were now launching wave after wave of attack, only punctured by a John Macrae shot which went close following an Ali Nixon free-hit on 69 minutes.

Another Kinlochshiel change saw Duncan ‘WD’ Macrae replace Duncan Matheson in attack.

It was ‘game on’ as the final reached the 71 minute mark. The Kinlochshiel defence failed to clear a ball forward from Andrew King and Scott MacDonald gathered possession and shot goalwards. Scott Kennedy saved with his left foot but referee Graham Cameron pointed to the spot after consulting with goal judge Billy Wotherspoon. Roddy MacDonald thumped the penalty high into the net and although keeper Kennedy got his stick to the ball, he couldn’t keep it out.

Sandy MacKenzie shot wide as Kyles went for a leveller. The changes continued and Jordan Fraser came back on with Paul Macrae withdrawn.
Grant Irvine limped off with what looked like a recurrence of his achilles problem, so Innes MacDonald came off the bench. Fraser MacVicar then took over from Ali Nixon.

Although Kyles continued to attack, they struggled to get at Scott Kennedy in the Kinlochshiel goal and were guilty of over-hitting the ball at times.
Paul MacRrae returned at full forward for the closing stages, with Scott MacLean returning to the bench.

Jordan Fraser sent a shot wide in added on time and Scott MacDonald’s effort was deflected for a corner at the other end.

Kinlochshiel’s Finlay Macrae and Kyles Athletic’s Colin MacDonald battle for the ball. Photograph: Stephen Lawson.

After three minutes’ stoppage time, referee Graham Cameron blew for time and Kinlochshiel’s delight was tangible. You couldn’t wipe the smile from young Duncan Matheson’s face, whilst John Macrae was on his knees after giving his all for the cause. Man of the match went to Kyles Athletic’s Andrew King who put in a power of work defensively in the first half and urged his team forward from the buckshee back position in the second period.

Graham Mitchell from sponsors Artemis took to the podium, flanked by Davie Thompson and Davie Hamilton from the Macaulay Association, and they first presented Kyles Athletic captain Cammy Keith and his team-mates with their runners-up medals.

Next up, Kinlochshiel skipper Paul Macrae came forward and introduced his squad and management team before receiving the Artemis Macaulay Cup, first presented by former Oban Times editor Flora Macaulay in 1947, and presentation caman.

Cowal and Bute won the Macaulay under-13 South of Scotland tournament held before Saturday’s senior final. Photograph: Stephen Lawson.
Marine Harvest Premiership

Lovat 0
Newtonmore 0

Newtonmore and Lovat shared the points, drawing 0-0 in their noon throw-up at Balgate.

Lovat’s Danny Kelly was free of suspension but suffered a broken thumb in training so was sidelined. Callum Cruden played with a helmet after suffering a facial blow the previous week. Martin Mainland was free to play but will miss this weekend’s league meeting with Kingussie for a bookings accumulation. Newtonmore’s Glen MacKintosh was available following his one-match ban and started in his usual full forward position as the visitors were along usual lines.

This was a game of few real chances with Thomas Fraser and Greg Matheson having first half opportunities.

Lovat, with wind advantage, had more of the first half pressure.
Newtonmore had the elements after the re-start and Craig Mainland and Daniel Grieve played well in the home defence, protecting keeper Stuart MacDonald.

The Lovat keeper had to display good reflexes though to turn away a deflected effort with what was the closest to a second half goal.
MacDonald also made routine saves from Evan Menzies and Jamie Robinson.

Michael Russell earned a booking for a challenge on Callum Cruden and Lorne MacKay had to leave the field for a time after appearing to twist his knee.

What will be concerning for Newtonmore boss Paul John MacKintosh is that defender Andy MacKintosh had to come off after hurting his knee when clearing the ball up the park.

The sides meet in next month’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final and it may just be they are both keeping their powder dry until then.

Kingussie P
Skye Camanachd P

The 3pm throw-up between Kingussie and Skye Camanachd at The Dell was postponed. The match will now be an early throw-up on Saturday September 15.

Marine Harvest National Division

Fort William 0
Inveraray 2

Fort William went into their meeting with Inveraray at An Aird on top of the Marine Harvest Premiership, ahead of second placed Kilmallie on goal difference.

But they conceded top spot to their local rivals after losing two late goals against Inveraray.

Fort William were still without Arran MacPhee and Ally MacRae was out with a hand injury. Graham Campbell was free to play but he is about to start a two-match suspension after his booking against Oban Celtic a week earlier took him through the disciplinary points threshold.
Inveraray travelled north without regular trio John Kennedy, Ally Munro and Douglas Dando.

Despite the players’ best efforts, the first 85 minutes of the game was goal-less.

Inveraray broke the deadlock five minutes from time. There was a battle for possession just outside the box and the ball broke to young Ruaraidh Graham who slipped it past the keeper to make it 1-0.

The visitors clinched the win a minute from time. Fraser Watt played a free-hit from near the corner flag to the back post where Garry MacPherson sent a half-volley into the bottom corner of the net.

Inverness 0
Kilmallie 7

Kilmallie took advantage of Fort William’s defeat and they return to the top of the Marine Harvest Premiership after beating bottom side Inverness 7-0 at The Bught Park.

Kilmallie’s Michael Rodger started a three-match suspension for an accumulation of disciplinary points but their forwards made up for his absence. Craig MacIsaac gave Kilmallie an early cushion with goals on 10 and 22 minutes. Calum MacDougall made it 3-0 at the break, scoring on 31 minutes.

Liam MacDonald added a fourth on 56 minutes, with Calum MacDougall getting his second on the hour. Brian MacKay chipped in with a double on 64 and 86 minutes to make the final score 7-0.

Kilmallie’s Liam MacDonald and Ewan Neilson from Inverness during last Saturday’s National Division game. Photograph: Donald Cameron.
Marine Harvest
North Division 1

Newtonmore 4
Aberdeen University 0

The Newtonmore seconds beat Aberdeen University 4-0 at The Eilan on the day they were again presented with the Marine Harvest North Division 1 trophy.

With Aberdeen travelling short of players, Newtonmore agreed to play the match nine-a-side which made for a lot of running for the players during the 90 minutes.

Craig MacLeod took advantage before anyone could settle into the new formations, scoring after three minutes.

Calum Stewart made it 2-0 on 32 minutes when he cut inside from out wide, putting the ball through a defender’s legs then running into the box before hitting a shot high into the net.

It stayed that way until 81 minutes when Calum Stewart got his second. This time Calum won the ball about 25 yards out and hit a hard shot into the centre of the goal.

Calum Stewart completed his hat-trick a minute from time when he flicked the ball past his marker in his own half and ran all the way to the edge of the box where he hit a low hard shot, again into the middle of the goal.

After the final whistle, Marine Harvest’s Steve Bracken presented the Marine Harvest North Division trophy to Newtonmore captain Stuart Mitchell.

Kingussie 9
Glengarry 6

The Kingussie seconds and Glengarry shared 15 goals in a noon throw-up at The Dell.

Kingussie’s Dylan Borthwick was the game’s top scorer with six goals.
Russell Menzies scored twice and Cluanie Fraser got the other.

Nick Dalgety’s hat-trick, John MacKinnon’s brace and a strike from Archie Johnstone counted for Glengarry who remain second in the table. The win means Kingussie leap-frog Fort William into third place in the table and although they hold a single point advantage, Kingussie have played a game more.

Marine Harvest
South Division 1

Bute 5
Col Glen 0

Bute cut Kyles Athletic’s lead at the top of Marine Harvest South Division 1 to a point when they defeated Col Glen 5-0 at The Meadows.
Bute’s Chris Lawrence was free of a two-game ban, whilst Col Glen’s John MacPhail completed a two-match suspension.

Bute did the damage in the first half. Iain McDonald gave them the lead on six minutes and James Craig added a second on 32 minutes.

Bute killed the contest with two goals late in the first half. Robert Walker made it 3-2 on 42 minutes and Iain McDonald got his second a minute before the interval.

A second from Robert Walker on the hour mark was the only goal of the second half.

With five games each still to go, the Kyles Athletic second team hold a one point advantage over Bute at the top of the table and the sides are scheduled to meet at Tighnabruaich this Saturday.

Last year’s league winners Lochside Rovers are just three points off the top with the same number of games played.

Ballachulish 4
Aberdour 3

Ballachulish resisted a second half Aberdour fight-back to win 4-3 at The Jubilee Park.

Ballachulish went into the game having taken three from the last four points and they were at full strength with 20 players to choose from.

Aberdour travelled without manager Lisa MacColl, Angus Thorburn, John Martin Philips, Ruairidh Reid, Sam Evans and Panda Fraser.
Alan Clark gave the hosts the lead on 20 minutes and Scott Henderson added a second five minutes later.

Duncan MacDonald on 40 minutes and a second from Scot Henderson a couple of minutes later gave the home side a 4-0 interval advantage.
It was a different Aberdour who started the second half and David MacKenzie on 46 minutes and Mark McKean a minute later made it 4-2.

Aberdour’s Alec Mitchell made it 4-3 with 20 minutes remaining but Ballachulish stayed in front to take the points. In the end, Ballachulish built up enough of an advantage during the first 45 minutes and Aberdour left themselves too much to do in the second half.

Tayforth P
Inveraray P

Tayforth and the Inveraray second team were scheduled to meet for the second successive Saturday in a noon throw-up at Levenhall Links.
The match has been rescheduled for Saturday October 6.

Marine Harvest
North Division 2

Caberfeidh 10
Inverness 0

The Caberfeidh second team made the most of one of their games in hand, beating the Inverness second team 10-0 in a re-arranged match at Castle Leod on Wednesday August 15.

Caberfeidh took control from the start in this 7pm throw-up.
Alan Ross, from around the penalty spot on two minutes, and Ruaraidh MacLeman, finishing off a good move on seven minutes, gave the hosts an early cushion.

Ruaraidh MacLeman went on to complete his hat-trick with goals on 25 and 39 minutes and Caberfeidh, who introduced Logan Beaton for his debut late in the first half, led 4-0 at the break. Alan Ross added a fifth four minutes into the second half and Caberfeidh racked up an 8-0 lead with three goals in four minutes.

Paul Ross added his name to the scoresheet on 62 minutes with 14-year-old Finlay Coleman on 64 minutes, and Jamie Matheson a couple of minutes later, putting them further ahead.

Kyle MacLeod blasted home to make it 9-0 on 73 minutes and Finlay Coleman got his second four minutes from time to round off the 10-0 victory.

Caberfeidh 0
Lovat 5

The Caberfeidh colts and the Lovat colts met in a top of the table clash at Castle Leod.

Although third-placed Caberfeidh trailed Lovat by six points going into the game, they had two games in hand so this was a significant match in terms of the title race.

Lovat’s Duncan Urquhart opened the scoring on 10 minutes and Ryan Ferguson made it 2-0 five minutes before the break.

Lovat moved out of sight during the final 20 minutes of the match. Duncan Urquhart got his second on 70 minutes and Raymond Rennie made it 4-0 five minutes later.

There was still time for Duncan Urquhart to complete his hat-trick as he netted with just a couple of minutes remaining.

Lovat have three games to go – at home to Lochcarron and Caberfeidh and away to Lochaber – and they currently lead Lochcarron by seven points and Caberfeidh by eight points although they have played two more games than their rivals. However, a win against Lochcarron at Balgate this Saturday will all but secure the title.

Inverness 1
Strathglass 5

The league’s bottom two sides met at the Bught Park where the Strathglass second team beat the Inverness second team 5-1.

Colin Birnie gave the Strathglass the lead on nine minutes and Ruaraidh Strachan got another on 19 minutes to make it 2-0 at the break. Colin Birnie got his second on 57 minutes to make it 3-0 and although Jack Craig pulled a goal back 15 minutes from time, strikes from Colin Birnie on 85 minutes, to complete his hat-trick, and Ally Rothe, with a couple of minutes remaining, earned Strathglass a 5-1 win.

Strathspey Camanachd 2
Beauly 0

Strathspey Camanachd beat the Beauly second team 2-0 in their 1.30pm throw-up at Grantown Grammar School.

Beauly’s Peter Dickson was free of suspension. Blustery conditions made it difficult for both teams and Strathspey won the game with two goals in two minutes.

Arran MacBain gave them the lead on 13 minutes and Connor Aubrey added a second 60 seconds later.

Strathspey, with Scott Macintyre a stand-out, stay fifth and Beauly remain eighth in the division.

Kilmallie P
Lochcarron P

The meeting between the Kilmallie second team and Lochcarron at The Canal Parks has been rescheduled for Saturday October 13.

Lochaber P
Boleskine P

The Lochaber reserves fixture against Boleskine at Spean Bridge will now take place on Saturday September 8.

Marine Harvest
South Division 2

Oban Celtic P
Bute P

The clash between the Oban Celtic second team and the Bute second team at Ganavan was postponed.

The game has been rescheduled for Saturday August 25.

WCA round-up

Some regional Women’s Camanachd Association fixtures were played on Sunday August 19.

Marine Harvest
North Division 2

Glenurquhart 4
Lovat 2

Glenurquhart defeated Lovat 4-2 in their 6.30pm throw-up at Blairbeg on Tuesday August 14. Hazel Hunter grabbed a hat-trick and Abi Stoddart got the other for Glenurquhart, cancelling out efforts from Paige MacDonald and Fiona Urquhart.

Strathglass 3
Glengarry 4

Glengarry edged out Strathglass 4-3 at Cannich. Cassie Dorrian scored twice for the hosts with Laura Fraser also netting but Shaina Archibald’s brace and strikes from Margaret Jane Malcolm and Leona Falconer gave Glengarry the points.

Inverness 0
Kinlochshiel 3

Kinlochshiel, boosted by their men’s senior side’s Macaulay success the previous day, won 3-0 against Inverness at the Bught Park outside pitch. All the goals came in the first half, with Eilidh MacInnes scoring twice and Alaina MacLennan also on target.

Skye Camanachd P
Lochaber P

The Skye Camanachd second team’s fixture against the Lochaber second team has been rescheduled for Saturday October 13.

Marine Harvest
South Division 2

Cowal & Bute 9
Tayforth 0

Cowal & Bute were too strong for Tayforth, winning 9-0 at Strachurmore. Nuela Neary and Fay Robertson both scored four times with Kym Pollock completing the scoring.

Dunadd W/O v
Glasgow Mid Argyll

Dunadd were awarded the points when the Glasgow Mid Argyll second team were unable to raise a team for their league fixture.

Scotland ladies squad announced

The Scotland ladies squad has been announced for the shinty/camogie international against Dublin Ladies at the Bught Park on Saturday October 20.

This is the final and deciding game of a three-match series with the contest currently tied at one win each.

The game will be played on the main Bught Park pitch ahead of the shinty/hurling international between the Scotland and Ireland senior sides.
Scotland ladies from: Elizabeth McGregor – Badenoch & Strathspey; Jeanette McGregor – Badenoch & Strathspey; Rona Stewart – Badenoch & Strathspey; Mairi Stewart – Badenoch & Strathspey; Zoe Reid – Badenoch & Strathspey; Kirsty Deans – Badenoch & Strathspey; Lorna MacRae – Skye Camanachd; Rhianna Kirk – Skye Camanachd; Caitlin MacLean – Skye Camanachd; Sarah Corrigall – Skye Camanachd; Ilana Paterson – Skye Camanachd; Rachel McCafferty – Glasgow Mid Argyll; Laura McCafferty – Glasgow Mid Argyll; Shannon Wilson – Fort William; Donna MacKenzie – Glenurquhart; Christy McIntyre – Lochaber; Katie Booth – Aberdour and Vicki Henderson – Aberdour.

New Camanachd Association
vice president

Current director Steven Mackenzie has taken on the role of Camanachd Association vice president.

Steven Mackenzie has a long association with shinty, playing for Beauly up to the age of 23 before moving to Aberdeen University Shinty Club for the next 19 years. Highlights during this period included the centenary celebrations in 1992 at Beauly and winning the old North Division 2 in 1992/93.

For Aberdeen, Steven Mackenzie captained the team to Sutherland Cup success and led the organising committee for its 150th celebrations, earning him the Marine Harvest Volunteer of the Year in 2011.

He has played an active role in the administrative side of shinty since the age of 21.

Camanachd Association president Keith Loades said: ‘Steven has been an influential member of the board since joining in November 2016.
‘He played an instrumental role in establishing the Shinty Business Club and adds a wealth of experience and knowledge both from a playing perspective as well as an administrative perspective.

‘Steven has taken on the challenging role of competitions director and he has taken the lead for the international representative matches with the GAA.’

Referees mark president’s term

Following the Camanachd Referee Association’s annual general meeting in Fort William on Sunday August 12, vice president Deek Cameron presented a memento to the outgoing president John Sloggie to mark his retirement following many decades of service to shinty.
Donald Stewart was appointed the new Camanachd Referees Association president.