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A battling second half performance saw Scotland fight back to lift the Marine Harvest Quaich and Scotland Ladies were series winners following the Marine Harvest Shinty/Hurling/Camogie internationals, whilst Bute were crowned Marine Harvest South Division 1 champions following the shinty action on Saturday October 20.
Marine Harvest Shinty/Hurling International
Scotland (1-11) 14 Ireland (1-9) 12
Scotland battled back from eight points down to beat Ireland 14-12 and lift the Marine Harvest Quaich at the Bught Park on Saturday.
Scotland skipper Grant Irvine and Ireland captain David English led their respective squads out onto the field for the 2pm throw-in.
The Scots, playing in their change white strip, went into the match on the back of four successive home victories.
New Scotland head coach Garry Reid lost forward John MacRae from Kinlochshiel through injury the previous weekend, so Lovat’s Craig Mainland was a late call-up, starting on the bench. Reid gave first caps to forwards Evan Menzies, 30, Newtonmore, and Andrew ‘Papa’ MacCuish, 31, with the latter starting on the bench. Mark MacDonald, Rory Kennedy, Steven MacDonald and Andy MacKintosh made up a strong Scots’ defence and Finlay MacRae lined up in midfield.
Ireland co-managers William Maher and Conor Phelan also had injury concerns as Kilkenny attacker and former GAA/GPA Hurler of the Year Richie Hogan, who was part of the initial squad and involved in the build-up, was injured in a club game for Danesfort which led to his withdrawal. Waterford’s Stephen Roche was called up in his place and started in attack. However the travelling squad still featured Clare full back David McInerney, an All-Ireland winner and a GAA/GPA All-Star in 2013. McInerney also played in this fixture in 2015. There was also a place for Waterford’s left corner back Noel Connors, who received GAA/GPA All-Star Awards in 2010, 2015 and 2017, and Tipperary full forward Jason Forde, an All-Ireland winner in 2016.
Keeper Enda Rowland, 2017 skipper Tommy Doyle and Damien Healy were the only survivors from last year, although David English, James Toher and Brian Murphy also had previous experience of the cross-codes game.
In a change to the usual protocol, the match official was Irish referee John Keane.
Ireland started on a soft pitch with a strong wind in their favour, so whilst the Scots usually look to take early advantage of their opponents inexperience in this fixture, they spent most of the first half pinned back.
The Scots started well enough as Finlay MacRae won the throw in and Grant Irvine found Greg Matheson on the left who immediately played the ball in on goal but keeper Enda Rowland showed his experience and palmed the ball down before clearing.
Play soon switched to the other end and Danny Cullen struck an effort wide before David McInerney sent a cut from the side harmlessly past the post.
Ireland edged in front when Danny Cullen skillfully took a touch and juggled the ball before lobbing it between the posts.
Damian Casey’s strike from wide on the right was initially thought to have gone wide but referee John Keane awarded the point after consulting umpire Brian MacKay and fourth official Iain Kennedy and the Irish led 2-0 with seven minutes played.
Play continued towards the home goal with Darragh Clinton adding another from wide on the left as Ireland made the most of the wind advantage.
Caberfeidh’s Kevin Bartlett scored 12 of Scotland’s 18 points last year and he resumed his dead-ball duties after 12 minutes but a difficult chance by the left touchline went wide of the near post.
Darragh Clinton again added to the Irish tally from the middle of the park on 14 minutes after Brian Murphy won possession and substitute Brian Byrne took a touch before lofting another to make it 5-0.
The Scots had a let-off when Jason Forde found space on right of midfield moments later but his attempt went wide.
Ireland’s Danny Cullen punished loose play in the Scotland midfield to get his second point, making it 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Damian Healy needed treatment for a head cut and had to come off as Ireland continued to rotate their players.
In a rare Scottish attack, Roddy Macdonald and Greg Matheson had half-chances in a goalmouth scramble, almost getting in each other’s way.
A Kevin Bartlett dead ball from wide on the left on 24 minutes was stopped and cleared by keeper Rowland.
Tipperary full forward Jason Forde showed great skill as he got a yard on Steven Macdonald to control the ball, but his effort went wide of the post.
The Ireland forwards were dropping deep and substitute Gavin McGowan ran in on goal but he fluffed his shot and the chance was gone.
Scotland suffered a blow on 26 minutes when defender Rory Kennedy, who was named Marine Harvest National Player of the Year the previous evening, needed treatment to his left knee and was helped off to be replaced by Daniel Grieve.
A minute later, Gavin McGowan again burst forward from a central position and played a one-two with fellow substitute John Casey to his left before rolling the return pass home from in front of goal. Scotland now trailed 9-0.
Andrew MacCuish and Arran MacPhee came on in place of Evan Menzies and Glen MacKintosh and MacPhee livened up proceedings on the half hour when he was booked for a late swing on Sean Weir in front of the main stand which sparked Irish ire.
Ireland’s Bryan Murphy was penalised after he instinctively kicked the ball following a challenge on Arran MacPhee in which he broke his hurley, perhaps a follow on from the earlier incident involving the Fort William man. Kevin Bartlett took advantage as he sent the free hit over the bar from wide on the left to make it 9-2 with 32 minutes on the clock.
Steven Macdonald had a 65-yard attempt against the wind with the ball dropping into the goal area where Roddy Macdonald found Kevin Bartlett. Enda Roland made a low, diving save even although the ball looked to be going wide. Conor Cormack sent the resultant 65 just wide as the match moved towards four minutes of first half stoppage time.
Clare’s Dave McInerney looked the pick of the Irish players and he showed fine close control as he took a touch before launching another effort over to make it 10-2.
There were a couple of late Scotland chances first when Ireland failed to clear a Mark MacDonald ball and Arran MacPhee sent a strike just wide. Then a foul on Roddy Macdonald allowed Kevin Bartlett a chance but James Toher stretched to take the ball out of the air and Ireland went into the interval leading (0-2) 2-10 (1-7).
Scotland came out for the second half with wind advantage and showed their intent as Arran MacPhee and Roddy Macdonald both had early attempts at goal.
When Arran MacPhee was fouled in a central position, Kevin Bartlett drove the ball between the posts to make it 10-4 and the come-back was on.
Good play from Finlay MacRae saw him send the ball into the danger area but David English held off Andrew MacCuish and the ball dropped over the Oban man and out of play.
Scotland in general, and Kevin Bartlett in particular, have taken full advantage of most two point situations in recent years and Bartlett added another two-pointer from left of centre on 52 minutes, punishing another Irish infringement, to make it 10-6.
Grant Irvine took a blow to the top of the head from a trailing hurl shortly after and, with blood streaming down his face, he came off to receive stitches. Enda Rowland came out of his goal to play the dead ball and his enormous effort from the half-way line, in front of the main stand and against the wind, went between the posts for an impressive score. Rory Kennedy came back on to take over from Grant Irvine.
Andy MacKintosh was penalised for a foul on Jason Forde on the Irish left. Forde picked himself up but his lift and strike swerved away from the far post.
Andrew MacCuish capped his debut with a point as he ran onto a loose ball before swiping it over to make it 11-7.
Scotland manager Garry Reid added to his fire-power with the re-introduction of Glen MacKintosh, Evan Menzies and Greg Matheson with just over 20 minutes to go and his intentions were clear.
Jason Forde had had a relatively quiet game so far but he showed his class when he held off a challenge and ran down the left channel before driving over the top to increase the Irish lead to 12-7.
Enda Rowland saved well to deny Evan Menzies a debut goal. However, on his fifteenth Scotland appearance, Finlay MacRae did well to chip the ball back in on goal and Glen MacKintosh took it down, turned and then slotted the ball over the line and the Irish lead was cut to two points with 66 minutes gone.
Ireland’s Dave McInerney was forced off with a hand injury and Lorne Dickie spoken to for a late challenge on John Casey but this time keeper Enda Rowland sent the free wide with Steven Macdonald booked for dissent along the way.
Scotland keeper Stuart MacDonald had little to do the whole game with Rowland the busier of the two keepers and he watched anxiously as Greg Matheson’s volley from a Kevin Bartlett cross from the left went just past the keeper’s left post.
Glen MacKintosh became the third Scottish player to be booked after an off-the-ball clash with Brian Murphy.
With Finlay MacRae dominant in midfield, the Scots were now doing all the attacking and an Evan Menzies shot deflected out for a 65 with less than five minutes left. Keeper Rowland did well to stretch high to keep Kevin Bartlett’s 65 from dropping under the bar, but Lorne Dickie picked out Greg Matheson to his left and Matheson sent the ball over the bar on his back-hand.
Just a minute later, Greg Matheson was allowed just enough time to drive the ball over from distance, again on his back-hand, and the contest was tied at 12-12 with three minutes remaining.
Scotland had the momentum and Glen MacKintosh asked questions of the Irish defence with a low ball across from the left but Roddy Macdonald just couldn’t get on the end of it. But as keeper Rowland came off his line to try to clear, he fouled Macdonald who was trying to win the ball back. It was a crucial intervention from Macdonald as the resultant free was a straight-forward opportunity for Kevin Bartlett who confidently stroked the ball over to make it 14-12 and, with just over a minute remaining, Scotland led for the first time in the match.
With three minutes stoppage time signalled, there was late drama. Enda Roland sent a free from distance into the goal area and the ball deceived the keeper and dropped into the net. However umpires Billy MacLeod and Calum Girvan correctly ruled the effort out for offside.
Ireland continued to press and Andy MacKintosh did well to clear the ball from in front of goal under pressure.
It was a tense finish as Dave McInerney, back on the field, sent a dead ball wide and, after Steven Macdonald was penalised, McInerney lifted the ball into the goal area but, with no margin for error, Steven Macdonald brilliantly batted the ball away and with it Ireland’s last chance of a match winning goal.
Five minutes stoppage time was played before referee John Keane blew for time and Scotland celebrated another win on home soil.
A blood-soaked Scotland captain Grant Irvine struck an iconic pose as he raised the Marine Harvest Quaich in front of a happy home support.
Scotland from: Stuart MacDonald, Lovat; Mark MacDonald, Kinlochshiel; Rory Kennedy, Newtonmore; Steven Macdonald, Newtonmore; Andy MacKintosh, Newtonmore; Grant Irvine, Kyles Athletic, captain; Finlay MacRae, Kinlochshiel; Conor Cormack, Kinlochshiel; Roddy Macdonald, Kyles Athletic; Michael Russell, Newtonmore; Greg Matheson, Lovat; Kevin Bartlett, Caberfeidh; Glen MacKintosh, Newtonmore; Evan Menzies, Newtonmore. Subs: Daniel Grieve, Lovat; Andrew MacCuish, Oban Camanachd; Lorne Dickie, Oban Camanachd; Shaun Nicolson, Lochaber; Arran MacPhee, Fort William; Craig Mainland, Lovat.
Ireland: Enda Rowland, Laois; Bryan Murphy, Kerry; Noel Connors, Waterford; Damien Healy, Meath; Tommy Doyle, Westmeath; David English, Carlow, captain; James Toher, Meath; Dave McInerney, Clare; John Michael Nolan, Carlow; Damian Casey, Tyrone; Jason Forde, Tipperary; Danny Cullen, Donegal; Darragh Clinton, Westmeath; Stephen Roche, Waterford. Subs: Brian Byrne, Kildare; John Casey, Longford; Darragh Egerton, Westmeath; Gerard O’Kelly Lynch, Sligo; Gavin McGowan, Meath; Sean Weir, Kerry.
Referee – John Keane.
Marine Harvest Shinty/Camogie Challenge
Scotland Ladies (4-1) 13 Dublin Ladies (0-2) 2
Scotland Ladies came from behind to win 13-2 in the third and deciding match of their three game shinty/camogie series at the Bught Park on Saturday October 20.
The Scots, led this year by Stuart Reid and Ross Brown, went into this noon throw-up in confident mood having won 19-10 in Dublin last year to cancel out Dublin’s 12-2 success in Inverness a year earlier.
Badenoch & Strathspey’s Kirsty Deans captained the side with Skye Camanachd’s Caitlin MacLean and Badenoch & Strathspey’s Rona Stewart vice captains.
Dublin manager Shane Ploughman and his management recently led the Dublin Premier Juniors to Premier Junior All-Ireland success. A number of the Irish players hadn’t played the cross-codes game but they showed they are quick learners as points from Ciara Carolan and Kerri Finnegan fired them into a 2-0 lead.
The Scots took time to settle but when they got into their rhythm, they put the Irish to the sword.
Badenoch & Strathspey’s Zoe Reid sent the ball low into the net to put the hosts ahead.
And it was Reid again, notching her second with another low shot from the edge of the ‘D’, who gave the Scots a cushion.
Skye Camanachd’s Lorna MacRae scored Scotland’s third goal from close in and it now looked as if there would only be one winner.
Scotland captain Kirsty Deans added her name to the scoresheet with the Badenoch & Strathspey and newly-crowned Women’s Marine Harvest National Division 1 player of the year finishing from the left of the ‘D’.
Skye’s Sarah Corrigall sent the ball over the bar for Scotland’s other score.
Referee Martin MacLean’s final whistle confirmed a 2-1 series win for the Scots and skipper Kirsty Deans lifted the trophy.
Scotland Ladies from: Elizabeth McGregor, Badenoch & Strathspey; Jeanette McGregor, Badenoch & Strathspey; Rona Stewart, Badenoch & Strathspey, vice-captain; Mairi Stewart, Badenoch & Strathspey; Zoe Reid, Badenoch & Strathspey; Kirsty Deans, Badenoch & Strathspey, captain; Lorna MacRae, Skye Camanachd; Rhianna Kirk, Skye Camanachd; Caitlin MacLean, Skye Camanachd, vice-captain; 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; Vicki Henderson, Aberdour.
Dublin from: Louise O’Shea, Ballinteer St Johns; Hannah O’Dea; Cuala; Sinead Murphy, Cuala; Sinead Wilde, Cuala; Emma Quinn, Erins Isle; Chloe Mullen, Faughs Celtic; Kerri Finnegan, Faughs Celtic; Emma O’Byrne, Good Counsel; Aoibhe Dillon, Naomh Mearnóg; Grainne Power, Naomh Mearnóg; Laura Walsh, Naomh Mearnóg; Chloe Ni Cellaigh, Naomh Olaf; Ciara O’Leary, Naomh Uinsionn; Dee Johnston, Naomh Uinsionn, captain; Evelyn Twomwy, Naomh Uinsionn; Kathryn Kantounia, Naomh Uinsionn; Shauna McBride, Naomh Uinsionn; Ciara Carolan, St Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh.
Referee – Martin MacLean.
Marine Harvest South Division 1
Inveraray 2 Lochside Rovers 3
Reigning champions Lochside Rovers beat the Inveraray second team 3-2 in their 1pm throw-up at the Winterton, but it wasn’t enough to retain the Marine Harvest South Division 1 title.
Ahead of the match, Lochside learnt Kilmory, who have been unable to complete the season because of team raising difficulties, had all their results for the fixtures already played this season erased.
This meant Lochside went into their final match trailing leaders Bute, who have completed their league programme, by two points but, significantly, the islanders held a goal difference advantage of six goals.
Newly-promoted Inveraray were guaranteed an eighth placed finish no-matter the outcome.
One of the goalmouths was cut up pretty badly but referee John Wood allowed the match to start.
Inveraray were without regular defenders Allan Cameron and Colin Campbell so they drafted in the experienced Neil Campbell and David MacPherson to play alongside youngsters Andrew Fraser and Robert Wood at the back. Veteran Garry MacPherson and young Ruaraidh Graham started in midfield.
Lochside fielded a young forward line of Ross Campbell, Lewis Buchanan, Daniel MacCuish and Daniel Sloss. Chrissy MacMillan was in defence. Gary McKerracher remained unavailable.
It was a dreich day in Inveraray but this was not your usual end of season game. A few Bute spectators came over to see if their team could be champions and their nerves were settled when Inveraray took the lead on four minutes, with Craig Taylor taking a long ball from David MacPherson before unleashing a shot into the roof of the net, past Gavin Stobbart who was just off his line in the heavy goalmouth.
Inveraray lost veteran David MacPherson on 11 minutes to a nasty knee injury with Daniel MacCuish perhaps fortunate referee John Wood only booked him for late swing following a fierce melee.
Inveraray had to reshuffle and young Ruaridh Graham slotted in at half back.
The temperature raised a couple of notches after that with a couple more yellow cards shown before the break.
Lochside brought Daniel MacCuish back to midfield with Michael MacQueen going up top.
Lochside levelled on 41 minutes. Gregor Mather used his hand to stop a long range Lewis Buchanan shot but Michael MacQueen reacted quickest and slotted the ball in from close range to make it 1-1 at half time.
Lochside made a strong start to the second half and got two quick goals to raise Oban hopes.
Ross Campbell made it 2-1 with a low, hard shot from the left on 49 minutes. And it was Ross Campbell again on 64 minutes as another low, powerful effort from the left skidded off the surface and into the net to make it 3-1.
A booking for each side followed. The Oban side passed up some chances and home keeper Gregor Mather made some good saves.
Inveraray dug deep though and scored a second following a great Gary MacPherson shot. Player/manager Graham MacPherson had come on with 16 minutes left. He flicked the ball to Garry MacPherson whose shoulder-high shot flew across the keeper and into the net to virtually end Lochside’s chances of winning the league.
This was a last match in charge for Lochside boss Gareth Evans and his Inveraray counter-part Graham MacPherson and both will be greatly missed by their clubs.
Lochside’s Michael MacQueen also played his last game after giving tremendous service to the club.
The result means Bute managers Iain McDonald and John MacCallum have led their team to a hard-fought Marine Harvest South Division 1 title and it is believed the islanders hope to make the step up to National Division shinty next season.
It remains to be seen whether Inverness will be relegated from shinty’s second tier or, more likely, the National Division will run with nine teams next season.
Stephen Sloss is new Oban Camanachd manager
Stephen Sloss is the new Oban Camanachd first team manager.
The announcement came following a club meeting and Sloss, who has had a successful spell coaching at youth level for the Oban club, takes over from Ian Hay with immediate effect.
The early appointment offers clarity for the squad. Stephen Sloss is yet to announce his backroom team.
The club are also seeking a successor to Gareth Evans to lead Lochside Rovers for next season.
Kilmory withdraw from league
Kilmory have written to the Camanachd Association stating they will not be able to fulfill their fixtures for the remainder of the season due to work commitments and injuries.
As one of Kilmory’s remaining fixtures, against Lochside Rovers, has a direct impact on the outcome of the Marine Harvest South Division 1 title race, the competitions committee met and agreed Kilmory’s results for the fixtures already played this season be erased.
Kilmory have advised they hope to compete in Marine Harvest South Division 2 in the 2019 season.
Glenurquhart start boss search
Glenurquhart have advertised for a new first team manager after boss Iain MacLeod stepped down.
Glenurquhart finished bottom of the Marine Harvest Premiership and will play National Division shinty next season. They still have one match remaining this season – away to Kyles Athletic this Saturday.
The Blairbeg side also needs a new second team manager to take over from Dave Stewart and are seeking to bolster their committee and off-field support.
2018 Annual Marine Harvest Shinty Awards
The 2018 Annual Marine Harvest Shinty Award winners were announced at a ceremony and dinner hosted by sponsors Marine Harvest at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, on Friday October 19.
The awards were handed out by Marine Harvest Communications Manager Ian Roberts.
Marine Harvest Coach of the Year – Paul John MacKintosh, Newtonmore.
Marine Harvest Player of the Year – Rory Kennedy, Newtonmore.
Marine Harvest Club of the Year – Newtonmore.
League coach awards
Marine Harvest Premiership Coach of the Year – Paul John MacKintosh, Newtonmore.
Marine Harvest National Division Coach of the Year – Mark MacPherson, Kilmallie.
Marine Harvest North Division 1 Coach of the Year – Orsten Gardner, Newtonmore.
Marine Harvest South Division 1 Coach of the Year – Fraser Williamson, Kyles Athletic.
Marine Harvest North Division 2 Coach of the Year – Darren Urquhart, Lovat.
Marine Harvest South Division 2 Coach of the Year – Ross MacDonald and Stuart Robertson, Strachur.
League player awards
Marine Harvest Premiership Player of the Year – Stuart MacDonald, Lovat.
Marine Harvest National Division Player of the Year – Liam MacDonald, Kilmallie.
Marine Harvest North Division 1 Player of the Year – Nick Dalgety, Glengarry.
Marine Harvest South Division 1 Player of the Year – Rupert Williamson, Kyles Athletic.
Marine Harvest North Division 2 Player of the Year – Raymond Rennie, Lovat.
Marine Harvest South Division 2 Player of the Year – Ian MacLennan, Strachur.
Women’s Camanachd Association Awards
WCA Marine Harvest National Division 1 Club of the Year – Badenoch & Strathspey.
WCA Marine Harvest North & South Divisions 2 Club of the Year – Glenurquhart.
WCA Marine Harvest Development Club of the Year – Ardnamurchan.
League coach awards
WCA Marine Harvest National Division 1 Coach of the Year – Scott Campbell, Badenoch & Strathspey.
WCA Marine Harvest North & South Division 2 Coach of the Year – Billy MacLean, Glenurquhart.
WCA Marine Harvest Development Coach of the Year – Brian Mutch, Inverness.
League player awards
WCA Marine Harvest National Division 1 Player of the Year – Kirsty Deans, Badenoch & Strathspey.
WCA Marine Harvest North Division 2 Player of the Year – Siobhan Thomson, Glenurquhart.
WCA Marine Harvest South Division 2 Player of the Year – Eilidh Cameron, Dunadd.
WCA Marine Harvest Service to Womens Shinty Award – Peter Gow.
WCA Marine Harvest Service to Womens Shinty Award – Jane Nicol, Badenoch & Strathspey.
WCA Marine Harvest Service to Womens Shinty Award – Catherine and Ewen Cameron, Glengarry.
Marine Harvest Youth Coach of the Year – John MacLeod and Willie MacDonald, Inverlochy.
U14 Player of the Year – Euan MacCormick, Beauly.
U17 Player of the Year – Lachie Shaw, Fort William.
U21 Player of the Year – Blair Morrison, Caberfeidh.
Donella Crawford Award for Youth and Schools – Drew McNeil and Matthew MacIver, Inverness.
Johnny ‘Ach’ MacRae Quaich for Referee of the Year – Iain Kennedy.
Emerging Referee of the Year – Graham Fisher.
William Paterson Salver Volunteer of the Year – Finlay and Alice MacRae.
Fair Play Award – One Team Club – Lewis Camanachd.
Fair Play Award – Two Team Club – Kinlochshiel.
Media Award – Alasdair MacPherson.
New shinty ambassadors selected
The names of the first Camanachd Association shinty ambassadors have been revealed.
Twelve high schools from across Scotland will participate in a pilot scheme to boost shinty participation.
The shinty ambassadors will come together three times a year to take part in training/reflection/evaluation workshops and it is hoped that with training delivered by professionals, and the overwhelming support received from schools, teachers and active schools co-ordinators around this programme, that hundreds of young people will have the opportunity to become involved within the participation and competition events shinty can provide.
With more than 60 applications of a high standard, selecting just two ambassadors per school was no easy task and the successful applicants and their schools for 2018/19 are as follows:
Ardnamurchan High School – Rachel Ford and Herbie Patterson; Glenurquhart High School – Jed Stoddart and Charlotte Graham; Inverness Royal Academy – Iain Hunter and Sam Stubbs; Kingussie High School – Katie Falconer and Calum Grover; Lochaber High School – Aiden Love and Jean Campbell; Lochgilphead High School – Iona MacCulloch and Campbell Watt; Oban High School – Blair MacFarlane and Daniel Sloss; Plockton High School – Alaina MacLennan and Duncan Matheson; Portree High School – Ross Gordon and Christina MacDonald; Rothesay Academy – Stewart Stirling and Thomas Morrison; Uddingston Grammar School – Connor Little and Jodie Thorpe; Woodmill/Inverkeithing High Schools – David McDougall and Catriona Chamberlain.