2018 shinty review of the season – part one

Oban Camanachd won the Scottish Seafarms Celtic Society Cup after an enthralling 2-0 win over Kyles Athletic at Taynuilt.

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As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the shinty stories making the news during 2018.

January 2018
Oban Camanachd mark the New Year
The Red & Blacks and the Whites drew 1-1 as players from Oban Camanachd, Lochside Rovers and Oban Camanachd’s U17s took the field in mixed teams to contest The John Collie Cup at Mossfield.

Lovat retain Lovat Cup
Lovat retained the Lovat Cup as four-goal Greg Matheson gave them a convincing 4-0 victory over Beauly at Braeview Park.
The match was originally scheduled for Lovat’s Balgate home, but a frozen pitch led to a venue switch down the road to Beauly’s ground.

Crossal & Co win John MacKinnon Sixes
Crossal & Co won the John MacKinnon Memorial Sixes, played at Portree High School’s astro pitch.
The event remembers Skye Camanachd vice president John MacKinnon who died following a tragic accident at work in December 2011.

Changing times
Kingussie announced John Gibson would be their first team manager for the 2018 season.
Col Glen confirmed Ronnie MacVicar had taken over as their boss.
Neil MacDonald was confirmed as the new Lochaber first team manager.
On the field, Neil MacVicar left Skye Camanachd to join Kyles Athletic, with the islanders now managed by John Macleod.
Aberdour and Glenorchy went on player recruitment drives.
Oban Celtic seconds
Oban Celtic made the ambitious decision to field two teams during the 2018 shinty season.
Former Oban Celtic player Alan Duffy and Les Kinvig will manage the newly formed Oban Celtic colts in a hugely positive move by the club.

Skye lift Johnstone
Rose Bowl
Skye Camanachd Ladies regained the Johnstone Rose Bowl at the Glengarry Indoor Tournament at the Nevis Centre, Fort William.
Skye A defeated Glengarry A in the semi-finals with Badenoch & Strathspey edging out Skye B.
This set up a repeat of the 2017 final and a Rhianna Kirk double and goals from Jenna Beaton and Lorna MacRae helped Skye to a 4-2 win.
Skye captain Lorna MacRae was presented with the Johnstone Rose Bowl, whilst Skye’s Caitlin MacLean was named player of the tournament.

February 2018
Travis Perkins national first shinty festivals
Inverlochy’s winning streak continued as they were double winners at the Travis Perkins National P5 and under and P7 and under first shinty festivals in Fort William.

Strathspey Ladies are champs
The final championship of the 2017 shinty season was eventually decided when Lochaber Ladies and Strathspey Ladies met to decide the Marine Harvest North Division 2 title. The play-off match came about after the sides finished the 2017 season level at the top of the table. A close first half finished goal-less but Strathspey’s Jessica Hart and Jade Longworth got the goals that made the difference, cancelling out Anna Berardelli’s effort for Lochaber, to clinch a 2-1 win. The win meant Strathspey were promoted to the Marine Harvest National Division 1 as champions.

March 2018
Portree High School A won the Donella Crawford Sixes at Ardnamurchan, going through the tournament without conceding a goal.
The islanders topped their league section before beating Ardnamurchan in the semi-final and tournament first-timers Culloden 2-0 in the final.

On the field action
The new shinty season got underway on March 3.

Marine Harvest Premiership
Kinlochshiel were the early pace-setters after beating Glenurquhart, Caberfeidh and Lovat. Kyles Athletic were second, but a mixed month saw them beat Kingussie and Glenurquhart either side of a draw with Caberfeidh and a loss to Lovat. Oban Camanachd opened with draws against Glenurquhart and Lovat, either side of a 1-0 defeat to Newtonmore at Mossfield.

Marine Harvest National Division
Oban Celtic made a good start to the season, beating Inverness and Strathglass either side of a draw with Inveraray to top the table a point ahead of Kilmallie and Glasgow Mid Argyll.
Marine Harvest North Division 1
The Newtonmore second team showed their early intent as four straight wins left them top, two points in front of Glengarry who also had a 100 per cent record from their three games.

Marine Harvest South Division 1
The Kyles Athletic seconds, Col Glen and Bute were all level on points at the top of the table at the end of the month.
A much-changed Lochside Rovers side started with a defeat to Bute, a draw with Ballachulish but ended the month with a win against Aberdour.

Marine Harvest North Division 2
The Caberfeidh colts finished March a point ahead of Lochcarron at the top.

Marine Harvest South Division 2
Strachur won both their opening fixtures against the Aberdour seconds and Glenorchy to top South 2.

cottages.com MacTavish Cup
Caberfeidh, Kinlochshiel, Lochaber, Lovat and Newtonmore all progressed in the MacTavish Cup.

Scottish Sea Foods Glasgow Celtic Cup
There was an opening round win for Bute at Oban Celtic’s expense.

April 2018
Ballachulish confirmed their new management team would be Lorne Brown and Morgan Smith, who took over from Donald Wilson.
On the field action
Marine Harvest Premiership
Despite dropping their first point of the season in a draw with Oban Camanachd, wins over Lochaber and Skye kept Kinlochshiel top of the pile. Kyles Athletic were just a couple of points behind with fourth placed Newtonmore suffering two defeats in the opening five matches. Oban Camanachd lost to Caberfeidh but beat Kingussie before earning a creditable 2-2 draw with 2017 champions Kinlochshiel in a match switched to the Bught Park.

Marine Harvest National Division
League wins over Strathglass and Oban Celtic took Kilmallie out in front in shinty’s second tier, with Fort William just a point behind following victories over Strathglass and Inverness.

Marine Harvest North Division 1
Six wins out of six had the Newtonmore seconds top of the table, with second placed Glengarry only losing one of their first five matches.

Marine Harvest South Division 1
The Kyles Athletic second team were now serious title contenders after maintaing a 100 per cent record after five games.

Marine Harvest North Division 2
It was tight at the top of North 2 as only a point separated Lovat reserves, Caberfeidh reserves, Lochcarron and Boleskine.
Marine Harvest South Division 2
Strachur held a single point advantage over Glenorchy at the top of the division.

Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Cup
The opening round of the Balliemore Cup went pretty much to form with Ballachulish the biggest winners, defeating Col Glen 7-0.
Sutherland Cup
Teams from Kingussie, Fort William, Lochaber, Lovat and Skye all had good second round wins.

May 2018
On the field action
Marine Harvest Premiership
Kinlochshiel stayed ahead of Lovat at the top of the table, but only on goal difference, after beating Kyles Athletic but losing to Newtonmore. Oban Camanachd put nine goals past Lochaber and drew with title hopefuls Kyles Athletic. Skye recorded their first league win, defeating Glenurquhart 3-2.

Marine Harvest National Division
A home win over Strathglass was enough to keep Kilmallie in top spot. Fort William sat just a point behind after overcoming Oban Celtic in their only league match in the month.

Marine Harvest North Division 1
The Newtonmore reserves stayed ahead of Glengarry by a couple of points, despite losing against the Fort William reserves. Glengarry had a game in hand.
Marine Harvest South Division 1
The Kyles Athletic seconds made it seven wins out of seven to lead second-placed Aberdour by four points. Bute were six points adrift in third, although they had a game in hand.

Marine Harvest North Division 2
The title race now seemed to be between Lovat reserves, Caberfeidh reserves and Lochcarron after Boleskine lost to Caberfeidh during the month.

Marine Harvest South Division 2
Strachur stayed just ahead of the Glasgow Mid Argyll colts and Glenorchy.

Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup
Beauly, Fort William, Inveraray, Kilmallie and Oban Celtic all made it through to the Scottish second round.

Artemis Macaulay Cup
Kinlochshiel beat Newton-more 2-1 in their first round tie, with both Oban teams also progressing.

cottages.com MacTavish Cup
Kinlochshiel and Newton-more won through to the MacTavish Cup Final. Kinlochshiel defeated Caberfeidh 7-2 but the other tie was closer as Newtonmore edged out Lovat 1-0.

Scottish Sea Foods Glasgow Celtic
Society Cup
Oban Camanachd and Kyles Athletic reached the final. Goals from youngsters Daniel MacVicar and Daniel MacCuish gave Oban Camanachd a 2-0 semi-final win over Inveraray, whilst Colin MacDonald scored twice as Kyles Athletic beat Glasgow Mid Argyll 4-2 in the other last four tie.

Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Cup
Beauly, Fort William, Glasgow Mid Argyll and Kilmallie enjoyed quarter final victories in shinty’s intermediate competition.

Marine Harvest National Division 1
Skye recorded a crucial 3-1 win at Badenoch & Strathspey as the title favourites clashed for the first time this season.

June 2018
Fort William’s U17s win MacTavish
Fort William’s U17s won the MacTavish Juvenile Cup, beating Kingussie’s U17s 2-1 in the final at the Bught Park. Michael Slimon gave Kingussie the lead on 20 minutes, but Lewis Clark levelled a couple of minutes later. Victor Smith scored the goal that made the difference on 43 minutes and Fort William captain Lewis Clark lifted the trophy.
Fort William’s Lachie Shaw won the Sandy MacKay medal for man of the match.

Skye’s U17s win Strathdearn Sixes
Skye Camanachd’s U17s were the winners at the Strathdearn Sixes at the Bught Park, Inverness. Skye beat Glenurquhart U17 3-0 in the final of this round-robin tournament.
On the field action
Marine Harvest Premiership
There were only three points between leaders Kinlochshiel and fourth-placed Kyles Athletic as the title race passed the half-way stage. Second-placed Newtonmore won all of the matches during the month.

Marine Harvest National Division
Kilmallie remained a point ahead of Fort William, winning their only league match during the month, and they now had a game in hand.

Marine Harvest North Division 1
The Newtonmore reserves remained two points ahead of Glengarry who still had a game in hand.

Marine Harvest South Division 1
The Kyles seconds dropped their first points of the season with draws against Aberdour and the Inveraray seconds but they finished the month a point ahead of Aberdour with a game in hand.

Marine Harvest
Division 2
The Lovat seconds held a one point advantage over Lochcarron at the top. The Caberfeidh colts were three points off the lead but had two games in hand.

Marine Harvest South Division 2
Glasgow Mid Argyll seconds took over from Strachur at the top. Oban Celtic’s second team won their first match of the season, beating their Aberdour counter-parts 3-1.

Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup
Kinlochshiel extinguished Oban Camanachd’s hopes of a Scottish Cup run with a 4-1 win at Kirkton. Newtonmore edged past Lochaber 1-0 whilst Fort William defeated Oban Celtic 3-2 with Lachie Shaw getting the winner with his second goal of the game. It took a replay before Kilmallie got by Inveraray.

Artemis Macaulay Cup
Kinlochshiel, Kyles Athletic, Lovat and Oban Camanachd reached the last four of the Artemis Macaulay Cup.

cottages.com MacTavish Cup
Newtonmore won the cottages.com MacTavish Cup for a record 42nd time after beating Kinlochshiel 2-1 in the final. Keith MacRae gave Kinlochshiel the lead. A shot from Evan Menzies then deflected into the net off Kinlochshiel defender Finlay MacRae’s caman. The winning goal came nine minutes after the restart when Iain Robinson slotted home.

Scottish Sea Farms Glasgow Celtic
Society Cup
Oban Camanachd beat Kyles Athletic 2-0 to win the Scottish Sea Foods Glasgow Celtic Society Cup for the first time since 2005. Andrew MacCuish scored on 12 and 33 minutes to leave the Oban side in cont rol. Oban Camanachd started well, won more of the 50-50 balls, defended as if their lives depended on it and had a match winner in Andrew MacCuish. The Donald J MacNiven medal for man of the match went to young Oban Camanachd defender Daniel Sloss who was again excellent. Captain Daniel Cameron stepped forward to receive the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup from sponsors Scottish Sea Farms.

Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Cup
Kilmallie and Glasgow Mid Argyll will contest the Balliemore Cup Final after they both won their last-four ties. Kilmallie beat Beauly 9-0 in their semi, with Liam MacDonald scoring seven times. GMA defeated Fort William on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Marine Harvest National Division 1
Skye led the division on goal difference and had a game in hand over second placed Badenoch & Strathspey.

Marine Harvest Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup
Badenoch & Strathspey and Skye Camanachd won through to women’s shinty’s main event, the Marine Harvest Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final. Badenoch notched a 2-0 win over Lochaber, whilst Skye had a walk-over after Glasgow Mid Argyll were unable to fulfil their semi-final tie.