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cottages.com MacTavish Cup – final
Newtonmore won the cottages.com MacTavish Cup for the fourth successive season after beating Glenurquhart 3-0 in the final at the Bught Park, Inverness.
There was a minute’s silence ahead of throw-up as the shinty community remembered Ken Thomson, former president of the Camanachd Association, who died the previous day. Whilst his club association was mainly with Aberdeen University and Strathglass, Ken Thomson made a major contribution to the game of shinty as Camanachd Association president between 1990 and 1994, coinciding with the Camanachd Association’s centenary year in 1993.
Glenurquhart’s Connor Golabek and Ewan Brady forced good Kenny Ross saves either side of Stuart MacKintosh doing well to thwart Glen MacKintosh’s low effort.
Newtonmore’s Conor Jones was forced off with a facial cut so Jamie Robinson took over in midfield.
Efforts from Evan Menzies, Ewan Brady and Oliver Black failed to break the deadlock with Glenurquhart’s Connor Golabek having to come off with what appeared to be a hamstring problem. James MacPherson replaced him.
The first half ended scoreless but Newtonmore started to dominate in the second half and Evan Menzies had an effort ruled out for offside before Iain Robinson broke the deadlock on 63 minutes. Michael Russell’s corner from the left was knocked down by Evan Menzies into the path of Iain Robinson who crashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
Newtonmore sealed the win late in the match. Michael Russell and Glen MacKintosh combined, before Iain Robinson put Evan Menzies through on goal and he slotted the ball low past advancing keeper Stuart MacKintosh from the edge of the ‘D’ to make it 2-0 with 85 minutes gone.
Then, in stoppage time, Iain Robinson turned Michael Russell’s corner from the right to Glen MacKintosh. MacKintosh’s shot was saved with his feet by Stuart MacKintosh but Evan Menzies was quickly in to stroke the rebound home. Newtonmore’s Iain Robinson was named man of the match and Newtonmore captain Evan Menzies came forward to accept the MacTavish Cup from Luke Smith representing sponsors cottages.com.
Artemis Macaulay Cup
– quarter finals
Oban Camanachd 2
Kyles Athletic 0
Andrew MacCuish scored a goal in each half as Oban Camanachd reached the Artemis Macaulay Cup semi finals with a 2-0 win over Kyles Athletic at Mossfield.
The tie was brought forward to Wednesday June 12 at Kyles Athletic’s request as their players had a pre-planned event on the Saturday and Oban Camanachd’s largest crowd of the season gathered ahead of the 7pm throw-up.
Oban Camanachd, who opened playing toward the Oban end of the ground with a breeze in their favour, started well.
The game’s first real chance came inside the first five minutes when Lorne Dickie played a great diagonal ball from the right wing over the top to Scott MacMillan whose fierce drive was on target. But Kyles’ keeper John Whyte turned the ball round the post.
It was a feisty start to the game and the tackles flew in.
Daniel Cameron was next to test the visiting keeper. The Oban Camanachd talisman caught the ball well, but his shot from the penalty spot went straight at Whyte who stopped the ball with his stick before clearing.
Kyles responded and Rupert Williamson found George Thomson with a diagonal ball but his effort went just over the top.
John Whyte foiled Scott MacMillan for a second time, saving with his foot at the expense of a corner, after the Oban wing centre had been set up by Aidan MacIntyre.
Kyles Athletic’s Robbie MacLeod was warned by referee Deek Cameron for a second heavy challenge on Daniel Sloss, with the young defender fortunate he was wearing a protective helmet.
Oban Camanachd gave the home support something to cheer about on 39 minutes. Aidan MacIntyre played in a corner but as Kyles defender Callum Miller tried to clear, Daniel MacVicar nipped in to win the ball and found Andrew MacCuish, whose shot ripped into the roof of the net, giving the keeper no chance.
The hosts took their 1-0 advantage into the break but they made a sluggish start to the second half.
Kyles moved Paul MacArthur to full forward and Oban keeper Cameron Sutherland had to be alert to stop MacArthur’s rasping shot down the middle before clearing.
After so much effort in the first half, the standard of hitting dropped and some tired passing crept into the game.
Oban Camanachd switched Daniel Cameron and Andrew MacCuish, with Cameron’s free-running asking different questions of full back Callum Miller.
The Oban side doubled their lead on 77 minutes. Garry Lord played the ball to Daniel MacCuish who took a neat touch before releasing a diagonal ball. Daniel Cameron did well to take possession and his persistence paid off as he first beat Callum Miller and then got by keeper John Whyte, who had come off his line. Cameron was at too tight an angle to shoot but spotted Andrew MacCuish in space at the front of the ‘D’ and MacCuish turned the cut-back into the empty goal to make it 2-0.
Daniel Cameron almost added a third a couple of minutes later when his low snapshot deceived keeper Whyte and came off the face of the post but Andrew King got in quickly to clear the danger. Kyles were reduced to 11 players on 81 minutes. A looping ball from midfield dropped into the danger area and Cammy Sutherland came out to palm the ball down. Robbie MacLeod rushed in and his swing caught the keeper around the waist with both players ending up in the net. Referee Deek Cameron flashed a red card at the Kyles man which could prove costly as a two-match suspension would see MacLeod miss the Mowi Premiership tussle between the sides at Mossfield on Saturday June 22 and the Scottish Sea Farms Glasgow Celtic Society Cup Final between the teams a week later.
With three minutes remaining, Daniel MacCuish suffered an accidental blow to the hand and was replaced by Ross Campbell. A trip to the hospital followed where MacCuish learned he needed an operation on a dislocated and broken thumb.
He not only now faces a spell on the sidelines but also missed a holiday abroad as he and some of his team mates looked to take advantage of a rare weekend without shinty.
Oban Camanachd will now play Glasgow Mid Argyll in the Artemis Macaulay Cup semi finals with the tie taking place at Mossfield. It is a trophy that is important to the people of Oban. Camanachd have not featured in a Macaulay Cup final since 2012 and last lifted the trophy in 1997.
Speaking after the tie, Oban Camanachd assistant manager Kenny Wotherspoon said: ‘It was one of these nights where the players did everything Stephen [Sloss] and I asked of them. They were spot on and executed all the things we had worked on. Kyles had only suffered one defeat this season ahead of this game so it was a good night at the office for us. We’ll now let the players rest up ahead of two more big games against Kyles. The only downside was the injury to Daniel MacCuish. He has been doing well for us so it’s a blow to be without him.’
Glasgow Mid Argyll 5
Glasgow Mid Argyll also reached the semi finals by beating Bute 5-0 at the Meadows.
Kilmallie collected a valuable point as they drew 2-2 with title hopefuls Lovat in their 1pm throw-up at Balgate.
Kilmallie took the lead on four minutes. The ball was played up the middle to Daniel Stewart who found Craig MacIsaac on the wing. MacIsaac tussled with Graeme MacMillan before shooting low into the net from a tight angle.
Lovat fought back and Lorne MacKay won possession at wing centre and showed great awareness to find Fraser Heath in space in the centre. Heath’s long, high ball forward was touched on by Marc MacLachlan to Greg Matheson in space and his daisy-cutter beat Kilmallie keeper Shane Gillies on his left side to make it 1-1 with 13 minutes gone.
Kilmallie regained the lead five minutes before the break. The ball was knocked up to Daniel Stewart who jockeyed with Daniel Grieve before sending a waist-high shot past Stuart MacDonald in the Lovat goal.
Kilmallie were worth their interval lead, but Lovat made changes at the break with Danny Kelly going from defence to wing centre, Graeme MacMillan moving from defence to attack and Thomas Fraser and Fraser Heath dropping into defence.
Lovat lost Greg Matheson through injury five minutes into the second half with his brother Jamie Matheson coming on.
The hosts drew level for a second time on 68 minutes. Marc MacLachlan collected the ball near the corner on the Lovat left and his cross went over the Kilmallie defence where an unmarked Lewis Tawse ran in to fire the ball low into the net to make it 2-2.
Kilmallie made their only change on 73 minutes when Andrew Mcalister replaced Iain MacIntyre. Liam MacDonald pushed forward with Mcalister going to wing centre as the visitors attempted to win the the game.
However, it was Lovat who finished strongly and they came close to a winner when Jamie Matheson showed great skill to get by his marker, playing a one-two with Lewis Tawse, but his shot skimmed the post.
Kilmallie were worthy of their point and now move out of the relegation zone on goal difference at Lochaber’s expense having played a game fewer.
Kinlochshiel go third in shinty’s top flight after defeating Lochaber 3-1 at Spean Bridge.
Lochaber’s Ryan Johnstone was suspended, whilst Scott Kennedy continued in goal for Kinlochshiel.
Referee Calum Girvan awarded the sides a penalty apiece with Lachlan Campbell converting to put Lochaber ahead on 10 minutes and Keith MacRae doing likewise to level for Kinlochshiel on the half-hour.
Keith MacRae went on to make the difference, scoring on 43 and 55 minutes to complete his hat-trick and give Kinlochshiel both points.
Caberfeidh move three points clear of the relegation zone after beating Inveraray 3-1 at the Winterton.
Mowi National Division
Skye Camanachd 2
Fort William 5
League leaders Fort William made it seven successive league wins, beating third- placed Skye Camanachd 5-2 at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree.
Both teams had chances and it could easily have been 2-2 before Arran MacPhee gave Fort William the lead on 18 minutes. Sean Cruickshank played the ball in from the left and it was flicked on to Arran MacPhee who initially looked to shoot on his left side before taking the ball to his right side and his low shot went by keeper Ryan Morrison’s outstretched left foot.
Fort William doubled their lead on 27 minutes. Jack Fraser’s corner form the left came into the ‘D’ where Arran MacPhee’s initial effort was blocked by Ryan Morrison but Lewis Clark was quickly in to flick the rebound into the net from close range.
Arran MacPhee got his second a minute before half-time with a fizzing shot from right of centre after Jack Fraser had released Calum Shepherd down the Fort William left.
The goal gave Fort William a 3-0 interval lead and left Skye with an uphill challenge.
Jordan Murchison pulled a goal back for Skye a minute into the second half. Murchison took a ball forward from John Gillies and although he saw his initial effort blocked, he took a touch to control the rebound before scoring.
Murchison gave Skye hope when he got his second to make it 3-2 following a nice passing move on 55 minutes. Iain Nicolson won possession and found Ross Gordon, who played in John Gillies. Gillies pushed forward before delivering the ball to Jordan Murchison on his left and Murchison took a touch to move the ball to his side before finishing well.
Fort William extinguished any thoughts of a Skye comeback on 65 minutes when Lachie Shaw scored the goal of the match. Lewis Morrison played a ball from the left which substitute Victor Smith flicked on. Shaw caught the dropping ball perfectly and hammered it into the roof of the net.
Arran MacPhee rounded off the win when he converted a stoppage time penalty which was blasted over the keeper’s shoulder.
Fort William manager Victor Smith spoke immediately after the final whistle: ‘We had a good feeling about this game as we had good training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday during the week and that was reflected in our play today.’
When asked if his side were ready for premiership shinty, Smith said: ‘We have to get there first. I watched a match between Oban Camanachd and Kyles Athletic during the week and I was very impressed with Oban Camanachd’s fitness, attitude and their all-round play and that is what we are aiming for.’
Oban Celtic 0
Beauly were 3-0 winners against Oban Celtic in their 1pm throw-up at Braeview Park.
Beauly got off to the perfect start on five minutes when Conor Ross floated a ball into the Oban defensive area. Sean Stewart did well to get past his marker before firing a 15 yard shot past keeper Iain MacFarlane.
Oban Celtic had Ally McKerracher back in their side and he came close to levelling on nine minutes but his effort went wide.
From the goal-hit, the ball found Conor Ross in the centre and he picked out Sean Stewart who ran into the ‘D’ where a clumsy challenge saw him go down.
The goal judge awarded a corner but was over-ruled by referee John Angus Gillies who pointed to the spot and Jack MacDonald crashed the ball high into the net to make it 2-0 with 20 minutes on the clock.
The second half was just three minutes old when Beauly added a third. Angus Renwick sent a high ball looping into the visiting defence and when Jack MacDonald’s shot wasn’t cleared, Calum Morrison knocked the ball over the line from a yard out.
Oban Celtic tried hard to get back into the game but Beauly saw the match out.
Beauly keeper MacKay Murray had a good game and at times filled-in as if he was still playing at full back. Angus Renwick was commanding at buckshee back, whilst Jack MacDonald was always a handful for the Oban defence.
Oban Celtic had good performances from George MacMillan, young Daniel MacMillan and the effective Ally McKerracher.
Speaking afterwards, Oban Celtic assistant manager Les Kinvig said: ‘We were six key players short but were still able to field a good side which we were fairly confident could take something from the game. Obviously, we never did that so we are disappointed.
‘I’m not one for criticising referees but we didn’t get much our way, especially in the first half. We had to re-focus the boys at half-time and they did well in the second half.’
Bullough Cup – quarter finals
Lochside Rovers 6
English SA 2
Bullough Cup holders Lochside Rovers reached the semi-finals by beating the English Shinty Association (ESA) 6-2 at Ganavan.
Lochside dominated possession and were denied by spectacular goalkeeping.
As Oban Camanachd were without a fixture, assistant manager Kenny Wotherspoon made his first Lochside appearance in 13 years, coming on after early injuries to Ross Campbell and Aaron McKay. And he had a great game, scoring a hat-trick.
The ESA showed they were not just there to make up the numbers when James Livingston put them ahead on 12 minutes, punishing the Lochside defence for not clearing their lines, although the goal did come against the run of play.
Kenny Wotherspoon released Lewis Buchanan with a through-ball on 17 minutes though and Buchanan drew Lochside level with a great strike.
Wotherspoon gave Lochside some breathing space with left hand drives on 29 and 37 minutes to make it 3-1.
The ESA proved to be stuffy opponents though and James Livingston made things interesting when he cut Lochside’s lead to 3-2 on 40 minutes.
Kenny Wotherspoon completed his hat-trick on 51 minutes when, following a great solo run, he produced a neat finish, beating the keeper on his right side.
Michael MacQueen scored a peach of a goal with some superb one-touch shinty on 69 minutes. Lewis Buchanan played the ball up the line to Kenny Wotherspoon. Wotherspoon got a call from Michael MacQueen who was around the penalty spot and MacQueen drilled Wotherspoon’s cut-back home on the half-volley to make it 5-2.
Lewis Buchanan rounded off the scoring 10 minutes from time with another good shot from distance.
Lochside manager Brian MacCallum said: ‘The game was played in good spirits and the dedication shown by the ESA was amazing. Some of the lads travelled for 15 hours to play in the game. We have a big match this week against the Newtonmore seconds at Ballachulish in the Sutherland Cup semi finals. Hopefully we will have a full squad available if the lads manage to shake off injuries.’
Elsewhere, the Glasgow Mid Argyll seconds had to battle all the way to beat the Inveraray seconds 3-2 at Yoker.
Glenorchy were given a walk-over when the Aberdour seconds were unable to play their tie and with Forces side SCOTS Camanachd unable to fulfil their tie against the Kyles Athletic reserves, the Tighnabruaich side progressed to the last four of the competition where they will face Lochside Rovers in next month’s semi finals.
Mowi North Division 1
Fort William 1
League leaders Glengarry beat third-placed Fort William colts 3-1 at An Aird.
Raymond Robertson on 10 minutes and Matthew Ross on 25 minutes had Glengarry 2-0 ahead at half-time.
Nick Dalgety added a third a minute into the second half with Greig Kelly giving Fort William some consolation on the hour.
Referee Robert Baxter sent off a player from each team.
Glengarry are now two points ahead of second-placed Lovat colts with both sides having played ten matches.
Elsewhere in the division, Skye won their second team derby against Kinlochshiel 4-0 at Kirkton and Aberdeen University moved off the bottom of the table after overcoming the Caberfeidh seconds 3-1 at Castle Leod.
Mowi South Division 1
Mowi South Division 1 pace-setters Aberdour maintained their impressive run this season, beating Taynuilt 5-1 at Silversands to clinch their ninth successive league victory. David McDougall found space to give Aberdour the lead on eight minutes but Taynuilt shocked their hosts by drawing level through Craig MacIntyre on 33 minutes.
Both sides were reduced to 11 players shortly after when Aberdour’s Alex Mitchell and Taynuilt’s David Campbell were sent off.
Angus Thorburn restored Aberdour’s lead from the penalty spot on 38 minutes and the hosts pulled away in the second half.
David McDougall got his second to make it 3-1 on 54 minutes, whilst David MacKenzie added a fourth with 15 minutes remaining despite Taynuilt having legitimate claims for a ‘kick’ in the lead up to the goal.
Angus Thorburn got his second on 80 minutes as Aberdour continue their title push.
Elsewhere, second-placed Col Glen continued their good recent form by beating Ballachulish 4-2 at Glendaruel and the Kyles Athletic second team were 5-3 winners against Tayforth at Peffermill.
Mowi Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup – semi finals
Holders Badenoch are comfortably through to the Mowi Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final after beating Strathspey 16-0 at the Eilan.
Kirsty Deans scored seven times, Zoe Reid found the net on five occasions, Rhona McIntyre bagged a brace and Rona Stewart and Megan Ralph got the others.
Skye Camanachd 10
Skye Camanachd Ladies won through, beating Lochaber Ladies 10-0 at Balgate.
Lorna MacRae netted five times, Sarah Corrigall grabbed a hat-trick and Jenna Beaton and Caitlin MacLean got the others.