Shinty round-up

The victorious Kingussie team. Oban Camanachd v Kingussie in the Artemis MacAulay Cup Final. The game was played at Mossfield, Oban.

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Artemis Macaulay Cup Final

Kingussie 3
Oban Camanachd 2

Kingussie lifted the Artemis Macaulay Cup, their first national success since 2014, after a 3-2 victory over Oban Camanachd at Mossfield.

The Macaulay Final is one of shinty’s main events and is particularly important to the town of Oban. The finals have been high-scoring affairs in recent years, with the last ten clashes averaging almost six goals per game, so there was plenty to look forward to.

Oban Camanachd were after their first Macaulay success since 1995, whilst Kingussie last lifted the trophy in 2010.

Oban Camanachd manager Stephen Sloss was without Willie Neilson who faces a spell on the sidelines after dislocating a knee in the previous week’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup win over Kyles Athletic. Youngster Ross Campbell was added to the bench, whilst the starting 12 remained unchanged.

Kingussie boss John Gibson has had consistency in selection in recent weeks. The weather ruled out Kingussie’s meeting with Kinlochshiel the previous weekend, with Gibson also naming an unchanged staring 12 from the one that drew with Newtonmore a fortnight earlier.

It had been wet in the days in the lead up to the final but Iain Hay and his ground staff had the Mossfield pitch in great condition on a blustery day.

Kingussie won the toss and opted to play into a strong wind in the first half.
Whilst Kingussie attacked from the throw-up, Oban Camanachd had the first effort on goal with unsighted Kingussie keeper Rory MacGregor producing a fine reaction save to deny Lorne Dickie.

Kingussie responded and Savio Genini found Liam Borthwick on the right, but his effort went narrowly wide.

James Falconer fired over when a Ruaridh Anderson strike broke into his path whilst, at the other end, an Andrew MacCuish snap-shot from the front post wasn’t far away.

Keeper MacGregor did well again to keep out Scott MacMillan’s bouncing half-volley from a Keith MacMillan hit-in on the right as he must have seen the ball late.

The opening goal seemed close and it came for Kingussie on 19 minutes. Savio Genini took a ball forward from James Falconer and made enough space to turn and shoot low into the net to make it 1-0.

The game was very open and Daniel Cameron shot over on his back-hand before Savio Genini took a pass from Ruaridh Anderson but was thwarted as Oban Camanachd keeper Cameron Sutherland stretched to his right, saving well with his foot.

Oban Camanachd had worked hard to get to the final and they drew level on 23 minutes. Cameron Sutherland’s huge goal-hit fell for Scott MacMillan on the left. MacMillan steadied himself before shooting from distance as Rory MacKeachan dived in to challenge and the ball took the slightest deflection as it went low into the net to make it 1-1.

Sutherland saved with his feet, again from Genini, before Oban Camanachd took the lead on 28 minutes. The goal came from Scott MacMillan’s hit-in on the left and it was another strike from distance, this time from skipper Daniel Cameron, which beat the keeper.

Oban Camanachd’s Daniel Sloss closes in on Kingussie’s James Falconer during last Saturday’s Macaulay Cup final.
Photograph: Stephen Lawson.

Andrew MacCuish saw his shot saved as the final reached the half-hour mark before he shot wide following a corner on the right.

It took a brilliant Cameron Sutherland save, parrying the ball with his club to his left, to keep out a fierce James Falconer shot following a short free-hit from Savio Genini on the left.

The rain came pouring down as the final reached the final 10 minutes of the first half and Robert Mabon was lucky referee Archie Ritchie didn’t spot a trip on Andrew MacCuish as the Oban Camanachd broke forward.

Savio Genini had the ball in the net five minutes before the break but the referee’s whistle had gone just a second earlier with Daniel Madej penalised for his challenge on the lively Kingussie full forward meaning Oban Camanachd took their 2-1 lead into the break.

The wind had dropped for the start of the second half as Kingussie brought Roddy Young on in attack in favour of Liam Borthwick.

Lorne Dickie’s ball from midfield into the ‘D’ caused panic in the Kingussie defence but Andrew MacCuish’s volley, after keeper MacGregor had played the ball away, went over the bar.

Oban Camanachd made their first change with Aidan MacIntyre coming on for Keith MacMillan in midfield just short of the hour mark.
Scott MacMillan was fortunate to escape with only a booking a couple of minutes later for coming down with both feet on Kingussie’s James Falconer as the players tangled on the right. Kingussie’s Ryan MacWilliam blazed wide from the resultant free-hit.

Kingussie continued to press and Daniel Sloss did well to stretch high and deflect James Falconer’s shot, which was on target, away for a corner.
Oban broke forward and a surging Daniel MacCuish run created a half-chance for Andrew MacCuish at the edge of the ‘D’ but he couldn’t get the ball under control.

It was now Kingussie’s turn to counter and Ruaridh Anderson won a challenge and got away from Garry Lord before playing a perfectly-weighted pass to the right to Falconer who allowed the ball to run across his body before firing a shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net to make it 2-2 with 64 minutes on the clock.

Cameron Sutherland then saved with his feet from Savio Genini’s back-hand effort following a Kingussie set-piece.

With 20 minutes to go, a great tackle from Scott MacMillan snuffed out a Kingussie chance with Roddy Young firing the loose ball over.
Kingussie were creating a number of set-piece opportunities and, from another such move, Cameron Sutherland saved with his chest from Ruaridh Anderson’s shot from wide on the right.

Kingussie regained the lead on 77 minutes. An attempted clearance was charged down by Savio Genini on the Kingussie left and a great ball across goal from Roddy Young was left by James Falconer and found Ruaridh Anderson racing wide on the right. Anderson still had plenty to do, but he forced a blistering shot between the keeper and his left post to make it 3-2. It was a great goal with all four forwards involved.

Keith MacMillan returned to the fray for Daniel MacVicar and Oban Camanachd needed a goal.

Kingussie’s attacking play was a delight to watch and Roddy Young broke away from his marker and raced through on goal but Cameron Sutherland came off his line to narrow the angle and Young wasn’t able to get a shot on target.

Kingussie had their tails up and Ruaridh Anderson’s ball came across to Ryan MacWilliam but he couldn’t finish it off from the edge of the ‘D’ with Scott MacMillan challenging.

There was an exchange of words on the touchline between Kingussie boss John Gibson and Scott MacMillan, with Gibson still unhappy with MacMillan’s earlier involvement in the clash with James Falconer.

With six minutes remaining, Oban Camanachd made two more switches, Gary McKerracher for Daniel MacVicar and Daniel MacCuish for Scott MacMillan, with the latter suffering from cramp. Rory MacGregor came off his line to foil a late Oban Camanachd attack but the Oban side kept pressing.

The margins can be fine on such occasions and, as the final moved into stoppage time, Daniel Cameron collected a hit-in from the left and turned his man before unleashing a glorious drive which cannoned off the inside of the post.

James Falconer came off and Liam Borthwick went back on as Kingussie saw out the closing stages to emerge victorious.

This was a good final and whilst it ultimately ended in disappointment for Oban Camanachd, they have plenty to play for this season. Daniel Sloss and Daniel Madej, particularly in the second half, were excellent in defence, whilst a lot of good play came from Keith MacMillan on the right.

The man of the match accolade went to Kingussie attacker James Falconer who was well supported in the forward line by Savio Genini and Ruaridh Anderson, whilst Roddy Young’s introduction injected something extra at just the right time.

Kingussie captain Robert Mabon stepped forward to collect the Artemis Macaulay Cup and silver mounted caman, presented by Councillor Roddy McCuish.

Kingussie captain Robert Mabon with the Macaulay Cup.
Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

Speaking after the event, Macaulay Association secretary David Hamilton said: ‘I would like to thank all the Macaulay committee members, past and present, the ladies at the gate and teas and numerous volunteers in the car park and around the ground for their help last Saturday which made the event run so well, and the Argyllshire Gathering Halls for their superb reception at night.

‘Special mention goes to the ground staff who got the pitches in such good condition, despite adverse weather.

‘Congratulations to Kingussie who won the Macaulay Cup and to Lochaber High School who won the inaugural Macaulay Youth Cup.’

Next up for Oban Camanachd is a trip to Caberfeidh, the first of four successive away league matches for the side with two scheduled before the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final against Newtonmore on Saturday September 14 and two immediately afterwards.

Mowi Premiership

Kilmallie 0
Lovat 2

Lovat go top of the Mowi Premiership after beating Kilmallie 2-0 at Canal Parks.

Kilmallie’s Martin Stewart began a two-match suspension with the hosts also missing keeper Shane Gillies, Aaron Sandison, Lewis Birrell, Jordan MacPhee and Ryan Stewart. Kevin Toye started between the sticks.
Daniel Grieve and Lorne MacKay returned for Lovat, but Martin Mainland remained on their injury list.

It was a wet day in Caol with a wind coming across the pitch.

The hosts almost opened the scoring on two minutes with a Daniel Stewart shot from the left which came back off the post.

Kilmallie had to make a change on 20 minutes when they lost Stephen McAlister with a head knock.

Iain MacIntyre took over in the forward line with Calum MacDougall joining the midfield at wing centre and Liam Cameron moving to full centre.

Lovat took the lead on 31 minutes when a ball into the danger area held up on the wet surface and Lewis Tawse won the race for possession as he stretched in one-handed, on his back-hand, to steer the ball past keeper Kevin Toye.

It took a bit of work on the pitch at half-time to allow the game to continue although the weather improved slightly in the second half.

Cammy MacMillan came off the Lovat bench on 58 minutes to replace full forward Lorne MacKay who had a back problem and it only took MacMillan three minutes to make his mark with a terrific goal.

Lewis Bryson held the ball up before playing it right out into the corner where Greg Matheson had time to look up and pick out Fraser Heath on the far side. Heath played in Lewis Tawse who touched the ball by a defender before finding Cammy MacMillan who calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner, to the keeper’s right, for his first senior goal.

Kilmallie introduced Michael Rodger and Bryan MacKay on 67 minutes to try and get back into the game and they played at a good pace, having more than their fair share of pressure and forcing Lovat keeper Stuart MacDonald into two fantastic saves. First, midway through the second half, MacDonald turned away a Liam MacDonald shot destined for the top corner of the net.

Then, near the end, Michael Rodger ran in on goal doing keepy-uppys and the ball was flicked over MacDonald’s head but he leapt to tip it over the bar.
Innes Blackhall was best for Kilmallie, with Callum Cruden tireless for Lovat. Lovat’s Danny Kelly also did well against Liam MacDonald.

The win means Lovat take top spot from Kingussie on goal difference but they have played three games more than Kingussie and Newtonmore who are a point behind in third place.

Kyles Athletic and Oban Camanachd are still in the mix in what is shaping up to be an exciting end to the season. Kilmallie remain two points above the relegation zone with a home match against Kingussie and a trip to Kyles Athletic to come.

Kilmallie’s Daniel Stewart has a shot at Lovat’s goal during their Mowi Premiership match which Lovat won 2-0. Photograph: Abrightside Photography.

Kyles Athletic 4
Lochaber 3

Scott MacDonald’s goal 20 seconds from the final whistle gave Kyles Athletic a 4-3 win over Lochaber in their 1pm throw-up Tighnabruaich.
Both sides were desperate for the points as Kyles are very much in the title race and Lochaber are battling to beat the drop.

Lochaber Ladies skipper Kirsty Delaney made her debut at this level and played for 85 minutes before being withdrawn.

Lochaber took the lead through Danny Delany but Kyles levelled through a Ross MacRae volley from the edge of the ‘D’.

Ben Delaney restored Lochaber’s lead but Ross MacRae netted again, this time scoring with a tap-in after Roddy Macdonald tackled keeper Callum MacDonald.

Lochaber battled all the way and Danny Delaney got his second to put them into the lead for a third time but substitute Conor Kennedy, who had only been on the field for less than 10 minutes, gathered a lay-off from Roddy Macdonald and, from around the left side of the penalty spot, he put the ball in the bottom corner of the net, out-with the keeper’s reach and it was now 3-3. There was late drama as Scott MacDonald grabbed an injury-time winner to make it 4-3 which means Kyles go fifth with games in hand on the teams above them.

Newtonmore 7
Caberfeidh 2

Newtonmore made their game in hand on Kingussie count, beating Caberfeidh 7-2 at the Eilan.

Caberfeidh got off to a great start as Craig Morrison continued his excellent scoring record, netting in the opening minute.

Morrison almost made it 2-0 before Newtonmore came storming back and Fraser MacKintosh on 13 minutes and Iain Robinson a couple of minutes later turned the match their way.

Kevin Bartlett made it 2-2 on 32 minutes but when Evan Menzies put Newtonmore back in front on 39 minutes, they never looked back with Drew MacDonald’s effort on 41 minutes making it 4-2 at the break.

Iain Robinson completed his hat-trick with early second half goals on 46 and 48 minutes and Evan Menzies got his second on 72 minutes.

Mowi National Division

Strathglass 2
Fort William 5

Champions Fort William are just one win away from completing their league programme with a 100 per cent record but they had to come from two goals down before beating Strathglass 5-2 in their 1pm throw-up at Cannich.

Fort William were not their usual clinical selves in front of goal in the first half with Arran MacPhee failing to find the target and Jack Fraser finding good positions but unable to trouble the keeper.

Lewis Morrison went through on goal but was unable to connect with the ball and the chance was gone.

Strathglass made their first serious attack on 13 minutes and they made it count. Ronan Melens struck a speculative ball into the goal area which wasn’t dealt with and the ball was collected by Donald Fraser, who more regularly plays full back, and he touched it past his marker before giving Penri Jones the simplest of tasks to tap the ball into the empty net.

The home side’s next clear-cut chance came on 34 minutes when another ball floated into the Fort William defence, this time by Steven Hyslop, wasn’t cleared and Donald Fraser’s deft touch found an unmarked Scott Douglas on the left and he slammed the ball past the keeper to make it 2-0.
With all their dominance, Fort William created few genuine first half chances and they looked frustrated going into the break.

Fort William boss Victor Smith switched Arran MacPhee to buckshee forward with Jack Fraser going to full forward and Padraig McNeil came on for Lewis Morrison.

Fort William now looked more menacing and pulled a goal back on 57 minutes. Sean Cruickshank played in a hit-in from the right, finding Arran MacPhee near the ‘D’. MacPhee didn’t catch the ball cleanly but it bobbled between keeper Ally MacAdams and the post to make it 2-1.

Fort William drew level on 62 minutes with the goal coming from a defensive error. Padraig McNeil played an inch-perfect pass to an unmarked Alexander MacMillan whose shot from the left beat the keeper.

Fort William scored the goal of the game five minutes later. Lewis Clark made a good run from the left but was impeded. Referee John Angus Gillies played advantage and Clark squared the ball to Arran MacPhee who blasted an effort over the keeper’s right shoulder from near the penalty spot.

Alexander MacMillan got his second and Fort William’s fourth goal on 69 minutes when he combined with Padraig McNeil, finishing off a good passing move from 12 yards to make it 4-2.

Fort William brought on Victor Smith who caused problems for the Strathglass defence and was rewarded with a goal on 82 minutes. There was a tackle between Darren Reid and Alexander MacMillan, leaving both men on the ground, and the ball broke to Padraig McNeil who crossed to Victor Smith, who lost his marker and fired low past the keeper, inside his right post, to make it 5-2.

Fort William’s final match is at home to Glasgow Mid Argyll when they will be presented with the league trophy. That game is currently scheduled for Saturday September 21.

Strathglass welcome Oban Celtic to Cannich this Saturday.

Elsewhere in the division, Glasgow Mid Argyll leapfrogged Glenurquhart into the second promotion spot after beating Beauly 3-0 at Braeview Park and James Pringle scored twice as Skye Camanachd beat Bute 5-0 at the Meadows.

Mowi North Division 1

Inverness 1
Glengarry 3

Glengarry are now six points clear at the top of the table after they safely negotiated a tricky encounter with the Inverness first team, winning 3-1 at Bught Park.

Raymond Robertson settled Glengarry into the game with a goal on six minutes.

Glengarry’s Rhuaridh MacDonald recovered sufficiently from a shoulder injury to play and made it 2-0 on 18 minutes.

Nick Dalgety marked his return to the Glengarry side when he made it 3-1 on 27 minutes. James Cameron pulled a goal back on 66 minutes but Glengarry stayed in front to seal a 3-1 win.

Elsewhere in the division, the Newtonmore seconds drew 3-3 with the Skye Camanachd seconds at Pairc nan Laoch, the Glenurquhart reserves beat Lovat reserves 3-2 at Blairbeg and the Kinlochshiel second team beat Aberdeen University at Reraig.

The match between the Fort William colts and the Caberfeidh colts at An Aird fell foul of a Saturday morning pitch inspection.

Mowi South Division 1

Taynuilt 4
Tayforth 5

Finlay Stark’s goal a minute from time gave Tayforth a 5-4 win over Taynuilt in their 1pm throw-up at Taynuilt Sports Field.

Tayforth led through Josh Lomax on 15 minutes, but Liam Higgins on 30 minutes and Scott Dempster four minutes later put the hosts 2-1 up.

The game took another twist as Finlay Stark made it 2-2 a minute later.
Brendan Duggan on 37 minutes and a second from Finlay Stark on the stroke of half-time gave Tayforth a 4-2 interval lead.

Zander Kilmurray pulled a goal back 10 minutes into the second half and Kilmurray looked to have salvaged a point for Taynuilt when he made it 4-4 with four minutes remaining. However Finlay Stark completed his hat-trick a minute from time to give Tayforth a 5-4 victory.

The win lifts Tayforth into second place in the league although they have played more games than the other teams.

Elsewhere in the division, the Glasgow Mid Argyll colts beat the Kyles Athletic colts 5-3 at Yoker, whilst Aberdour’s trip to Ballachulish was postponed on Saturday morning as Jubilee Park was waterlogged.

Lochaber are junior Macaulay champions

Lochaber High School are the first winners of the Artemis Macaulay Junior Cup after defeating Oban High School 4-0 in the final at Ganavan on Saturday.

Ben MacKinnon scored twice with Robbie Rydings and Craig MacDonald getting the others for a Lochaber side coached by Donald MacLean.

The squad were presented with the trophy at half-time at the Artemis Macaulay Cup Final between Kingussie and Oban Camanachd.

Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Cup Final

Glasgow Mid Argyll and Fort William contest the Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Cup Final at An Aird on Saturday August 24.

The trophy was originally donated by Major MacRae Gilstrap for a shinty tournament run by his brother, Captain Colin MacRae of Balliemore, in the Kyles of Bute in the early 20th century.

Bute were the first winners in this format in 1985.

Fort William lifted the trophy in 2017, beating Caberfeidh in the final to take the trophy for the first time.

Fort William opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Oban Celtic and then they defeated Bute 6-0 in the last-eight followed by Glenurquhart 4-1 in the semis.

Glasgow Mid Argyll were runners-up in 2015, losing out to Beauly in the final.

GMA, who have yet to lose a goal in this year’s competition, defeated Skye 2-0 in the opening round before overcoming Taynuilt 4-0 in the quarter-finals then Strathglass 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Fort William will enjoy home advantage in the final with the venue decided before the tournament started.

Both teams have been in fine form recently and the Liberty British Aluminium Balliemore Cup Final between Glasgow Mid Argyll and Fort William throws-up at 2.30pm. Ross Brown is the match referee.