Shinty round-up – weather plays havoc with fixtures

Lewis keeper Willie MacLeod keeps out James Anderson (Boleskine). Boleskine v Lewis in the Mowi North Div. 2 played at Farr.

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Mowi Premiership

Kinlochshiel P
Newtonmore P

Champions Newtonmore missed out on the chance to lead the Mowi Premiership for the first time this season when their noon throw-up against Kinlochshiel was postponed.

Kinlochshiel’s new Reraig pitch failed a Saturday morning inspection following persistent overnight rain.

Kinlochshiel now have three matches remaining. They host Oban Camanachd on Saturday September 21 and travel to Kingussie on Saturday October 5. The date for the re-scheduled meeting with Newtonmore has still to be confirmed.

Newtonmore remain in second place in shinty’s top flight with 20 points and five matches remaining. Their next league fixture is at Kyles Athletic on Saturday September 21 before home matches against Oban Camanachd and Kyles Athletic the following two Saturdays. Newtonmore then travel to face Oban Camanachd on Saturday October 19, with the visit to Kinlochshiel still to be re-scheduled.

Newtonmore can still finish the season on 30 points.
The trip to Kinlochshiel was Newtonmore’s final match ahead of the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final against Oban Camanachd at An Aird on Saturday September 14.

Their second team fixture against Aberdeen University this weekend allows Michael Russell and Glen MacKintosh the chance to prove their fitness following injury and stake a place in the cup final squad.

Kingussie P
Caberfeidh P

The 3pm throw-up between Artemis Macaulay Cup winners Kingussie and Caberfeidh at the Dell was called off on Saturday morning.
Kingussie stay third on 19 points with six matches remaining. Arguably, they have the more straight-forward run-in. Their next fixture is at home to Inveraray on Saturday September 21. Their final matches take place on successive Saturdays and are Caberfeidh, away, Kinlochshiel, home, Kyles Athletic, away, and Kilmallie, away, with the meeting with Caberfeidh at the Dell still to be re-scheduled. Kingussie can still finish the season on 31 points.

Seventh-placed Caberfeidh have 12 points with four fixtures remaining. They are already ahead of last year’s total of 10 points which earned eighth spot.

Caberfeidh still have visits to Lovat and Kyles Athletic, either side of a home meeting with Kingussie with the away clash with Kingussie still to be confirmed.

Lochaber P
Oban Camanachd P

Wet weather claimed another casualty as the clash between Lochaber and Oban Camanachd at Spean Bridge was postponed on Saturday morning.

Relegation-threatened Lochaber are on seven points with two matches left to save their season. They have a noon meeting with Kyles Athletic at Spean Bridge scheduled for Saturday September 14, whilst the Oban Camanachd clash is still to be re-scheduled.

This was Oban Camanachd’s final fixture ahead of the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final against Newtonmore at An Aird on Saturday September 14.

Thereafter, Oban Camanachd’s remaining six league fixtures sees them travel to Kinlochshiel on Saturday September 21 and, on successive Saturdays thereafter, they play Newtonmore, away, Inveraray, home, Lovat, away, and Newtonmore, home, with the trip to Lochaber still to be re-scheduled.

Oban Camanachd can finish the season on 28 points.

Kyles Athletic P
Kilmallie P

The clash between Kyles Athletic and Kilmallie at Tighnabruaich was postponed as the Kilmallie club attended the funeral of former youth player Matthew Duncan.

Kyles Athletic still have six games left. They travel to Lochaber on Saturday September 14 with a trip to Newtonmore the week after. Kyles visit Newtonmore on Saturday October 5 with home matches on consecutive Saturdays thereafter against Kingussie, Caberfeidh and Kilmallie.

Kilmallie are on nine points, two points ahead of Inveraray and Lochaber in their battle to beat the drop.

Kilmallie have a wait to play their final two games which are at home to Kingussie on Saturday October 19, with a trip to Kyles the week after.

Inveraray will have finished their season by then having made trips to Kingussie and Oban Camanachd.

Mowi National Division

Skye Camanachd P
Glasgow Mid Argyll P

Skye Camanachd’s clash with Glasgow Mid Argyll was postponed on Friday afternoon as Pairc nan Laoch was waterlogged.

Glasgow Mid Argyll can finish the season on 23 points and, with four matches remaining, they are still favourites to secure second spot and promotion to the Mowi Premiership. However, they still have work to do.

GMA host Strathglass on Saturday September 14 and finish the season with away matches the following three Saturdays at Fort William, Strathglass and Skye.

Skye can still reach 19 points but their promotion hopes rest on beating Glenurquhart at Pairc nan Laoch on Saturday September 21 and GMA at the same venue a fortnight later in their two remaining games whilst also hoping GMA slip up.

Oban Celtic P
Strathglass P

The wet weather through Friday night into Saturday morning led to the postponement of the match between Oban Celtic and Strathglass at Ganavan.

This encounter has been re-scheduled for Saturday September 21, with Oban Celtic’s final match at home to Glenurquhart a week later.

Strathglass finish with September matches at GMA and Oban Celtic and a home clash with GMA.

Bute P
Glenurquhart P

Bute’s 2pm throw-up with promotion hopefuls Glenurquhart at the Meadows was called off on Saturday morning as heavy rain meant the pitch on Rothesay was mainly under water.

Bute will finish their season with matches at Beauly and at home to Glenurquhart.

Glenurquhart have three matches to go and can finish the season on 20 points.

Their promotion hopes rest on winning at Skye on Saturday September 21 and at Oban Celtic and Bute on the two Saturdays thereafter, whilst also hoping GMA slip up.

Strathdearn Cup Final

Newtonmore P
Fort William P

There was disappointment for the Newtonmore colts and the Fort William colts as the Strathdearn Cup Final, a 4pm throw-up at Bught Park, Inverness, had to be postponed as there was water lying on the pitch.

Newtonmore’s Calum Stewart would have missed the final as he started a two-match suspension following his sending off against the Kingussie seconds a week earlier.

Instead, he will begin his ban in a re-scheduled Mowi North Division 1 noon throw-up against Aberdeen University at the Eilan this Saturday, September 7.

Cameron McNiven will also miss that game as he begins a two-match ban for passing through the disciplinary points threshold.

The journey to the Eilan will be a fourth consecutive away match for the students who haven’t played at Balgownie since early July. However, only two of their remaining six games are at home as they struggle to move off the bottom of the table.

Mowi North Division 1

Glengarry P
Skye Camanachd P

Mowi North Division 1 league leaders Glengarry’s match against the Skye Camanachd second team at Craigard was postponed.
The early indications on Saturday morning were that the game could go ahead, but heavy rain left the pitch unplayable.

Lovat P
Inverness P

The Lovat reserves match against the Inverness first team was called off on Saturday morning when Balgate was ruled unplayable.

Caberfeidh P
Glenurquhart P

The game between Caberfeidh reserves and the Glenurquhart reserves was postponed on Saturday morning.

A pitch inspection found several large pools of water on the Castle Leod pitch, with no let-up in the rain.

Kingussie P
Aberdeen University P

The noon throw-up between the Kingussie seconds and Aberdeen University was postponed when it was deemed the Dell could not host two matches.

Mowi South Division 1

Tayforth 3
Lochside Rovers 2

Tayforth came from two goals down to beat Lochside Rovers 3-2 in their 1.30pm throw-up at Peffermill.

It has been a good season for Tayforth who went into the game in second place in the table, a significant improvement on last season’s second bottom finish. Although they had a couple of absentees, Tayforth listed a strong squad for their final match of the season.

Lochside’s impressive 14 match winning run ended the previous weekend when they lost out in a title showdown with Aberdour.

With George Easton and Gareth Evans unavailable, Andrew Pearson took sole charge of the Oban side and he travelled with just 13 players. Lochside were missing their entire defence with Gavin Stobbart, Chrissie MacMillan, skipper Jordan Kerr and the suspended Scott Robertson all out. Michael MacQueen, Jamie MacGillivray and Brian MacCallum were amongst the others unable to travel. There was a debut in attack for 13-year-old Callum MacMillan, whilst his father, David MacMillan, came out of retirement to feature in a revamped defence.

A second father and son combination saw Johnny Campbell up front with his son Ross Campbell at the back.

Kieran Pearson featured again and his 13-year-old brother Daniel Pearson was on the bench, coming on late in the game.

With Oban Camanachd’s trip to Lochaber called off, Blair MacFarlane was added to the Lochside squad and he featured on the wing, whilst David Lafferty travelled from Glasgow to play at full centre.

This was a game of two halves with Lochside having a strong wind in their favour in the first period. Despite the elements, the pitch was in immaculate condition.

David Lafferty did his chances of catching the eye of Oban Camanachd manager Stephen Sloss ahead of the Camanachd Cup Final no harm when he put Lochside ahead on 20 minutes. The goal came from a corner which was cleared to about 25 yards out where David Lafferty sent a drive into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Evan MacLellan, playing his first match since picking up an injury in the HIS Sutherland Cup Final, made it 2-0 on 36 minutes. This goal came from a free-hit played out wide before Evan MacLellan took a shot from just outside the box which went into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.
Such was the strength of the wind, Tayforth struggled to get up the pitch during the first 45 minutes but they managed to create a couple of dangerous attacks.

Lochside led 2-0 at half-time but Tayforth now had the elements and they went on to dominate the remainder of the game.

It took good goal-keeping from Lochside custodian Dougie MacDonald to keep his side in front and, despite their pressure, it didn’t look as if it would be Tayforth’s day.

Lochside remained 2-0 in front until 16 minutes from time but former Lochcarron player Finlay Stark made his mark on the match as he pulled a goal back when he hit a low drive into the far bottom corner of the net following a well-worked free-hit to make it 2-1.

The goal gave Tayforth belief and they continued to push on with Lochside tiring.

They hosts equalised with 10 minutes remaining when a well-struck Donnie Forbes shot went into the roof of the net from around the penalty spot to make it 2-2.

A second goal from Finlay Stark with five minutes remaining proved to be the winner. Stark’s effort was another low drive that took a bounce

just in front of the keeper, enough to evade him, and the ball ended up in the back of the net to make it 3-2.

The win completes Tayforth’s season and they currently sit in second place, three points ahead of third- placed Lochside who still have four games to play.

Lochside are back in action on Saturday September 21 when Col Glen visit Oban. They then have trips to Kyles Athletic and Ballachulish before hosting Taynuilt on successive Saturdays.

Glasgow Mid Argyll 3
Col Glen 0

The Glasgow Mid Argyll second team boosted their chances of beating relegation to Mowi South Division 2 when they overcame Col Glen 3-0 at Yoker.

Calum McLay scored on 27 minutes to give the hosts the lead with what proved to be the only goal of the first half.

It was Calum McLay again for GMA, making it 2-0 three minutes into the second half.

McLay completed his hat-trick on 79 minutes to seal the 3-0 win.
The youngster’s scoring prowess this season has earned him a call-up to the South U21 squad but he is unable to play in this weekend’s clash against the North U21 as he attends a wedding.

The win moves GMA off the bottom of the table at the expense of Inveraray reserves.

Kyles Athletic P
Ballachulish P

The heavy rain led to the cancellation of the 1pm throw-up between the Kyles Athletic seconds and Ballachulish at Tighnabruaich.

Mowi North Division 2

Boleskine 5
Lewis Camanachd 0

Boleskine finish fifth in the division after beating Lewis Camanachd 5-0 in their 2pm throw-up at Smith Park.

This was the only match to go ahead in the north and Boleskine, with Sandy Fraser at the back and Rory Campbell in midfield, had plenty of options with David Bowman, Paul Noble, Reece Munro, Stevie Munro and Keith Nicholson making up a five-man bench.

Lewis Camanachd had Daniel Gallagher and Michael MacLeod in defence whilst Scott MacLeod and Innes Lamont were in midfield. Donald Lamont was a substitute alongside Craig MacRitchie and Dylan Murray.

James Anderson gave Boleskine the lead, beating Lewis keeper Willie MacLeod on five minutes. Ross Anderson made it 2-0 at the break after a goal on 31 minutes.

Neil Hope added a third on 57 minutes, whilst Ross Anderson completed his hat-trick on 68 and 75 minutes.

The teams also competed for the Boleskine Challenge Cup and the match completed the season for both sides.

Kilmallie P
Strathspey P

The clash between the Kilmallie seconds and Strathspey Camanachd at Canal Parks was postponed as the Kilmallie club attended the funeral of former youth player Matthew Duncan.

Mowi South Division 2

Ardnamurchan 7
Bute 0

Ardnamurchan finished their season on a high, recording their first victory of the year, as they defeated the Bute second team 7-0 at Strontian.

Craig MacDonald opened the scoring with a goal on eight minutes.
Neil Mellis made it 2-0 on 27 minutes, with Aaron Mellis adding a third on the half hour mark.

Calum Ritchie made it 4-0 on 35 minutes and a second goal from Neil Mellis four minutes later ensured there would only be one winner.

Calum Ritchie got his second goal of the game a minute after the restart whilst Aaron Mellis did likewise on 71 minutes to crown the 7-0 victory.

WCA round-up

There was a limited Women’s Camanachd Association programme as Macaulay association area representative trials were scheduled.

Mowi National Division 1

Skye Camanachd P
Ardnamurchan P

Skye Camanachd and Ardnamurchan were to meet in an 11.30am throw-up at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree, on Saturday August 31.
But the match was called off on Friday afternoon as the pitch was waterlogged.

Skye Camanachd now turn their attention to this Saturday’s Mowi Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final against Badenoch at the Dell.

Mowi North Division 2

Inverness 3
Strathglass 0

Inverness beat Strathglass 3-0 in their 7.30pm throw-up at the Bught Park, Inverness, on Thursday August 29.

Katie McMillan scored all three goals and the result sets Inverness up nicely for Saturday’s Mowi Challenge Cup Final against Lovat at the Dell this Saturday.

WCA Cup Final Day – preview

Saturday September 7 sees the Women’s Camanachd Association’s Cup Final day at the Dell, Kingussie.

First up is the Mowi Challenge Cup Final between last year’s beaten finalist Inverness and Lovat.

The sides have met twice in the league this season with Mowi North Division 2 leaders Lovat winning both.

Scottish international Laura Gallacher and Fiona Urquhart are a real threat for Lovat going forward, whilst Katie McMillan for Inverness is another who has been amongst the goals this season. Inverness keeper Caitlin Mutch will also be important to her team’s chances.

Throw-up is at 1.45pm and Lucy McNulty is the match referee.

The main event is the Mowi Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final between 2017 winners Skye Camanachd and holders Badenoch.

This is a repeat of last year’s final at the same venue which Kingussie won 4-1. The teams have met twice in the league this term with each team winning on their opponent’s ground.

Lorna MacRae, Rhianna Kirk and Caitlin MacLean will be key to Skye’s chances, with the more experienced Sarah Corrigall always an influence.
Kirsty Deans, Elizabeth MacGregor, Rona Stewart and Zoe Reid are important to Badenoch’s plans.

Balliemore Cup Final referee Ross Brown, who was part of the Scotland Ladies coaching team until last year, takes charge of the match.
This year’s final will be broadcast live on BBC ALBA. Throw-up is at 4.05pm.

Caol Cup clash – South U21 v North U21 preview

The annual Caol Cup match between South U21s and North U21s takes place at Taynuilt Sports Field on Saturday September 7.

The North were narrow winners in 2016 and 2018 with the fixture not taking place in 2017.

However the South, under the guidance of head coach Kenny Wotherspoon, have been working hard ahead of this one. An initial squad of 30 players was whittled down to a pool of 20 before the final squad was selected.

There are five new caps with Oban Camanachd duo Blair MacFarlane and Craig Easton, Oban Celtic’s Lewis Mcphee, Kyles Athletic’s Conor Kennedy and Bute’s Ryan Craig selected for the first time. Glasgow Mid Argyll’s Calum McLay would have been involved but is unavailable leaving one place up for grabs which will be confirmed following the midweek friendly at Inveraray.

The players who leave the age group from 2018 are Oban Celtic’s Andy MacDonald, Ross Macrae from Kyles Athletic, Ballachulish’s Cain MacPhee and Connor Howe who is now at Inveraray.

South head coach Kenny Wotherspoon is looking forward to the game. He said: ‘I enjoy the responsibility of leading the South squad. It was close at Invergarry last year and I think we now have a stronger pool of players than 12 months ago.

‘It has been a few years since the South have won this clash, back to when the likes of Malcolm Clark, Gary McKerracher and Daniel Madej featured, so we are due a victory.

‘This match is part of a pathway through to the Scotland senior side so it’s something we all take seriously and we’ll go all out to win the game.

‘I have Daniel Cameron and Calum Fox with me as assistants and they are a big help. Daniel is a Scotland international and he brings all that experience and the boys look up to him, whilst Calum was Oban Celtic manager in 2015, before me, so he knows exactly what it’s all about.

South U21 from: Cameron Sutherland, Oban Camanachd; Scott MacLachlan, Inveraray; Daniel Sloss, Oban Camanachd; Michael MacKinnon, Oban Celtic; Ross MacMillan, Oban Celtic; Jonny MacAskill, Glasgow Mid Argyll; Ruaraidh Graham, Inveraray; Conor Kennedy, Kyles Athletic; Blair MacFarlane, Oban Camanachd); Craig Easton, Oban Camanachd; Lewis Mcphee, Oban Celtic; Ryan Craig, Bute; Scott MacDonald, Kyles Athletic; Daniel MacCuish, Oban Camanachd; Daniel MacVicar, Oban Camanachd, and Fraser Watt, Inveraray, with a player to be added following the Inveraray match.

The final North squad had yet to be confirmed at the time of going to press but the likes of Newtonmore’s Iain Robinson, Lochaber’s Findlay MacDonald and Innes Blackhall from Kilmallie are all unavailable.
The North have proved formidable in this encounter so a keenly contested clash is expected.

Throw-up is at 2pm and Des McNulty is the match referee.