Shinty round-up

The victorious Newtonmore team. Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final replay - Newtonmore v Oban Camanachd - played at An Aird, Fort William.

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Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final

Newtonmore 5
Oban Camanachd 1

Newtonmore won the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup for the fourth successive season, a feat they also managed in 1910, after beating Oban Camanachd 5-1 in the final at An Aird.

This was a re-scheduled final with last week’s event abandoned early in the second half because of atrocious weather conditions. The Fort William ground staff’s efforts were rewarded when a midweek pitch inspection confirmed An Aird was playable and the back-up plan of a switch to Inverness was not required.

There was free entry for the crowd following the previous week’s difficulties.

Both teams worked hard to reach the final. Newtonmore got by Lovat, after a replay, Skye Camanachd and Caberfeidh on their way to the final with Iain Robinson scoring in all three rounds. Oban Camanachd accounted for Glenurquhart, Kinlochshiel and Kyles Athletic with Andrew MacCuish netting in every round.

Both squads and officials were led onto the field by Lochaber Pipe Band before being introduced to Duncan Henderson from Taynuilt who was attending his 64th Camanachd Cup Final. Camanachd Association president Keith Loades also present as was Camanachd Cup Ambassador Gary Innes.

Newtonmore manager Paul John MacKintosh was left counting the cost of last week’s game. Forward Iain Robinson was seen receiving treatment to a first half thumb injury which was later confirmed to be a break so he was sidelined and his season could be over.

Glen MacKintosh, who scored the only goal of the game between the sides in the 2016 final, came off the bench to replace Robinson in attack, playing with strapping on his left knee.

Duncan Gorman was added to the bench. Andy MacKintosh and Fraser MacKintosh aggravated back problems seven days earlier but were both passed fit to play.

Oban Camanachd boss Stephen Sloss fielded the same starting 12 as a week earlier but made some positional changes. Captain Daniel Cameron went to full centre, Lorne Dickie joined the attack and Malcolm Clark dropped back into defence. Scott MacMillan remained on the suspension list, while injury continued to rule out Willie Neilson.

Newtonmore’s Michael Russell and Oban Camanachd’s Daniel Sloss race for the ball. Photograph: Stephen Lawson.

Newtonmore won the toss and started playing towards the town end with a slight wind in their favour.

The early period was stop-start with neither side able to establish any fluency.

It was Newtonmore who edged in front on 10 minutes. Michael Russell’s hit-in from the right was taken down by Glen MacKintosh at the right of the ‘D’ and when his shot was blocked, the ball broke to Drew MacDonald who needed no second invitation as he fired a glorious drive on his back-hand, across the keeper into the far corner of the net, to make it 1-0.

Oban Camanachd responded and Daniel Cameron shot wide after Lorne Dickie’s initial effort was deflected into his path.

Newtonmore began to pin Oban Camanachd back and it took good work from Daniel Sloss and a solid Cameron Sutherland stop with his body to prevent Evan Menzies adding a second Newtonmore goal.

Referee Robert Baxter showed Oban Camanachd’s Keith MacMillan the first yellow card of the game just short of the half-hour for catching Craig Ritchie with a careless swing.

Andrew MacCuish shot wide of goal before both sides made changes. Keith MacMillan was replaced by David Lafferty at wing centre for the Oban side, whilst Newtonmore’s Jamie Robinson took over from Craig Ritchie, who looked uncomfortable after needing treatment to the back of his leg earlier in the game.

Fraser MacKintosh was fortunate to escape a booking for a late swing on Lorne Dickie, which looked similar to Keith MacMillan’s earlier offence, as the first half moved into the latter stages.

Oban Camanachd finished the half with a flourish and Newtonmore keeper Kenny Ross did well to sweep away a Lorne Dickie ball into the ‘D’, just ahead of the on-rushing Daniel Cameron, whilst a stoppage-time Oban corner was well-defended.

Oban Camanachd introduced Daniel MacVicar from the start of the second half with Gary McKerracher withdrawn.

The next goal was always going to be important and there seemed little danger on 49 minutes when Jamie Robinson got way from David Lafferty but Robinson drifted the ball into the ‘D’ where it came off Malcolm Clark’s stick and deflected past a helpless Cameron Sutherland to make it 2-0.

Newtonmore’s Ewan Fraser and Oban Camanachd’s Malcolm Clark during the Camanachd Cup final. Photograph: Stephen Lawson.

Oban Camanachd enjoyed a period of pressure with a good effort from Daniel MacCuish dropping just wide of target. Andrew MacCuish just failed to get to a deflected Daniel Cameron shot and Kenny Ross saved with his feet from Daniel Cameron.

The goal wouldn’t come, however, and Newtonmore went back on the attack. Glen MacKintosh seemed to put the final out of Oban Camanachd’s reach on 58 minutes. MacKintosh, who hadn’t played since the league draw with Lovat on Saturday July 13, took a ball from Evan Menzies on the left before working it across goal, exchanging passes with Drew MacDonald and tucking the ball low past Cameron Sutherland’s out-stretched right foot to make it 3-0.

MacKintosh celebrated by turning his caman upside-down, using it as a walking stick to suggest any talk of his demise is premature.
Ewen Fraser passed up a chance to add a fourth seconds later before David Lafferty pulled a goal back on the hour. Lafferty broke down the right before steadying himself and blasting the ball past the keeper from a tight angle.

There was a flashpoint for referee Robert Baxter to deal with on 63 minutes when Daniel Cameron went thundering into Steven Macdonald with little attempt to play the ball and Cameron was booked. Macdonald continued after treatment. Daniel Sloss needed treatment after a collision with Jamie Robinson and Oban Camanachd’s Gary McKerracher, who was off the field at the time, was ordered from the touchline by the referee as the final reached boiling point.

Steven Macdonald clearly remained in some discomfort and went down immediately after playing the ball up-field and was replaced by David MacLean.

The next goal continued to be crucial in this game and Daniel MacCuish, from the front of the ‘D’, just couldn’t get onto a low Andrew MacCuish ball from the left.

Newtonmore went back up the park and Michael Russell’s lofted ball forward dropped for Glen MacKintosh and his superbly weighted touch teed the ball up perfectly for strike partner Evan Menzies who blasted the ball low between the keeper’s legs to make it 4-1.

David Lafferty and Keith MacMillan again swapped roles before the restart, whilst Owen Fraser took over from Fraser MacKintosh soon after.

Cameron Sutherland saved well with his legs from Ewen Fraser before Glen MacKintosh got his second on 83 minutes. This time Evan Menzies broke clear of his marker before slipping the ball to Glen MacKintosh who took a touch and stroked the ball into the net to make it 5-1.

An Andrew MacCuish drive flew wide at the death before Robert Baxter brought matters to an end.

Paul John MacKintosh’s knack of using his available resources to the best effect didn’t desert him and the victory marked a record 34th Scottish success for Newtonmore.

Man of the match Rory Kennedy and captain Evan Menzies, both Newtonmore. Photograph: Neil Paterson.

The famous trophy and silver mounted caman were presented to Newtonmore captain Evan Menzies by Duncan Henderson.

All that was left was the award of the coveted Albert Smith Medal for man of the match, presented by Victor Smith from the family, which the panel awarded to Newtonmore full back Rory Kennedy for a flawless performance in defence.

The sides meet again this Saturday in the Mowi Premiership with a noon start at the Eilan.

Mowi Premiership

Lovat 5
Caberfeidh 3

Lovat came from 3-0 down to beat Caberfeidh 5-3 in an entertaining encounter at Balgate.

Much of the pre-match discussion surrounded whether Caberfeidh’s Craig Morrison could score for the 20th successive match and he did so in style, bagging a hat-trick within the first 25 minutes.

With Ally MacLennan dominating the midfield, Caberfeidh were in control during the early exchanges and took the lead on nine minutes when the hard-working Craig Morrison sent a waist-high shot past Lovat keeper Stuart MacDonald.

It was Craig Morrison again on 14 minutes, this time with a powerful shot from close range to make it 2-0 and he completed his hat-trick with a terrific goal on 25 minutes. Morrison took a ball with his back to goal, tapped it over marker Danny Kelly, before running in on goal, placing the ball past the keeper to make it 3-0.

Lovat boss Fraser Gallacher made a switch at the back with Daniel Grieve taking over marking duties on Craig Morrison and Danny Kelly going to wing back.

Lovat immediately fought back and, on 26 minutes, Greg Matheson got ahead of Blair Morrison on the Lovat right and he fired home, across the keeper, into the side of the net.

The hosts got a second when Lewis Tawse juggled the ball forward from the right of midfield before taking it across the ground and squeezing a shot between the keeper and his left post to make it 3-2 on 32 minutes.

Three minutes later, Greg Matheson was first onto a re-bound after Iain McCall had made a save and he netted from inside the box. This fantastic game was now all-square at 3-3.

Fraser Heath dropped deep to get the ball on 54 minutes and ran in on goal with Connor MacGregor in chase. Heath resisted the temptation to have a big swing as he pushed the ball across the keeper and into the net off the far post and Lovat led for the first time in the match.

Lovat replaced Thomas Fraser with Lewis Bryson on the hour.

There was a flashpoint for referee Andy MacLean to deal with on 73 minutes when Caberfeidh defender Scott Mclauchlan, who had been booked just a couple of minutes earlier for taking down Fraser Heath, was shown a straight red card for a double-swing on Lewis Bryson.

With players squaring up, Lovat’s Marc MacLachlan was also sent off for his involvement in the aftermath.

Lewis Bryson completed the 5-3 victory when he leathered a ball into the net on 84 minutes, finding space between the penalty spot and the ‘D’.

There was still time for a moment of comedy gold as, with the match in full flow, Lovat’s Callum Cruden went running from the field, jumping a perimeter fence, and disappearing into the distance. The ever-alert Lovat man had spotted the arrival of a tractor and trailer which he correctly assumed was for his blackening ahead of his impending wedding. Cruden was later captured, however, following some tough negotiations involving his wife-to-be and the Highland pre-wedding ritual went ahead almost as planned. And it wasn’t pretty.

Caberfeidh’s Ally MacLennan was the sponsor’s man of the match. Craig Morrison also made a massive contribution with his hat-trick.

Daniel Grieve was best for Lovat, keeping Craig Morrison in his sights for the final hour of the game.

Lovat, who are currently advertising for a new manager, complete their season at home to Oban Camanachd on Saturday October 12.

Caberfeidh have already beaten last season’s points total with matches still to come at home to Kingussie this Saturday and at Kyles Athletic in mid-October.

Kingussie 4
Inveraray 1

Kingussie haven’t lost in the league since April after defeating Inveraray 4-1 at the Dell.

They have now only dropped one point over the last seven league matches as they bid to win shinty’s top flight for the first time since 2009.

Inveraray, without the suspended Lewis Montgomery, shocked their hosts by taking the lead on 26 minutes through John Kennedy.

But two goals in three minutes had Kingussie in front with Roddy Young netting on 32 minutes and Ruaridh Anderson scoring on 34 minutes.
James Falconer ensured there would be no Kingussie slip-up with a double on 62 and 81 minutes.

Kingussie only trail league leaders Lovat on goal difference but they have played three games fewer.

Newtonmore and Oban Camanachd are still in contention in the title race.

This defeat all but relegates Inveraray. Even if they were to win their final match at home to Oban Camanachd in early October, their goal difference is such that they are unlikely to finish ahead of Kilmallie.

Kyles Athletic P
Kilmallie P

The match between Kyles Athletic and Kilmallie at Tighnabruaich will be re-scheduled.

Mowi National Division

Oban Celtic 3
Strathglass 0

Oban Celtic scored three times in the first half-hour to defeat Strathglass 3-0 in their 1pm throw-up at Mossfield.

After a four-week lay-off, Oban Celtic started with the wind in their favour and Ross MacMillan put them ahead on nine minutes. A long ball out of defence from Michael MacKinnon found Daniel MacMillan who played the ball first-time to Ross MacMillan who rounded his man to score.

Oban Celtic’s second came from a set-piece after Daniel MacMillan was taken down. Neil Carmichael played the free-hit to Lennon Campbell who shot into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 with 18 minutes on the clock.

Daniel MacMillan added a third on 29 minutes. Jamie Anderson played the ball from the wing to Andy MacDonald who scuffed his shot but the ball came to Daniel MacMillan 20 yards out and he sent it low and hard into the net.

Oban Celtic had the ball in the net again early in the second half when Ross MacMillan turned his marker and took a touch before rifling a shot into the roof of the net. Referee Lachie Wood initially allowed the goal before penalising MacMillan for a push after speaking to the goal judge.

Oban Celtic keeper Iain MacFarlane played his part, making three really good saves towards the end of the match.

William MacEwan was introduced around the hour mark for Oban Celtic and did well.

George MacMillan had a great game in a less familiar role at half back.

The one down-side for the hosts came when Neil Carmichael got the ball in the eye from close range which led to swelling and manager Dougie MacIntyre will be keen to have his full centre available for the final match of the season against Glenurquhart, who are only two points ahead in the table, in Oban this Saturday.

Skye Camanachd 5
Glenurquhart 3

Skye Camanachd remain in the promotion race after beating Glenurquhart 5-3 in their 3pm throw-up at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree.

Beauly 1
Bute 1

Beauly and Bute drew 1-1 in their 1pm throw-up at Braeview Park

Mowi North Division 1

Inverness 1
Lovat 1

The Inverness first team and the Lovat second team drew 1-1 at Bught Park.
Chris Holleysong’s hat-trick helped the Kingussie colts beat the Skye Camanachd colts 3-2 at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree.

The Caberfeidh seconds overcame the Glenurquhart seconds 4-1 at Castle Leod.

The clash between the Newtonmore second team and Glengarry at the Eilan will be re-scheduled as will the match between the Kinlochshiel reserves and the Caberfeidh reserves at Reraig.

Mowi South Division 1

Ballachulish 3
Aberdour 4

Champions Aberdour saw off a Ballachulish fight-back to win 4-3 in their 1pm throw-up at Jubilee Park.

Inveraray 2
Glasgow Mid Argyll 8

Seb MacMillan scored four times as the Glasgow Mid Argyll second team secured their Mowi South Division 1 status with an 8-2 victory in their relegation four-pointer against the Inveraray second team at the Winterton.

Kyles Athletic 2
Taynuilt 0

The Kyles Athletic seconds scored twice in the final third of the match to beat Taynuilt 2-0 in their 2pm throw-up at Tighnabruaich.

Ross Macrae got the opener on 67 minutes, with youngster Jack Whyte confirming the win 10 minutes from time.

Lochside Rovers P
Col Glen P

The meeting between Lochside Rovers and Col Glen will be re-scheduled which allowed the Lochside players to watch their senior side in the 2019 Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final.

Mowi North Division 2

Lochcarron are Mowi North Division champions after defeating second-placed Strathspey Camanachd 7-5 at in a thrilling match at Battery Park.

Elsewhere, the Kilmallie colts led three times before drawing 3-3 with the Beauly colts in their noon throw-up at Canal Parks.

WCA round-up

A play-off to decide the Mowi National Division championship moved another step closer after Badenoch and Skye won their matches at the weekend.

Mowi National Division

Badenoch 15
Glenurquhart 0

League leaders Badenoch defeated Glenurquhart 15-0 in their 2pm throw-up at the Dell.

Kirsty Deans scored eight times and Rhona McIntyre grabbed a hat-trick. Zoe Reid scored twice and Ruth Forbes and Rona Stewart got the others.

Lochaber 1
Skye Camanachd 7

Champions Skye Camanachd remain second, two points adrift with a game in hand, after beating Lochaber 7-1 in their 1pm throw-up at Spean Bridge.

Lorna MacRae scored four times, Jenna Beaton netted twice and Caitlin MacLean got the other. Natalie MacDonald was on target for the hosts.

Ardnamurchan W/O v

The division’s newly-promoted sides, Ardnamurchan and Strathspey, were due to meet in a 2pm throw-up at Strontian.

Strathspey were unable to raise a team, however, so Ardnamurchan were awarded the points.

Youth shinty

MacMaster Cup Final

Kinlochshiel U14 7
Oban Camanachd U14 1

Kinlochshiel U14 won the MacMaster Cup with a 7-1 victory over Oban Camanachd U14 in their noon throw up at An Aird on Saturday September 21.

Archie MacRae turned a low cross from the right past the keeper to give Kinlochshiel the lead.

A long-range effort from Archie MacRae made it 2-0 before George Murphy added a third, tucking the ball inside the keeper’s right post after Oban Camanachd failed to clear their lines.

Innes Jackson’s terrific shot from the middle of the park gave Oban Camanachd hope before Archie MacRae cut in from the right to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-1 at the break.

When referee John Wood spotted a ‘kick’ inside the Oban D, Archie MacRae made no mistake from the spot

Arron Jack ran through the Oban Camanachd defence to make it 6-1 after keeper Kai MacKechnie had saved his initial shot.
Man of the match Archie MacRae rounded off the scoring with another long-range effort.

Kinlochshiel captain Aaron Jack was presented with the trophy by David MacMaster.