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Kingussie sealed the Mowi Premiership title for the first time since 2009, only suffering one defeat and three draws in the process, after beating Kilmallie 4-1 at Canal Parks.
This was a fifth successive Saturday fixture for Kingussie, whilst Kilmallie’s last action was eight weeks earlier when they lost 2-0 at Lovat.
Kilmallie’s Martin Stewart completed a two-match suspension but Shane Gillies returned in goal.
With Oban Camanachd losing at Lovat earlier in the day, Kingussie knew they only needed a draw to add the league title to the Artemis Macaulay Cup won earlier in the season. James Falconer was on a pre-planned holiday so youngster Liam Borthwick came into the starting line-up with manager John Gibson adding Owen Reid to the bench.
Kilmallie showed they weren’t just there to make up the numbers though as Daniel Stewart shocked Kingussie by giving the hosts the lead on 13 minutes.
Savio Genini equalised on 26 minutes. Roddy Young made a run, drawing Genini’s marker, and when Young slipped the ball to his strike partner, Genini turned from the edge of the box before driving a powerful forehand strike through the keeper’s legs to make it 1-1.
Kingussie took the lead with just a couple of first half minutes remaining. The ball was played into the ‘D’ where keeper Shane Gillies and Liam Borthwick battled for possession. The ball broke for Roddy Young who nipped in between them to knock the ball into the net.
Savio Genini celebrated his first senior Scotland call-up with a second goal on 64 minutes. A high ball in from the right dropped kindly for Genini who tucked a low shot into the bottom left corner of the net on his forehand to make it 3-1.
Kingussie rounded off the win in style with a second Roddy Young goal on 76 minutes. Young took the ball over the half-way line before breaking down the left and firing a great shot into the top corner of the net to make it 4-1.
To emphasise Kingussie’s recent progress, these sides met at the Bught Park in November 2015 in a premiership play-off match when it took a 2-0 win to preserve Kingussie’s top flight status. Eight players from their squad that day – James Hutchison, Rory MacKeachan, Lee Bain, Rory McGregor, Calum Grant, Savio Genini, James Falconer and Robert Mabon – as well as Fraser Munro who was suspended for the 2015 match, have been key in this year’s title push during which the side has shown wonderful consistency.
Kingussie’s final league fixture is against Kyles Athletic at Tighnabruaich on Saturday October 26 when they will be presented with the Mowi Premiership trophy.
With Inveraray already relegated, it is now a fight between Kilmallie and Lochaber as to who avoids the second relegation spot. They each have a game to play. Kilmallie are two points better off and their final match of the season is at Kyles Athletic on Saturday November 2. Things may become clearer this Saturday when Lochaber host Oban Camanachd at Spean Bridge. Lochaber must win and make inroads into a massive 22 goal difference advantage in Kilmallie’s favour, so boss John Stewart and his players must be confident of retaining their top flight status.
Oban Camanachd 0
Lovat did a smash-and-grab job on Oban Camanachd, winning their 12.30pm throw-up at Balgate 1-0 to give manager Fraser Gallacher a winning send-off.
This was a last match in charge for Lovat boss Fraser Gallacher and he was without attacker Marc MacLachlan, whose two-match suspension carries forward into next season. Danny Kelly, Callum Cruden, Lorne MacKay, Duncan Davidson, Martin Mainland and Calum MacAulay were also missing.
Ryan Ferguson and Dylan McCulloch started in midfield with Lewis Bryson and player/manager Fraser Gallacher fielded in attack. Cameron MacMillan was the host’s only substitute.
There were also several absentees for Oban Camanachd manager Stephen Sloss to contend with. Daniel Cameron served the second match of a two-game suspension, whilst a disciplinary points accumulation ruled out Craig Easton. Aidan MacIntyre, Willie Neilson, Daniel MacVicar, Gary McKerracher and Keith MacMillan were also missing.
Throw-up was earlier at Oban Camanachd’s request. Chrissie MacMillan started in defence with Blair MacFarlane in midfield and Ross Campbell in attack. Callum Kirsop was Oban Camanachd’s only substitute and he would soon enter the field of play.
Malcolm Clark returned to the Oban Camanachd side, featuring in the forward line, but he was forced off after a couple of minutes after a blow to the hand resulted in a broken index finger. Callum Kirsop came on in his place.
Fraser Gallacher had an effort on goal on five minutes but it was Oban Camanachd who enjoyed most of the first half pressure but they couldn’t get the goal their play deserved.
Lovat had a great chance to take the lead on 32 minutes when they were awarded a penalty. Lewis Bryson ran forward and struck the ball into the goal area after getting onto Ryan Ferguson’s pass. The goal judge flagged for a ‘kick’ against Daniel Madej and referee Andy MacLean pointed to the spot. Oban Camanachd contested the call and there was a delay ahead of the spot-hit being taken during which visiting defender Garry Lord was booked. Greg Matheson struck a head-height penalty to the keeper’s right but Cameron Sutherland made a great save with his stick. A handshake between Matheson and Sutherland followed, acknowledging each other’s play.
Lovat made a change at the break as Cameron MacMillan came on for Dylan McCulloch, with Lewis Bryson going to wing centre.
Lovat came more into it in the second half with Lovat’s Cameron MacMillan, Fraser Heath and Fraser Gallacher getting shots on goal.
The Oban side, with wing centre Scott MacMillan playing plenty good balls forward, had their chances too but couldn’t conjure up a goal.
The Lovat defence of Craig Mainland, Graeme MacMillan and Chris Johnston, superbly marshalled by Daniel Grieve, deserve great credit for protecting keeper Stuart MacDonald.
Lovat switched a tiring Ryan Ferguson up front with Greg Matheson going to full centre during the final quarter of the match.
With three minutes remaining, Lovat hit Oban Camanachd with a classic sucker-punch. Ryan Ferguson initially sent the ball into the danger area but when it was cleared back out to him, Ferguson sent a low, 30-yard shot by Fraser Heath, Fraser Gallacher and Daniel Madej with the ball going through the keeper’s legs and into the net.
Oban Camanachd pushed Daniel Sloss up front for the closing stages but Lovat saw out the game to give manager Fraser Gallacher a winning send-off. There were also yellow cards for Lovat’s Fraser Heath for a challenge on the keeper and for Daniel Grieve for throwing his stick.
Oban Camanachd will hope to have some players back for their visit to Spean Bridge to play Lochaber this Saturday. After recently handing out the result that relegated Inveraray, they could do likewise to Michael Delaney’s side.
Kyles Athletic P
The meeting between Kyles Athletic and Newtonmore was postponed on Friday afternoon as the playing field at Tighnabruaich was ruled unplayable.
Mowi North Division 1
Aberdeen University 0
The Newtonmore second team won the first of their five games in hand over league leaders Glengarry when they beat Aberdeen University 6-0 at Balgownie.
This was Aberdeen University’s first home match since they lost 4-2 to the Fort William second team in the Granite City on Saturday July 6. Their absentees included Jamie Beaton, Graham Black and Stuart Cameron.
Newtonmore duo Calum Stewart and Cameron McNiven were free of suspension, but Declan Brannan began a two-game ban.
After being contained by the students for the first half-hour, Newtonmore raced into a 3-0 interval lead, with the goals coming in a devastating six-minute burst.
Owen Fraser broke the deadlock on 31 minutes and Calum Stewart added a double on 35 and 37 minutes.
Craig MacLeod scored twice on 61 and 71 minutes to make it 5-0 with Daniel Craven getting the sixth with 15 minutes remaining.
The win lifts Newtonmore to third in the table and they now trail Glengarry by seven points with four games in hand. They travel to play the Caberfeidh second team this Saturday, with Neil Stewart suspended, whilst the still to be scheduled meeting with Glengarry at the Eilan remains key.
The Kingussie seconds and the Lovat seconds drew 1-1 at the Dell.
Kingussie took the lead on six minutes through a trademark Craig Dawson finish – a 25-yard rocket-shot into the roof of the net.
However the Kingussie full forward had to limp off after half an hour after tweaking his ankle again.
It remained 1-0 until the final minute when Ronan MacMillan scored to earn Lovat a point.
Craig Dawson and Ronan MacMillan were unlikely scorers as they both started the season as goalkeepers for their respective clubs.
Fort William P
The clash between the Inverness first team and the Fort William colts at Bught Park was postponed because the pitch was unplayable.
There was disappointment for the Kinlochshiel colts and the Caberfeidh colts when the pitch at Reraig failed a Friday inspection.
Mowi South Division 1
Lochside Rovers 0
Ballachulish finish second in Mowi South Division 2 after they beat Lochside Rovers 3-0 at the Jubilee Park.
Ballachulish were along the usual lines with Cain MacPhee at full centre.
With Blair MacFarlane, Ross Campbell and Callum Kirsop on first team duty, veterans Gareth Evans, George Easton and Johnny Campbell started in the Lochside attack alongside U14 player Calum MacMillan, who played well. Thirteen-year-old Daniel Pearson was a lone figure on the bench.
Lewis Buchanan ended up on crutches after the previous week’s draw with Taynuilt, whilst Evan MacLellan, shoulder, and Louis MacFarlane, foot, were also crocked from that encounter.
Jordan Kerr played but misses out against Col Glen this Saturday after passing through the disciplinary points threshold.
Under-foot conditions were difficult with the pitch splashy in areas but both sides were keen to get the match played. Ballachulish started with the wind in their favour.
Alan Clark scored from the edge of the ‘D’ to give Ballachulish the lead on eight minutes and Lorne Brown made it 2-0 three minutes later, slipping the ball past Dougie MacDonald in the Lochside goal.
Lochside had their chances during the first 20 minutes, with Gareth Evans steering the ball wide from around the penalty spot.
Lochside were forced to make a change on 30 minutes when Alexander MacMillan, who returned to the side on the wing, had to come off with a shoulder injury.
Daniel Pearson was introduced in attack with Gareth Evans dropping back into defence in the ensuing reshuffle.
Ballachulish were now dominating the game and Patrick MacLean made it 3-0 on 56 minutes with a half-hit following a melee with keeper Dougie MacDonald, who had a good game.
The match completes Ballachulish’s season. Lochside Rovers host Col Glen at Mossfield in their final league game this Saturday.
GMA take Mòd Cup
Glasgow Mid Argyll lifted the Mòd Cup with a penalty shoot-out victory over Bute following their 0-0 draw at Glasgow Green on Saturday October 12.
The Mod Cup is traditionally contested between the two clubs based closest to the Royal National Mòd. The meeting between GMA and Bute was the 50th anniversary of the first Mòd Cup clash in 1969 when Newtonmore defeated Kingussie 5-2 at Aviemore as part of the Aviemore Mòd celebrations.
GMA last lifted the trophy at the Motherwell Mòd in 1983, whilst Bute’s most recent success came in 2013 at the Paisley Mòd when they defeated GMA in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.
The teams have had contrasting fortunes this season with GMA securing promotion from the Mowi National Division, whilst Bute finished in bottom spot. It was the islanders who came closer to breaking the deadlock though when Scott Harvey’s penalty went narrowly over the crossbar.
This encounter, played on a tight pitch, never really hit the heights and neither team was able to find the net during the regulation 90 minutes.
Referee Ross Brown took the contest straight to a penalty shoot-out and GMA gained revenge for their 2013 shoot-out defeat, running out 3-1 winners with Ryan Harrison, Duncan MacRae and Garry Luke all converting from the spot, despite Calum McLay’s miss.
Allan Campbell presented the trophy to Glasgow Mid Argyll skipper Jamie McFadyen.
Iomain Cholmcille shinty/hurling
Alba (3-3) 12
Fir Ulad (3-4) 13
The 2019 Royal National Mòd also hosted Iomain Cholmcille, the award-winning shinty/hurling/camogie international tournament for Gaelic speakers, with Alba and Fir Ulad clashing in the men’s match on Glasgow Green on Saturday October 12.
Ulster side Fir Ulad ran out narrow 13-12 winners, with the outcome in the balance until the end.
A Dearcan O’Donghaile point and a Joe O Dochartaigh goal had the Irish 4-0 ahead before Stewart Taylor pulled a point back.
Odran de Bhaldraite made it 5-1 and it stayed that way until the break.
John Angus MacInnes found the net to cut the deficit to a single point and when Graham Black added a point and Mark Fraser scored a goal, the Scots led 8-5.
Malachai O’hAgain added two single points for Fir Ulad, but a second Mark Fraser goal made it 11-7 to Alba.
The Ulster side came back with a Cathaoir O’Caiside goal but a single from John Angus MacInnes made it 12-10.
Fir Ulad finished strongly though and a goal from Odran de Bhaldraite proved decisive, giving the visitors a 13-12 victory.
Oban duo named in Scotland squad
Scotland head coach Garry Reid has named Daniel Cameron and Andrew MacCuish in his squad ahead of the Mowi shinty/hurling international against Ireland at Abbotstown, Dublin, on Saturday November 2.
The game takes place at the GAA’s performance centre with the senior international taking place after the U21 meeting between the Irish and the Scots.
There were recalls for Daniel Cameron and Andrew King, who missed last year’s international, whilst Fraser Heath, who played in the Scot’s victory led by Ronald Ross in 2016, also returns.
There are new caps for Caberfeidh brothers Craig Morrison and Blair Morrison as well as Kinlochshiel’s Donald Nixon and Kingussie pair Robert Mabon and Savio Genini.
2018 captain Grant Irvine, Mark MacDonald, Conor Cormack, Glen MacKintosh, Evan Menzies, Lorne Dickie, Shaun Nicolson and Arran MacPhee are the players who miss out from last year as does John MacRae who was initially named in the 2018 squad but had to pull out with a hand injury.
Ireland have yet to confirm their squad.
Scotland boss Garry Reid said: ‘Once again, the depth of talent in the game and the commitment demonstrated from senior players to be part of the squad continues to impress the coaching team yet challenges us to refine it down to the travelling squad of 20, with the original 32 player squad all showing that given the opportunity they would easily fit the bill as international standard players.
Camanachd Association president Keith Loades added: ‘I would like to congratulate all the players who have been called up for the Mowi shinty /hurling International. To represent your nation should be the pinnacle of your career and I know how humbling it is to be selected.
‘This is a talented group and I predict a highly competitive match against our Irish counterparts in November. International selection gives players the opportunity to transform themselves from icons in their communities into heroes for their nations.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that the players will make the Camanachd Association, their clubs and most importantly, themselves, very proud.’
Scotland from: Stuart Mac-Donald, Lovat); Rory Kennedy, Newtonmore; Steven Macdonald, Newtonmore; Robert Mabon, Kingussie; Andy MacKintosh, Newtonmore; Andrew King, Kyles Athletic; Daniel Grieve, Lovat; Blair Morrison, Caberfeidh; Finlay MacRae, Kinlochshiel; Donald Nixon, Kinlochshiel; Craig Main-land, Lovat; Fraser Heath, Lovat; Michael Russell, Newtonmore; Kevin Bartlett, Caberfeidh; Greg Matheson, Lovat; Roddy MacDonald, Kyles Athletic; Craig Morrison, Caberfeidh; Andrew MacCuish, Oban Camanachd; Daniel Cameron, Oban Camanachd; Savio Genini, Kingussie.
A play-off between Badenoch and Skye Camanachd looks likely following the latest round of Women’s Camanachd Association fixtures which saw most matches take place on Sunday October 13.
Mowi National Division
League leaders Badenoch stay top of the division after proving too strong for newly- promoted Ardnamurchan, winning their 2pm throw-up at Strontian 25-0.
Kirsty Deans scored nine times, Hope Borthwick hit five, Jeanette McGregor grabbed a hat-trick with braces from Rhona McIntyre, Eilidh Ross and Kirsty Grant. Rona Stewart and Sarah Caird got the others.
Badenoch remain two points clear at the top of the table and have completed their league programme. Second placed Skye are two points behind with a game in hand. Goal difference is not a deciding factor.
Aberdour were 2-0 winners against Glenurquhart in their noon throw-up at Blairbeg on Saturday October 5.
Niamh Donnelly scored both Aberdour goals.
Skye Camanachd W/O
Champions Skye Camanachd remain two points off the top with a game in hand after they were given a walk-over when Strathspey were unable to fulfil their fixture at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree on Saturday October 12.
Glasgow Mid Argyll
v Lochaber W/O
Glasgow Mid Argyll were unable to raise a team for their meeting with Lochaber at Yoker so the Spean Bridge side were awarded the points.
Mowi North Division 2
Second top Glengarry lost 2-1 to second bottom Strathglass in their 1pm throw-up at Craigard.
Elaine Cameron got the Glengarry goal but Freya Strachan and Shannon Birnie gave Strathglass victory.
Fort William P
Glengarry’s defeat meant Lovat clinched the Mowi North Division 2 title even although their 1pm throw-up against Fort William was postponed as An Aird was unplayable.
Kinlochshiel were given a walk-over when the Lochaber second team were unable to raise a team for their trip to Reraig.
GMA Ladies make it a double
Glasgow Mid Argyll Ladies lifted the Women’s Mòd Cup with a 9-0 victory over Bute Ladies at Glasgow Green on Saturday.
Kirsty Gray gave GMA the lead on two minutes. Orla McCarthy doubled their advantage on eight minutes.
Gillian Docherty on 21 minutes and anther from Orla McCarthy on 37 minutes made it 4-0.
GMA continued to dominate and Mia Galanti on 41 minutes, Catriona Stark on 44 minutes and Grace Mair three minutes later made it 7-0.
Orla McCarthy took her tally to four goals with efforts on 57 and 79 minutes to make the final score 9-0.
Lucy McNulty was the match referee.
Iomain Cholmcille shinty/camogie
Two Alba Ladies sides and Cois Fharraige met in a shinty/camogie series, played as part of Iomain Cholmcille for Gaelic speakers, showcased at the 2019 Royal National Mòd on Glasgow Green on Saturday.
The series began with a shinty challenge match in which Alba A beat Alba B 7-1. Mairi Duncan scored three points with Catriona Gibb, Annie MacDonald, Kate Bradley, Claire Delaney and an own goal making up Alba A’s tally. Lauren Doherty countered for Alba B.
The Cois Fharraige club from Connemara came out on top in both their shinty/camogie meetings with Alba A and Alba B.
Ashleigh Fraser got Alba B’s point in their 2-1 defeat to Cois Fharraige but Eabha Ni Chonlain and Aoife Nic Cormaic got the points that made the difference.
Three points from Maire Ni Fhrighil gave Cois Fharraige a 3-1 victory over Alba A. Mairi Duncan countered.
All three matches were refereed by Gaelic speaking whistler Henry MacInnes.