Scotland win Mowi Quaich

The victorious Scotland shinty team after beating the Ireland hurling team in the annual combined rules Mowi International held in Dublin last weekend.

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Mowi Shinty/Hurling Senior International

Ireland (0-4) 4
Scotland (5-1) 26

Scotland won the Mowi Quaich with a convincing 26-4 victory over Ireland at a wet GAA National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin, on Saturday November 2.

Home advantage has been key in this fixture in recent years. The Scots were chasing their fourth successive win, although the previous three successes came in Inverness. Ireland last tasted victory in 2015 when they edged out the Scots 16-14 at Croke Park.

Ireland were again co-managed by Willie Maher and Conor Phelan. This was their fifth year against the Scots, including two years with the U21s, but it was their first international on home soil. The Irish were captained for this 2.15pm throw-in by Donegal’s Danny Cullen who played in the previous three encounters but, unusually, no players from hurling’s top tier were named.

Their selection was dominated by players who compete in the second tier Joe McDonagh Cup. This was put down to almost 60 second and third tier players attending the trials and the scheduling of the annual All-Star event the previous evening.

Ireland, however, put together a fairly experienced panel, with eight players from the home squad having previously featured in this fixture. Danny Cullen from Donegal and the combative Damien Healy from Meath both played for the seniors last year and are becoming veterans in this cross-code clash, whilst Derry’s Alan Grant was involved in 2017. Kerry’s Shane Nolan and Kildare’s Paul Divilly both featured in 2016, as did Mikey Boyle from Kerry.

Ryan Mullaney from Laois and Carlow’s Sean Whelan both played for the Ireland U21s two years ago with Whelan also named in 2016.

Tyrone’s Damian Casey was a late call-off because of club commitments.
Scotland head coach Garry Reid gave full debuts to Caberfeidh duo Craig Morrison and Blair Morrison, whilst Robert Mabon, Savio Genini and Donald Nixon made their debuts from the bench. There were also starting spots for Daniel Grieve and Craig Mainland who were both substitutes in 2018.

Ireland made a bright start and, in the opening minute, Cillian Kiely saw an effort from wide on the left drop wide of goal.

Shane McGovern of Ireland in action against Daniel Grieve of Scotland. Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile.

However, when Paul Divilly took possession in space wide on the left on two minutes, he launched the ball goalwards and although keeper Stuart MacDonald got a stick to the ball, it looped over the bar.

The hosts added another point soon after when Joey Boyle touched a hit-in from the right inside to Danny Cullen who floated the ball over the bar.
Scotland’s Andy MacKintosh went off to receive treatment for what looked like a shoulder problem with Andrew King introduced in his place.

Scotland notched their first point on 12 minutes. Kevin Bartlett played the ball in from wide on the left and Daniel Cameron gathered possession before turning and driving the ball over the bar.
Ireland went back on the attack, but when Cillian Kiely’s ball dropped in on goal, Stuart MacDonald casually swiped it away.

Both sides then passed up good chances to score in quick succession. First, Craig Mainland lofted a dangerous ball into the goal area where Craig Morrison, who has been so deadly in front of goal this season, sent the ball the wrong side of the keeper’s right post from the back of the ‘D’.
Then, at the other end, Danny Cullen shot wide after good play from Ryan Mullaney.

Scotland got the chance to take the lead on 24 minutes when Michael Doyle was penalised for a ‘kick’ as he tried to clear his lines and Kevin Bartlett showed his usual composure as he stroked the ball between the posts from right of centre to make it 3-2.

Two minutes later, Danny Cullen ran away from Daniel Grieve as he cut in from the right and was bundled over. There was a let-off for the Scots as Willie Dunphy went for a two-pointer from the free but sent his effort from in front of goal wide of the post.

Brian Tracey saved a Kevin Bartlett free from the right which was dropping in on goal before Damien Healy took a good pass from Alan Grant but struck the ball wide.

Scotland scored their first goal on 31 minutes. Another huge Steven Macdonald free from in front of the stand was knocked down by keeper Brian Tracey, but Craig Morrison was in the right place to sweep the ball into the net from left of centre. Scotland now led 6-2 and they never looked back.

Ireland tried to respond and Cillian Egan dodged a couple of challenges before playing in the ball inside to Padraig Boyle with Stuart MacDonald doing well to clear the dipping ball.

Andrew MacCuish had come off the Scotland bench a few minutes earlier and made his mark on 35 minutes. Brian Tracey saved well from a Craig Morrison snap-shot but the Irish defence couldn’t clear the danger and Kevin Bartlett fed Michael Russell on the left. His cross was turned home by MacCuish in front of goal for his second international goal in two outings.
Cillian Kiely lifted and dropped a dead ball between the posts from the middle of the park on 38 minutes and there was still time for Scotland debutant Donald Nixon to shoot wide before the referee brought the first 40 minutes to an end with Scotland leading 9-3.

A determined-looking Craig Mainland in action during the Mowi International in Dublin.

Scotland now had Savio Genini, Greg Matheson and Robert Mabon on and they found the net again less than a minute after the re-start. Michael Russell played the ball in from wide left. Andrew MacCuish, holding off his marker with his back to goal, cleverly allowed the ball to run across his body and Craig Morrison made a great run, in at the back post, to score his second goal of the game.

Michael Russell went close after being set up by Savio Genini seconds later before Steven MacDonald launched a huge dead ball between the posts from midfield on 44 minutes to open his account.

The Scotland defence were also playing their part. Rory Kennedy always looked assured at the back for the Scots. He was fouled as he took on four hurlers, whilst Andrew King did well to foil another attack.

Robert Mabon’s robust challenge on Joey Boyle sparked a midfield flashpoint which saw Damien Healey booked for jabbing Greg Matheson with his hurl. Ireland made the resultant free count with Ryan Mullaney lifting and striking the ball between the posts to make it 14-4.

Finlay MacRae showed his experience throughout for the Scots and took the ball from Rory Kennedy before finding Steven Macdonald on the right with a ball out of defence. Macdonald played a one-two before playing in Andrew MacCuish who cut the ball back to Greg Matheson, but his shot was deflected wide. Steven Macdonald sent the resultant free past the post.
However, when Craig Mainland was brought down on 58 minutes, Steven Macdonald struck the ball sweetly over the bar to make it 16-4.

Good goalkeeping from Stuart MacDonald cleared a dangerous ball just after the hour, before Scotland moved out of sight with another goal on 66 minutes. When Steven Macdonald was fouled on the left, he picked himself up and sent the free into the danger area where keeper Tracey got to the ball. But Roddy MacDonald gleefully hammered the re-bound home to make it 19-4.

Scotland scored their fifth goal of the game on 68 minutes. Roddy MacDonald got a touch to a Steven MacDonald free and Kevin Bartlett swept the ball into the net.

Savio Genini’s movement was good and he played a one-two before striking the ball over to make it 23-4 a minute later. He notched a second point on 73 minutes from another Steven Macdonald free.

Andy MacKintosh was back on for Scotland and, with five minutes remaining, his Newtonmore club-mate Steven Macdonald took his count to six points with a free from in front of the stand which made it 26-4. It was Macdonald’s first game back since the Camanachd Cup Final and his excellent performance repaid boss Garry Reid’s determination to have him involved, despite injury doubts.

With the clock running down, Roddy MacDonald won the ball and ran through on 79 minutes, but keeper Brian Tracey was quickly off his line to foil the danger.

Scotland didn’t have a failure in their squad and Blair Morrison marked his senior debut by being officially named Scotland’s top performer.
This was Scotland’s fourth successive win in this fixture and after the final whistle, the Mowi Quaich was presented to Scotland captain Stuart MacDonald.

Scotland did well in the game and were convincing winners. But Ireland were disappointing and their decision not to field any top flight players came back to haunt them, whilst also taking something away from the fixture. The Irish haven’t recorded a victory since 2015 and they will hopefully seize the opportunity in 2020 to mount more of a contest.

Scotland from: Stuart MacDonald, Lovat, captain: Rory Kennedy, Newtonmore; Daniel Grieve, Lovat; Andy MacKintosh, Newtonmore; Finlay MacRae, Kinlochshiel; Blair Morrison, Caberfeidh; Craig Mainland, Lovat; Steven Macdonald, Newtonmore; Fraser Heath, Lovat; Michael Russell, Newtonmore; Kevin Bartlett, Caberfeidh; Daniel Cameron, Oban Camanachd; Roddy MacDonald, Kyles Athletic; Craig Morrison, Caberfeidh. Subs: Andrew King, Kyles Athletic; Andrew MacCuish, Oban Camanachd; Greg Matheson, Lovat; Savio Genini, Kingussie; Robert Mabon, Kingussie, and Donald Nixon, Kinlochshiel.
Head coach – Garry Reid. Assistant coaches – Kenny Ross and Robert Geddes. Match referee – Calum Girvan.

Scotland captain Stuart Macdonald lifts the Mowi Challenge Quaich.
Mowi Shinty/Hurling U21 International

Ireland U21 (7-11) 32
Scotland U21 (4-2) 14

A strong second half display gave Ireland U21 a 32-14 victory over Scotland U21 in their Mowi Quaich clash at the GAA National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin on Saturday November 2.

Attacker Shane Conway, part of the Kerry senior panel, skippered the Irish. He was also Bord Gais Energy U21 Ireland B Hurler of the Year in 2017.
Ireland also fielded Mark Kehoe, a member of the 2019 Tipperary squad which won the 2019 All-Ireland.

Calum Grant, from Mowi Premiership and Artemis Macaulay Cup winners Kingussie, was given the honour of captaining the Scots for this noon throw-in.

There was a full debut for Ruaridh Anderson in the Scotland attack, whilst the other new caps, William MacKinnon, Alexander Michie, Andrew Morrison, Daniel MacCuish Lachie Shaw and Kieran MacPherson, started on the bench alongside Alexander Michie.

Seventeen-year-old Daniel Sloss, who was a substitute in 2018, lined up in defence with Daniel MacVicar, who was last involved in the 2016 international, also given a starting slot.

The young Scots recorded a 25-13 triumph following a bruising encounter in Dublin last year and they took an early 6-3 advantage in this one with Ruaridh Anderson and Daniel MacVicar both netting.

Ireland almost converted a chance on 16 minutes but the ball was stopped brilliantly on the line by defender Iain Richardson.
Scotland went on the attack but were unable to capitalise on a set-piece opportunity after Roddy Young had been fouled.

The match was flowing from end-to-end and Lachie Smith mopped up a couple of threatening Irish attacks.

Roddy Young shot wide of the near post after good play from the Scots, but they had keeper Scott MacLachlan to thank for a fine save a couple of minutes later.

However, he couldn’t keep out an effort from Ireland skipper Shane Conway who levelled the contest at 6-6 on 23 minutes.
Scotland’s response was instant though and Ruaridh Anderson’s second goal made it 9-6.

Ireland added two more points to make it 9-8 a couple of minutes later.
Scotland went back on the attack and Innes Blackhall drove the ball home from close range on 36 minutes, with Findlay MacDonald also striking a point, to make it 13-8.

Scotland’s Daniel Sloss in action against Shane Conway of Ireland during the U21 game.

In a sign of what was to come, Ireland finished the first half strongly, adding four more points, to cut Scotland’s interval lead to 13-12.
The second half saw a display of Irish dominance and they streaked ahead, adding point after goal to eventually win 32-14.
Scotland’s only second half counter came from Fort William’s Lachie Shaw, with a point on his debut.

The final count saw Scotland player of the match Ruaridh Anderson score two goals, with Daniel MacVicar and Innes Blackhall getting the others. Findlay MacDonald and Lachie Shaw added points.

Four-goal Mark Kehoe, as well as Shane Conway with two goals and six points, were Ireland’s top scorers. Donal Burke notched two points whilst Barry Mahony, James Keyes and Chris Nolan added further Irish points with Darren Morrisey also finding the net.

After the final whistle, the Mowi Quaich was presented to Ireland captain Shane Conway.

Scotland U21 from: Scott MacLachlan, Inveraray; Lachlan Smith, Glenurquhart; Calum Grant, Kingussie, captain; Daniel Sloss, Oban Camanachd; Ross MacMillan, Oban Celtic; Danny Kelly, Lovat; Findlay MacDonald, Lochaber; Iain Richardson, Newtonmore; Daniel MacVicar, Oban Camanachd; Innes Blackhall, Kilmallie; Jonnie MacAskill, Glasgow Mid Argyll; Ruaridh Anderson, Kingussie; Iain Robinson, Newtonmore, and Roddy Young, Kingussie. Subs: William MacKinnon, Skye Camanachd; Alexander Michie, Kingussie; Andrew Morrison, Beauly; Daniel MacCuish, Oban Camanachd; Lachie Shaw, Fort William, and Kieran MacPherson, Kingussie.
Head coach – Alan MacRae. Match referee – Sean Stack.

Mowi North Division 1

Newtonmore 6
Glengarry 2

The Newtonmore second team are Mowi North Division 1 title favourites after beating challengers Glengarry 6-2 at the Eilan.

These sides have been battling it out for the title for most of the season and Glengarry, in what was their final league fixture, knew a draw would be enough to give them the title. They had also beaten Newtonmore 4-3 at Craigard in their last outing four weeks earlier.

The Newtonmore colts simply needed to win to keep their hopes of retaining the trophy alive.

It had been wet overnight and the Newtonmore ground staff were busy ahead of throw-up, brushing water off the pitch. It remained damp underfoot with some ground water evident, but referee Graham Cameron deemed the conditions fair and both teams were keen to get the game under way.

Newtonmore were without Neil Stewart, Ryan Spinks, Stuart Mitchell and Cameron McNiven. Fraser Macintosh kept his place from the previous Saturday and Owen Fraser and Drew Macdonald were added to the squad.

Newtonmore’s Calum Stewart pulled up injured ahead of the match so there was a late call-up for Glen MacKintosh who started on the bench. Boss Orsten Gardner also gave starting slots to six teenagers.

Glengarry were along usual lines with Matthew Ross and James MacRae in defence, the ever reliable Steven Cameron in midfield, Nick Dalgety and Raymond Robertson in attack and five substitutes on their bench.

Both teams started competitively but it was Newtonmore who took the lead on six minutes. The goal came from a corner on the left which was knocked back out by Stuart MacArthur to Charlie Ferguson and his chip was turned home on his left side from the left of the ‘D’ by Fraser MacKintosh, using his huge reach to good effect and giving the keeper no chance.

Glengarry’s Raymond Robertson soaks Newtonmore’s Scott Chisholm during last weekend’s Mowi North Division One game at The Eilan.
Photograph: Neil Paterson.

Nick Dalgety drew Glengarry level with the goal of the match on 11 minutes. Shaun Sloggie gathered possession following a contentious Newtonmore hit-in and he played the ball down the right to Finlay Nicolson who passed possession inside to Raymond Robertson in a central position.

Robertson played a perfectly weighted pass to Nick Dalgety who was running towards the right of the ‘D’ and he tucked the ball low into the corner of the net past advancing keeper Calum Grover to make it 1-1.
The hosts had chances to go back in front but a combination of poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping from Gordon MacDonald kept the scores level.

It was Nick Dalgety again on 33 minutes who put Glengarry ahead. A long shy from Scott Bremner on the left fell to Raymond Robertson who turned his marker and fired away a shot which was saved with his feet by Calum Grover. But the re-bound was volleyed in by Dalgety from close range.

With just one first half minute remaining, Newtonmore equalised when, after good work by Drew MacDonald on the left, Andrew Buchan finished confidently from a central position.

Newtonmore introduced Glen MacKintosh for Charlie Ferguson at half-time, with MacKintosh making only his third appearance for the blue and whites over the last five months.

MacKintosh’s impact was immediate and he put Newtonmore back in front on 49 minutes with a turn and 25-yard rocket-shot which went into the top corner of the net to the keeper’s left side.

Straight from the re-start, a fine long Craig MacLeod ball from wide on the left found Drew MacDonald racing in at the back post and his crisp drive made it 4-2.

Newtonmore were now on top and Glengarry keeper Gordon MacDonald produced some stunning saves, particularly with his stick from a Glen MacKintosh rocket, to keep his team in the match.

Glengarry grew back into the game though, putting Newtonmore’s young defence under pressure for a period, and it wasn’t until three minutes from time when Newtonmore’s top scorer Craig MacLeod made the points safe as he ran onto a long free-hit before checking back and making it 5-2 with a low, hard drive from the left.

Glen MacKintosh put gloss on the victory, making it 6-2 on 89 minutes. Calum Grover’s long goal-hit was played on to MacKintosh on the left and he made enough space to evade marker Matthew Ross before shooting low across the keeper to round off the win.

There were yellow cards for Newtonmore trio James Ross, Owen Fraser and Duncan Gorman as well as Glengarry pair Scott Bremner and Nick Dalgety.
Best for Newtonmore were Drew MacDonald, Scott Chisholm and Duncan Gorman.

Glengarry’s top performers were danger men Nick Dalgety, Raymond Robertson, the ever-young Steven Cameron and man of the match Gordon MacDonald.

Newtonmore’s final two fixtures are at home to the Glenurquhart seconds this Saturday, with Aberdeen University the visitors to the Eilan the week after.

Two wins will mean Newtonmore retain the trophy for the fourth consecutive season, although three points may be enough as their goal difference is currently only four behind Glengarry.

Fort William 0
Glenurquhart 1

The Glenurquhart second team were 1-0 winners against the Fort William second team at An Aird.

David MacLennan scored the only goal of the game after 30 minutes.
This was Glenurquhart’s final match of the season and they finish fifth.
Fort William drop to third and can still be overtaken by fourth-placed Lovat colts who are a point behind with a match remaining against bottom-placed Aberdeen University.

Lovat P
Aberdeen University P

The 1pm throw-up between the Lovat colts and Aberdeen University was called off on Saturday morning as Balgate was unplayable.

WCA round-up

Scotland U18 1
Scotland Development 3

The Scotland Development squad beat the Scotland U18 squad 3-1 at Ballachulish on Saturday November 2.

Lochaber’s Natalie MacDonald, Skye’s Emma Gordon and Ardnamurchan’s Joanne Ford had the Development squad 3-0 ahead before Glenurquhart’s Abi Stoddart countered.

This weekend’s fixtures

The penultimate round of fixtures in the Mowi Premiership are scheduled for this Saturday.

The Oban Camanachd squad rounds off their season with a trip to play Kinlochshiel. Both sides will continue to take the opportunity to field younger players; giving them valuable game experience ahead of next season.

Meantime, Newtonmore travel to Tighnabruaich to face Kyles Athletic in what is manager Paul John MacKintosh’s final match in charge.

There are also two Mowi North Division 1 matches as the Newtonmore and Glenurquhart second teams meet at the Eilan, whilst Aberdeen University welcome the Kingussie colts.

Annual Mowi Shinty Awards

The Mowi Conference and Awards Ceremony will take place in the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Saturday November 9.

Nominations are closed and the winners from the various categories will be announced at the event.