Shinty round-up

Gary Mackintosh of Highland Industrial Supplies with Camanachd Association president Keith Loades at the Sutherland Cup draw. Photograph: Neil Paterson.

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There has been a change of venue for Oban Camanachd’s pre-season friendly against Newtonmore.

The match was originally scheduled to take place in Oban on Saturday February 22 but will now take place at the Eilan on the same day with a 12.30pm throw-up. It will be Newtonmore’s first home match of the season after carrying out maintenance work on their field.

The match between Lochside Rovers and the Newtonmore second team is off, with Lochside looking to find a replacement fixture.
Oban Camanachd and Lochside Rovers host their Glasgow Mid Argyll counterparts this Saturday. The seniors meet at Mossfield, whilst the colts play at Ganavan.

Oban Camanachd assistant manager Kenny Wotherspoon said: ‘GMA have strengthened after winning promotion at the end of last season.
‘I believe they’ve signed Ewan Fraser, who scored a lot of goals for Newtonmore last season, and Ally McKerracher, a player I know well from my time at Oban Celtic.

‘We also meet them on the first day of the new shinty season and they won’t be easy games. GMA are new to the league so the pressure will be on us as everyone will expect us to win.’

Oban Camanachd complete their pre-season programme against Ballachulish at the Jubilee Park on Saturday February 29, whilst Lochside play the Fort William second team at Ganavan that day.

cottages.com MacTavish Cup draw

The draw for the first round of the cottages.com MacTavish Cup took place at Hilton Primary School, Inverness, on Monday February 10.
Hilton Primary School is one of many schools in Inverness taking part in regular competition thanks to the efforts of Inverness Shinty Club.

First round
Saturday March 28
Lovat v Kingussie
Lochaber v Caberfeidh
Kilmallie v Kinlochshiel
Newtonmore v Beauly
Fort William v Skye Camanachd

Byes
Glenurquhart
Inverness
Strathglass

2020 represents the third year of partnership between the Camanachd Association and cottages.com and their regional sales director Mark Whitehouse said: ‘We’re delighted to be sponsoring the MacTavish Cup for a third year and overseeing the first-round draw. We can’t wait for the new season to get under way and the exciting matches ahead. Cottages.com is proud to support shinty, a sport with huge cultural significance that promotes community. We believe in the role the sport plays in Scotland’s unique heritage and making it a great destination and wish the best of luck to all the teams in 2020.’

Derek Keir of the Camanachd Association said: ‘We are delighted to celebrate the incredible work of clubs and schools to grow and sustain shinty by hosting the cottages.com MacTavish cup draw at Hilton Primary School. This helps raise awareness of the opportunity to participate thanks to volunteers from Inverness Shinty Club as well as give important exposure to our senior game.’

Keith Loades, president of the Camanachd Association added: ‘Cottages.com’s continued sponsorship of the MacTavish Cup allows us to enhance our position as Scotland’s most historic and culturally significant sport. By committing to supporting shinty for another year, cottages.com is showing a desire to augment the quality of life for many rural communities across our country in a way only shinty can. The eagerly anticipated draw will pair together the cream of north shinty clubs eligible to compete in this, the 122nd playing of the MacTavish Cup.’

HIS Sutherland Cup draw

The Highland Industrial Supplies Sutherland Cup draw took place in Inverness on Monday February 3.

Garry Mackintosh from sponsors HIS drew the home teams with Camanachd Association president Keith Loades pulling the away sides.
Holders Lochside Rovers were one of eight teams given a bye into a 16-team second round. Gareth Evans, beginning his second spell in charge at Lochside Rovers, said: ‘It’s a bonus to get an opening round bye and all you can ask for after that is a home tie and we have that and we’ll see who comes through from the tie between Glenurquhart and Lochaber. We are not looking any further forward than that though but it is a plus that Kingussie, Newtonmore and Fort William are in the other half of the draw.’

The tie of the round is the derby meeting between Kingussie and Newtonmore second teams at the Dell.

There is also a west coast derby as the Kinlochshiel colts host the Skye colts whilst Glenorchy were given a trip to play Lewis Camanachd.

The Fort William and Kilmallie seconds both have home advantage against Strathspey Camanachd and the Inveraray seconds respectively.

First round
Saturday April 11
Glenurquhart v Lochaber
Kinlochshiel v Skye Camanachd
Kyles Athletic v Kilmory
Lewis Camanachd v Glenorchy
Kingussie v Newtonmore
Inverness v Caberfeidh
Kilmallie v Inveraray
Fort William v Strathspey
Camanachd

Byes
Boleskine
SCOTS Camanachd
Lochside Rovers
Glasgow Mid Argyll
Strathglass
Lovat
Aberdeen University
Beauly

Second round
Saturday May 23
Aberdeen University v Kingussie/ Newtonmore
Glasgow Mid Argyll v Beauly
Lochside Rovers v Glenurquhart/ Lochaber
Strathglass v Lovat
Kyles Athletic/Kilmory v Lewis
Camanachd/Glenorchy
Kilmallie/Inveraray v
Kinlochshiel/Skye Camanachd
Boleskine v Fort William/ Strathspey Camanachd
SCOTS Camanachd v Inverness/ Caberfeidh

Garry Mackintosh from HIS said: ‘We are delighted to sign this three-year partnership with the Camanachd Association, with an option to extend for a fourth year. Shinty is vital to so many of the communities that Highland Industrial Supplies operates in and we are looking forward to developing our partnership over the coming years.’

Camanachd Association president Keith Loades added: ‘This year’s draw has paired together some great teams and there is little doubt that this, the 97th playing of the Highland Industrial Supplies Sutherland Cup, will prove as entertaining and dynamic as it has done in previous years. I wish everyone involved the very best.’

Camanachd Association chief executive officer Derek Keir added: ‘We are delighted to continue our partnership with Highland Industrial Supplies. The commitment they have shown to supporting shinty helps the Camanachd Association and our member clubs to reach people in some of the most isolated communities in Scotland. The Camanachd Association endeavours to work with businesses who operate and provide jobs for shinty communities and in signing off this partnership we can deliver on this objective. We are all very excited for what is to come and we are eagerly anticipating the start of one of our furthest reaching national competitions – the Highland Industrial Supplies Sutherland Cup.’
The 2020 HIS Sutherland Cup Final is scheduled to take place at Blairbeg on Saturday August 29.

Fixture list

The fixture list for the 2020 shinty season has been released with competitive games beginning on Saturday March 7.

Mowi South Division 1

Lochside Rovers face a tough start to the season. First, they welcome the Glasgow Mid Argyll second team to Oban – a repeat of last season’s Bullough Cup Final. On Saturday March 14, the Oban side travels to Ballachulish who finished second behind champions Aberdour in the league last term. A week later, Lochside host Bute who were relegated from the Mowi National Division at the end of last season.

Lochside boss Gareth Evans said: “It’s a tough start but you have to play all the teams sometime. We met GMA in last year’s Bullough Final. We also have them this Saturday in a friendly. Ballachulish had a fine season last year, finishing second, and I think they’ll be good again this time around, whilst Bute are, in my mind, favourites to win the league. We’ll prepare well and hope to catch them cold but it will be difficult.’

Ballachulish had an impressive 2009, finishing second in Mowi South Division 1. They begin their new campaign against Taynuilt at Taynuilt Sports Field. Ballachulish’s first home match comes a week later, against Lochside Rovers, who finished a place behind them last term. On Saturday March 21, Ballachulish host the Kyles Athletic second team.

Taynuilt, with new manager Steven Campbell in charge, open their season with home matches against Ballachulish then the Glasgow Mid Argyll second team, either side of a clash against Bute at the Meadows.
Bute are favourites to make a swift return to national league shinty. The islanders will travel to Col Glen on Saturday March 7 before hosting Taynuilt. They travel to Oban to play Lochside Rovers on Saturday March 21.
Col Glen will be tested at home to Bute before travelling to Tayforth on Saturday March 14. Next is a trip to Taynuilt Sports Field to take on Taynuilt.

Kyles Athletic welcome Tayforth on the opening day of the season and then have successive away matches against the Glasgow Mid Argyll seconds and Ballachulish.

Glasgow Mid Argyll’s second team travel to Oban to play Lochside Rovers and to Tayforth either side of their home meeting with their Kyles counterparts.

Tayforth open at Kyles before hosting Col Glen and Glasgow Mid Argyll’s second team.

Mowi North Division 1

Champions Newtonmore seconds start with a clash against their Kinlochshiel counterparts at the Eilan. There is a trip to newly promoted Lochcarron before the Inverness first team visit the Eilan.

Glengarry, who finished second in the title race last season running Newtonmore reserves all the way to the final day of the season, have a free week on the opening day of the season in this 11-team league. Glengarry play the Skye colts at Craigard on Saturday March 14 and travel to Caberfeidh a week later.

The Fort William reserves are away to Skye on the first Saturday of the season. The Glenurquhart reserves come to An Aird a week later, whilst Fort William head for Lochcarron on Saturday March 21.

Newly-promoted Lochcarron face the Lovat second team at Balgate on Saturday March 7. They host the Newtonmore and Fort William second teams on the next two Saturdays.

The Kingussie seconds follow their game at Caberfeidh with Lovat’s visit to the Dell and a journey to Skye.

The Inverness senior side’s run of games are away to Glenurquhart and Newtonmore, either side of a free Saturday.

The Skye second team’s first three matches are Fort William, home; Glengarry, away, and Kingussie, home.

The Kinlochshiel reserves visit their Newtonmore counterparts before hosting Caberfeidh and travelling to Glenurquhart.
The Lovat second string welcome Lochcarron and then travel to Kingussie before having a free Saturday.

The Caberfeidh second team have Kingussie, home; Kinlochshiel, away; and Glengarry, home, whilst the Glenurquhart colts take on Inverness, home; Fort William, away; and Kinlochshiel, home.

Pre-season friendly results

The pre-season friendlies gathered pace with a number of games beating the elements on Saturday February 8.

Oban Camanachd 7
Inveraray 3

Oban Camanachd beat Inveraray 7-3 in their 1pm throw-up. The match was originally scheduled for Ganavan but the 4G pitch at Oban High School was booked as back-up and it came into play when Ganavan was ruled unplayable.

Garry Lord bagged a brace for Oban Camanachd whilst Chrissie MacMillan, Connor Howe, Daniel MacCuish, Daniel MacVicar and Lewis Buchanan were also on target. Allan MacDonald, Lewis MacNicol and Hamish MacLellan found the net for Inveraray.

Oban Camanachd boss Stephen Sloss said: ‘We played three, 30 minute matches which we won 2-1, 2-1 and 3-1 so it was a good work out. We used 17 players who all got 70 minutes and a chance to get their touch in.’

Oban Celtic 2
Inveraray 2

Oban Celtic’s second team and the Inveraray second team drew 2-2 in their noon throw-up at Mossfield.

It was a cold, windy day for this closely-fought clash with both teams fielding several youth players.

There was also a sprinkling of experience in both sides with first team boss Ruaraidh Graham, Allan MacDonald and Hamish MacLellan featuring for the visitors, whilst Ross MacMillan and Lennon Campbell got 90 minutes for Celtic with Andy MacDonald, Neil Carmichael and Dylan Cooke also taking the field with some unable to make all the remaining February friendlies.

Inveraray took the lead with a shot from Kane Kirkhope. Celtic keeper Rebecca Macphee got a touch to the ball and was unlucky not to keep it out.
Celtic levelled through Charlie Campbell Roberts but a goal from Inveraray veteran Ruaraidh Graham gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage at half-time.

A few of the Inveraray first team players had to leave for their first team friendly against Oban

Camanachd whilst Oban Celtic made changes of their own throughout the second half. Just minutes before referee Alex MacVicar’s final whistle, Celtic grabbed an equaliser through Ross MacMillan and it finished 2-2. There were stand-out performances from Inveraray keeper Gregor Mather, who had a great game, and Chris Campbell who worked hard throughout the 90 minutes.

Kinlochshiel P
Fort William P

Kinlochshiel and Fort William brought their throw-up at Kirkton forward to 11am in an attempt to get the match played ahead of the arrival of Storm Ciara.
However, overnight rain left water on the pitch and the match was called off on Saturday morning.

Lochaber 2
Newtonmore 5

The Newtonmore second team beat their Lochaber counterparts 5-2 in their 1pm throw-up at Spean Bridge.
Bruno Berardelli and Robbie Rydings were on target for Lochaber but Craig Macleod’s double and goals from Arron MacBean, Somhairle Thomson and Duncan Gorman gave Newtonmore victory.

Ballachulish P
Kilmallie P

The 1pm throw-up between Ballachulish and the Kilmallie second team at Jubilee Park was postponed because of pitch and weather conditions.

Lovat 0
Glenurquhart 0

Lovat and Glenurquhart drew 0-0 on a particularly cold day at Balgate.
Lovat were without Marc MacLachlan, whilst Neale Reid and Connor Golabek won’t feature for the Glenurquhart this season.

Glenurquhart had wind advantage in the first half and created more chances without really troubling Stuart MacDonald in the home goal.

However, at the other end, Fraser Heath’s shot hit the crossbar with Glenurquhart keeper Stuart MacKintosh helpless.

Lovat introduced Scott MacKenzie when Fraser Heath was forced off for treatment after he was caught on the nose by John Barr’s swing.

Glenurquhart’s Michael Fraser gets his block in on Lovat’s Greg Matheson. Photograph: Neil Paterson.

Referee Andy MacLean awarded Lovat a penalty just before the hour after the goal judge flagged when John Barr felled Fraser Heath, now back on the field, inside the ‘D’.

Greg Matheson took the spot-hit but Stuart MacKintosh saved with his caman, above his head.

Lovat had the better chances in the second half and the excellent Stuart MacKintosh threw himself to again deny Greg Matheson, this time from close range, but the hosts couldn’t break the deadlock.

James MacPherson, now at full forward, had a couple of efforts for Glenurquhart but the match finished goal-less.

Glenurquhart’s John Barr goes for the ball with Lovat’s Fraser Heath. Photograph: Neil Paterson.

Newtonmore 4
Beauly 0

Newtonmore ran out 4-0 winners against Beauly in their 1pm throw-up at Kincraig.

Iain Robinson, Drew MacDonald, David MacLean – against his former club – and Jamie Robinson got the goals.

Aberdour 4
Strathglass 3

Aberdour edged out Strathglass 4-3 at Silversands.
The sides had been due to play first and second team matches but the conditions meant only one mixed match went ahead.

The elements meant this was a game of two halves and although a double from Penri Jones and a Sam Cooper goal counted for Strathglass, Lewis Nicol, Roddy MacColl, Ruairidh Reid and Alec Mitchell sealed an Aberdour win.

Inverness 0
Boleskine 1

Neil Hope scored the only goal of the game as Boleskine beat the Inverness seconds 1-0 on the Bught Park outside pitch.

MacKinnon Shinty Sixes

Skye Camanachd held the MacKinnon Sixes at the Portree High School astro pitch.

Five teams took part and, after the round-robin matches, Witness the Fitness and Crossal Inc. won their semi-finals to meet in the final. Goals from Jenna Beaton and Jordan Murchison gave Witness the Fitness a 2-1 win in the final.

Player of the tournament accolades went to: Overall – Jordan Murchison; Ladies – Ilana Paterson; U17 – Ross MacKinnon and Over 40s – Robbie Gordon.

Liz Young Sixes

Kingussie hosted the sixth Liz Young Sixes at Dalfaber Sports Hall, Aviemore.

Eight teams and more than 50 players took part, with Ruthven the eventual winners.

The winning squad was Rona Stewart, captain; James Hutchison; Roddy Young; Eoin Baikie; Dylan Borthwick and Callan Stewart.

Oban Lorn Ladies P
Bute Ladies P

Oban Lorn Ladies were to return to action with a preseason friendly against Bute Ladies at Ganavan on Sunday February 9.

But the match was called off 24 hours earlier because of an unplayable pitch.
The sides will renew rivalries on Sunday March 1 when they meet on Bute in a Mowi South Division 2 clash on the first day of the new season.

This weekend’s pre-season fixtures

There are only three more Saturdays until the 2020 shinty season starts and clubs will ramp up their preparations on Saturday February 15.

Oban Camanachd and Lochside Rovers have a double-header against the Glasgow Mid Argyll first and second teams. Oban Camanachd play at Mossfield, whilst Lochside are at Ganavan. Both matches start at 1pm.

The Oban Celtic squad head for Dunoon to play Kyles Athletic, whilst Glengarry start their pre-season against Beauly.

There is an all-Mowi Premiership match between Caberfeidh and Newtonmore at Castle Leod, whilst the Kingussie first and second teams host their Skye Camanachd counterparts at Dunbarry.

Strathglass and Lovat hope to play first and second team matches, with venues to be confirmed.

The seniors will contest the Murdo MacKenzie Memorial Trophy.
Inverness play Glenurquhart, Newtonmore’s second team face Tayforth whilst Boleskine challenge the Caberfeidh seconds.

Kinlochshiel will host a pitch naming ceremony at their new home, Reraig Park.