Major draw as cup throws up plum ties

Tom Uppington, Managing Director, Alvance British Alumium, Fort William Smelter made the draw for the Balliemore Cup, with Richard Gall, (left) Vice Chief of the Camanachd Association and Astie Cameron of the Camanachd Association. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image.

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Shinty clubs across Lochaber are standing by as the Camanachd Association continues to work towards a return to action in June.

Several cup draws have taken place over the last month with the most recent, the Alvance Aluminium Balliemore Cup, taking place in Fort William last week.

Tom Uppington, Managing Director of Alvance, said: ‘With several employees representing Ballachulish and Lochaber teams in the cup, we understand the importance of shinty and the tournament in promoting traditional sport and outdoor activity in the community.’

The draw for the first round, which will take place on July 24, is:

Northern Section: Lochaber v Inverness; Glenurquhart v Beauly; Skye v Lochcarron; Bye – Strathglass.

Southern Section: Bute v Oban Celtic; Ballachulish v Tayforth; Aberdour v Col Glen; Bye – Inveraray.

Derek Keir, Camanachd Association Chief Executive Officer, spoke about the value of the support from the Lochaber smelter and added:  ‘At a time where community wellbeing has never been so fundamental in our thoughts, our thanks go to everyone at Alvance for their continued support to deliver a high quality national competition that promotes physical and mental stimulation and wellbeing for everyone involved.’

Elsewhere, the draw for the first and second rounds of the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup took place and, with the early rounds being regionalised to reduce travel, some mouthwatering ties are in the offing.

The draw in full:

First round, June 26 2021

Northern Section

Beauly v Inverness; Glenurquhart v Strathglass; Bye: Skye.

Southern Section

Inveraray v Lochaber; Ballachulish v Bute; Bye: Oban Celtic

Second round, July 17 2021

Northern Section

Newtonmore v Kingussie; Caberfeidh v Beauly/Inverness; Glenurquhart/Strathglass v Kinlochshiel; Skye v Lovat.

Southern section

Kilmallie v Ballachulish/Bute; Fort William v Oban Camanachd; Oban Celtic v GMA;
Kyles Athletic v Inveraray/Lochaber.

Steven MacKenzie, Camanachd Association President, said: ‘This year represents the 125th anniversary of our sport’s ‘blue riband’ trophy – the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup.

‘Having looked over the draw, I must say it has started in perfect style. A lot of
well-matched opponents who should provide some exciting ties.

‘I think Fort William vs Oban Camanachd will be a good spectacle in the southern section. We are delighted to have such an exciting draw and, of course, we are thankful to our sponsor Tulloch Homes for making it all possible.’

Derek Keir said that making the draw was another important step towards the return of competitive action and added: ‘We are really excited by the draw and know this will invigorate all of our clubs as they look forward to playing in this historic competition again.’

The first round draw of the Cottages.com MacTavish Cup was also drawn earlier this month and is as follows: Fort William v Kilmallie; Kingussie v Skye; Lovat v Glenurquhart; Newtonmore v Inverness; Kinlochshiel v Lochaber. Byes: Beauly, Caberfeidh and Strathglass.