Shinty round-up – June 10

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The new shinty season got under way on Saturday June 5.

Mowi Senior League C

With covid restrictions in Glasgow relaxed at midnight, Oban Camanachd were able to travel to Peterson Park to play Glasgow Mid Argyll in their opening Mowi League C match only a matter of hours later.

There has been a change in personnel at Oban Camanachd with Andrew ‘Papa’ MacCuish, Lorne Dickie and Gary McKerracher opting out this term and Garry Lord, Scott MacMillan and Keith MacMillan unavailable for this one.

GMA had their own issues with previous Level 3 restrictions preventing contact training ahead of the game. Oliver MacRae, who is back at the club following a short stint at his original club Kinlochshiel, was missing.

It was to be a frustrating afternoon for Oban Camanachd. They dominated possession and created three or four golden chances but were unable to score the goal.

Daniel MacCuish went through one-on-one with the keeper in the first half but sent the ball agonisingly wide of target, then Daniel MacVicar was unable to connect with a rebound off the GMA keeper.

Play in the second half fell flat with Camanachd continuing to dominate but the contest finished scoreless.

Oban Camanachd manager Stephen Sloss said: ‘We were poor up front and should have scored but it wasn’t a great game overall. I’m maybe expecting a bit much as both sides were rusty having not played competitively for so long. Papa’s goals have been important to us over the years and we are trying to replace them throughout the forward line rather than relying on one individual. We are trying to find the right blend at the moment and we’ll take that forward into our game against Aberdour at Mossfield on Saturday. There is a chance Garry Lord and Keith MacMillan could be back for that one.’

Kyles Athletic were quick out of the blocks against Oban Celtic at Mossfield and it took the hosts time to settle into the game.

Colin MacDonald put Kyles ahead on 11 minutes, reacting first to a rebound after home keeper Allan ‘Spider’ Duncan had made a save.

The hosts lost Craig MacMillan through injury on 15 minutes, although he was able to return later. George MacMillan switched to half back, where he played very well. Roddy Macdonald started in defence for Kyles but was soon pushed up front and added a second on 23 minutes with Ross Macrae on 36 minutes making it 3-0 at the break.

Roddy Macdonald’s second on the hour was the goal of the match as he cleverly pushed the ball into space before crashing home a great 25-yard strike on the angle.

Oban Celtic assistant manager Les Kinvig said: ‘Kyles were always going to be a tough start, especially with us not having had much of a pre-season. However, we settled down and Daniel MacMillan began to get joy down the right side. Ross MacMillan and Craig MacDougall were missing and I doubt we’ll have them for Inveraray on Saturday.

David Hill picked up a knee injury on Saturday and Allan Duncan and Alan MacInnes are working so we have a few concerns ahead of this weekend. We’ll continue to take small steps though and our aim is to continue to improve as the season goes on.’

The Oban Celtic colts host the Lochaber colts this Saturday.

Coll MacKay, Fraser Watt and Lewis MacNicol bagged braces to give Inveraray a 6-1 win at Aberdour in the division’s other match. Ruairidh Reid countered.

Mowi Senior League A

With Skye’s home match against Kilmallie and Kinlochshiel’s trip to Fort William called off because of covid issues in Lochaber, a fixture between Skye and Kinlochshiel was rearranged for Portree.

Kinlochshiel had most of the pressure but Skye created the better chances, working Kinlochshiel keeper Josh Grant on several occasions.

Skye almost won it with the last hit of the game. William MacKinnon’s floated free-hit from the right of midfield was taken down by Ross MacKinnon who played in James Pringle. Pringle found Jordan Murchison who turned quickly and his hook-shot whistled just outside the top corner of the net on the keeper’s left side.

The other match in this league between Glenurquhart and Lochaber at Blairbeg was also postponed because of covid issues.

Outwith the senior leagues, Lochside Rovers drew 1-1 against Bute in their Mowi South League A clash at Ganavan.

Lochside boss Gareth Evans was able to field Garry Lord and Scott MacMillan and his side took the lead on nine minutes. The ball was played wide to Innes Jackson who crossed to the back post where Lewis Buchanan’s first-time shot flew high into the net.

Scott Buchanan was in goal for Lochside as regular keeper Dougie MacDonald was working and he made an unbelievable save, palming a deflected Ryan Craig bullet-shot over the bar. Lochside had to withdraw Keith MacMillan at half-time because of work commitments.

The islanders had the chance to level from the penalty spot on the hour but Ryan Craig’s spot-hit went down the middle and Scott Buchanan saved with his legs.

However Ryan Craig did level 11 minutes from time as his 30-yard shot bounced into the net. Bute had keeper Stuart Stirling to thank late in the game when he stretched to turn Lewis Buchanan’s fierce shot from around the penalty spot over the bar. Calum MacMillan and Louis MacFarlane did well at the back for Lochside with Innes Jackson also shining up front. The contest was hard fought and feisty at times and a draw was probably a fair result. Lochside make the trip to Ballachulish this Saturday.

In the same division, Col Glen beat Taynuilt 4-1 at Taynuilt Sports Field. Billy Irving put Taynuilt ahead on the half-hour but Sandy Paterson, Scott MacVicar, Finnan Kennedy and Andrew Tyre all scored in the final 30 minutes to give Glenorchy victory.

The Inveraray seconds and Ballachulish drew 3-3 at the Winterton. Garry MacPherson, Craig Taylor and Euan Donnan all scored for the hosts with Keir Irvine, Cian MacPhee and Allan Clark earning Ballachulish a point.

Glengarry looked good in their Mowi North League A game against the Skye seconds at Craigard. Raymond Robertson grabbed a hat-trick for Glengarry with former Scottish international Shaun Nicolson scoring twice after joining the club from Lochaber. Taylor Matheson was on target for Skye who battled until the end.

Glenorchy defeated Ardnamurchan 4-1 in a Mowi Central League match transferred to Strontian. Glenorchy’s Arik MacKechnie grabbed a first half hat-trick and Conor Sartain made it 4-0 just before the break. Ardnamurchan’s Freddie Patterson pulled a goal back 11 minutes after the re-start to make the final score 4-1.