The shinty round up – Saturday October 30 2021

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A shinty season like no other drew to a close on Saturday October 30.

Mowi Senior League A

Glenurquhart P Kilmallie P

A mixture of injuries, suspensions and prior commitments meant Kilmallie were unable to field a team for their 1pm throw-up against Glenurquhart at Blairbeg.

The postponement means Kilmallie duo Innes Blackhall and Stuart Callison will now carry suspensions into the 2022 shinty season. Blackhall will miss the first three matches of the new season, whilst Callison is out of the opening two games.

Kilmallie manager Martin Stewart said: ‘We only had seven players available and Michael (Rodger) was the only one of them who is an established first team player. It would be asking too much of our younger players to call then up for a game at Glenurquhart.”

Martin Stewart will reflect on the 2021 shinty season in next week’s Oban Times and Lochaber Times.

Kinlochshiel P Lochaber P

With two cup wins, Kinlochshiel claimed the title of shinty’s most successful team this season and they had hoped to display the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup and the cottages.com MacTavish Cup in front of their supporters ahead of their meeting with Lochaber at Rèaraig.

However, heavy rain during the week led to a postponement 48 hours ahead of throw-up.

Paul MacRae, Ali Nixon and Donald Nixon are amongst the Kinlochshiel players who will benefit from the break as they take time to recover from injury, whilst manager Johnston Gill will take time to consider his future.

Lochaber’s Barry MacDonald must now wait until next season to serve his four match suspension.

Mowi Senior League B

Lovat P Caberfeidh P

Lovat and Caberfeidh were to meet for the second successive Saturday, this time at Balgate.

Caberfeidh were 8-1 victors a week earlier but Lovat were unable to field a side this time around.

The postponement has repercussions for some suspended players. Lovat’s Callum Cruden missed out on the chance to serve the second game of his three-match suspension so his ban carries into next season. However, Lorne MacKay served the final game of a two-game ban, which saw him miss the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final, last weekend so is now free to play.

Caberfeidh’s Connor MacGregor was left disappointed as the final match of his four-game ban will carry into next season.

Mowi North League B

Newtonmore 3 Inverness 1

The Newtonmore colts came from a goal down to maintain their unbeaten league record, defeating the Inverness first team 3-1 at the Eilan.

Inverness hit the front on 25 minutes through Steven Bellshaw but Craig Macleod drew Newtonmore level five minutes before the break.

Second half strikes from Tristan Ross on 56 minutes and Brodie MacBean on 71 minutes made the final score 3-1.

Kingussie P Lovat P

The Lovat seconds were unable to fulfil their fixture with the Kingussie seconds at the Dell.

Mowi South League A

Bute 3 Col Glen 2

Bute marked an historic day for the club with an exciting 3-2 derby win over Col Glen in their 12.30pm throw-up at the Meadows.

It was the day Bute held a ceremony to officially mark the transfer of deeds for their pitch, the Meadows, gifted to them by the Mount Stuart Trust earlier this year.

The proposal to transfer ownership stemmed from negotiations on the renewal of the ground lease from the Mount Stuart Trust to the club when both parties agreed the best way forward would be to transfer ownership.

Mount Stuart Trust generously offered to do so at no cost to Bute and included the wider Meadows area, subject to the ongoing tenancy of Argyll and Bute Council.

The club currently boasts one of shinty’s best clubhouses and this new ownership of the pitches and surrounding land will allow the club to further develop its ambitions for this important island resource.

Speaking ahead of the handover, Sophie Crichton-Stuart from the Mount Stuart Trust said: ‘Working closely with the team at Bute Shinty Club, we are delighted to officially mark the handover of ownership of the playing pitches.

‘Recognising the importance of the role of shinty and the club in island life and acknowledging the facilities as an invaluable resource for the wider community, it gives me great pleasure to know this new ownership will allow the club to realise its ambitions for the Meadows and I look forward to visiting for a shinty match or other future events.’

Bute Shinty and Amateur Athletic Club chairman Barry Martin added: ‘This gift of the Meadows pitches will have a huge impact for Isle of Bute Shinty Club. We are very much a community club with our clubhouse used for a huge range of events, with everything from yoga classes to Irish dancing, weddings and funerals taking place here. Many will also be aware of the key role the club plays in hosting the annual agricultural show and Highland Games and this transfer of ownership will allow us to move on and start to plan much-needed storage for the agricultural society/Highland Games.

‘The club is grateful for the generous support and advice provided by Elaine Campbell of Wm. Skelton and Co, Solicitors, which made the process straightforward. In marking the handover today, we are also recognising the many years of service of volunteer Margaret Whitelaw whose post match catering has fed many a team and its supporters over the years.’

When play got under way James Hamilton threatened to spoil the celebrations when he gave Col Glen the lead on three minutes.

Leon MacMillan equalised on 15 minutes but Auryn Kerr put Col Glen back in front on the stroke of half-time. Bute levelled for a second time through Craig MacKay three  minutes after the re-start.

Ryan Craig struck on the hour with what proved to be the game’s winning goal.

Mowi South League B

Aberdour P Kyles Athletic P

The Kyles Athletic second team were unable to field a team for their trip to Silversands to face the Aberdour second team.

Glasgow Mid Argyll P Bute P

The clash between the Glasgow Mid Argyll reserves and the Bute reserves at Peterson Park was postponed as the visitors were unable to raise a team.

Mowi Central League

Ardnamurchan 2 Kilmory 2

Euan Gilmour’s goal a couple of minutes from time gave Kilmory a share of the points with Ardnamurchan following their 2-2 draw at Strontian.

Both teams fielded a number of young players and the first half looked like it would end goal-less before James Baxter popped up on the stroke of half-time to give Kilmory a 1-0 interval lead.

Freddie Patterson drew Ardnamurchan level with 20 minutes remaining and gave the hosts the lead with his second goal of the game on 81 minutes.

Kilmory were not to be denied though and Euan Gilmour scored a couple of minutes from time to earn the visitors a share of the points.

It was a good season for Ardnamurchan who only failed to play one fixture.

Kilmory look forward to next season to further test their developing squad.

Glenorchy P Oban Celtic P

The Oban Celtic second team were unable to gather a team to play Glenorchy at the Mart Park.

MacTavish Juvenile Cup – semi-final

Beauly U17 3 Fort William U17 1

Beauly U17 are through to the MacTavish Cup Final after beating Fort William U17 3-1 in their 2pm throw-up at the Dell.

This last-four tie was originally scheduled for Craigard, Invergarry, but an unplayable pitch led to a midweek switch to Kingussie.

Beauly’s Euan Maccormick and Fort William’s Craig MacDonald were key players.

This good game between two physically matched teams got off to a flying start when Beauly forward Callum MacIver gave his side the lead after just 20 seconds of the throw-up.

Beauly created chances to increase their lead, but Jack Kearney in the Fort William goal was in excellent form, making several good saves.

Fort William equalised on 57 minutes when the ball came to Rhys Kennedy who slotted it by keeper Lennox Stewart to make it 1-1.

This was a key period in the match as Beauly regained the lead almost straight from the re-start when Fort William failed to clear a ball from Finlay ‘Stork’ MacLennan and Scott Cameron took advantage to score.

It was now Fort William’s turn to press, but Beauly defended well and added a third goal on 70 minutes.

Charlie MacRae, Fraser MacPherson and Finlay MacLennan combined to find Torrin Cairns who slammed the ball high past keeper Kearney to make it 3-1.

Beauly deserved their victory as they had more of the play, but Fort William keeper Jack Kearney deserves credit for several outstanding stops.

The Dell pitch was in immaculate condition given the recent rain, with the drainage system working to good effect. It did, not surprisingly, get heavy towards the end with several players suffering from cramp.

Beauly U17, coached by Beauly first team co-managers Gregor McCormick and Niall MacLennan, will now play Kingussie U17, who were 3-2 winners over Skye Camanachd U17 in their semi-final, in this year’s MacTavish Cup Final.

Following a toss of the coin, it was confirmed the final will be held at Braeview Park, Beauly, on Saturday November 13. Throw-up time is to be confirmed.

Rhys Kennedy equalises for Fort William during his team’s MacTavish Cup semi-final against Beauly. Photograph: Neil Paterson.
Coaching course in Fort William

The Camanachd Association will be running a shinty foundation coaching course at An Aird, Fort William, on Saturday November 6 from 10am till 4pm.

Anyone interested should email ronald.ross@shinty.com

Glengarry school shinty success

Glengarry Shinty Club has held its first shinty sessions at Kilchuimen Academy.

With the support of Kilchuimen Academy, Ronald Ross from The Camanachd Association and Glengarry Shinty Club coach Elaine Cameron, 60 children from primary one to third year had a great time playing the game.

It is hoped these sessions will continue for a few more weeks with the addition of a lunchtime shinty club run by senior pupils and overseen by staff. It is also hoped to have school teams entering competitions next year.

Support from Cruise Loch Ness – Debi and Ronald, Glendoe Estate and The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation allowed the purchase of 20 shinty helmets, 20 camans, 36 shinty balls and portable goals meaning every child in the community has the chance to play shinty.

Kilchuimen Academy is the eighth secondary school to sign up to the Camanachd Association’s School of Shinty programme.

Shinty funding boost

The Camanachd Association has welcomed news of a funding boost for the Bught Park, Inverness, and a potential shinty museum as part of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

A total of £20 million will go to Inverness Zero Carbon Cultural Regeneration, the umbrella term for the redevelopment of Inverness Castle, the Northern Meeting Park and Bught Park.

The Bught Park is a key sport and leisure complex in Inverness and the home of Inverness Shinty Club. It also hosts the MacTavish Cup Final and Scotland’s internationals with Ireland. The funding provides for a refurbished grandstand, a new interactive museum of shinty and improvements to host more large-scale outdoor events.

Camanachd Association president Steven Mackenzie said: ‘The Camanachd Association look forward to hearing more details on how this funding will improve Bught Park. I thank all the parties involved in this successful funding application but particularly the Camanachd Association’s directors and staff who have worked closely with Inverness Shinty Club to ensure shinty was an integral part of the funding bid.’

Derek Keir, Camanachd Association chief executive officer, added: ‘The Camanachd Association was instrumental in bringing together a number of partners who shared in our vision for a Bught Park that could excite people and become an iconic and modern home to community sport and shinty.

‘News of the levelling up fund is a testament to the power of working in partnership and we look forward to playing a key role in supporting the next steps as plans for the Bught Park progress. I would like to pay particular tribute to our team at the Camanachd Association – board past and present and staff – who have played a crucial role in these developments so far, to Inverness Shinty Club for its continued work in the community and to our partners at Highlife Highland, Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise who all played a crucial role.’

John Finlayson, Camanachd Association director and Highland councillor, said: ‘I am delighted to hear such positive news for Inverness, the Highlands and the game of shinty. Again the success of this bid shows the importance of partnership working between public bodies, sporting organisations and communities. I am sure everyone across the Highlands and within the game of shinty nationally is excited by the prospect of an improved Bught Park which will help sustain and develop our sport in the years ahead.’

Drew McNeil, Inverness Shinty Club development director, said: ‘Highland Council’s successful bid to the UK Government’s levelling up fund is the culmination of some great work. This funding has the potential to transform these two areas and investment in the development of the stadium is overdue. It’s extremely exciting but it needs to be tempered as the devil is in the detail and that’s not clear yet. We look forward to future discussions on behalf of shinty within the city affording Scotland’s first sport a base  befitting the cultural importance of our traditional sport.

‘Inverness Shinty Club has always seen the Bught stadium pitch as its home since the 1930s. It is not just Inverness that benefits from that, but all of shinty across Scotland. During the last five years, Inverness Shinty Academy has overseen the transition of shinty among primary and secondary boys and girls to a position of mainstream sport across the city. Pre-covid, there was shinty being played in 15 primary schools and more than 400 youngsters attending those sessions. These children all require a home/hub to play and develop their skills and the Bught is the location of the only two shinty pitches in the city. A refurbished centre would give our ambitious development plans a boost and create a shinty legacy for the city at the Bught.’

Highland Council Leader councillor Margaret Davidson said: ‘We look forward to working with the Camanachd Association, the community and other stakeholders on the development of this great project at the Bught.’