Shinty round-up – week 05, Thursday February 3 2022

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Youth shinty developments

Les Kinvig has been busy since taking on the Camanachd Association Regional Development Officer (West) role last August.

Les Kinvig said: ‘The effects of covid have blighted youth shinty in the west region. However, as well as in Oban, Glenorchy, Taynuilt Juniors, Inveraray and Kilmory have all gone to great efforts to get primary school shinty through what has been a difficult time and it is great to see clubs in the area providing these opportunities for young shinty players.

‘I really hope we can get school shinty back to normality though and get a full outdoor season for primary youngsters.’

There are ambitious plans, as Les explained: ‘We want to have festivals and tournaments up and running and have an Argyll and Bute school league in place ahead of the national competitions so the players aren’t going into these games cold.

‘There is also a need to re-establish area development groups to enhance shinty provision at primary and secondary level. We want to galvanise youth shinty through a collaborative approach between clubs and the association to develop the game and have a clear player pathway from primary to secondary school.

‘The rural nature of many clubs means it is more important than ever to work together to celebrate and sustain participation whilst maintaining the age-old tradition of representing your shinty community.’

Les Kinvig has already led taster sessions for primary school players at St Columba’s Primary School, Oban, whilst sessions at Appin are currently taking place. Dalmally and Dunbeg are next on the list with others to follow.

Any volunteers able to assist with shinty in any way in the west region should contact Les by email at les.kinvig@shinty.com

Oban Celtic annual general meeting

Oban Celtic’s annual general meeting at The Lodge, Albany Street, on Friday January 28 was a routine event.

Club president Andrew MacKenzie remains at the helm, with Vivienne Duffy as club secretary and second team fixtures secretary.

Shinty stalwart Dougie MacIntyre stays on as Oban Celtic first team manager, assisted by Allan Duffy.

Les Kinvig takes charge of the Oban Celtic second team, with John Turnbull senior coming on board as assistant manager.

The management pool is strengthened with Calum Fox covering first and second team coaching and training.

Lennon Campbell will likely miss the opening weeks of the season as he finishes the football season with the Oban Saints second team. However, Michael MacKinnon has confirmed his availability to the club after missing a large part of last season.

Dougie MacIntyre’s side have a couple of signing targets who could be confirmed ahead of their opening pre-season match against Lochaber at Mossfield on Saturday February 5. Throw-up time to be confirmed.

Oban Celtic will open their Mowi National Division campaign at home to Skye Camanachd on Saturday March 5.

The Oban Celtic second team are away to Ardnamurchan on the opening day.

Ferguson Transport & Shipping is new Balliemore Cup sponsor

 

 

 

 

Kilmallie annual general meeting

Kilmallie held their annual general meeting at Caol Community Centre on Saturday January 29 ahead of what will be a big year for the club as they return to the Mowi Premiership.

This was Kilmallie’s first annual general meeting since January 2020 due to the covid pandemic. Chairman Alistair Macintyre presided, thanking volunteers, supporters and players for their commitment during a really difficult couple of years.

The determined efforts of first team manager Martin Stewart and second team boss Kevin Toye were acknowledged. The club also noted with regret, Toye’s decision to stand down, with great encouragement taken from the bond within the squad and the number of young players coming through the ranks since he took up the post in 2018. Kevin Toye will continue to serve Kilmallie as a player.

James MacIntyre, Corpach, stood down as a Kilmallie board member due to family and work commitments. The MacIntyre family has been a huge part of the club since its foundation in 1929 and with James’ father, Hugh ‘Shep’ remaining as club chieftain.

Other board members were re-elected with Calum MacDougall and Alan Ewing added to the numbers. Calum, a senior player, will have a particular interest in merchandise, whilst Alan, a schools coach, will help cement connections between school shinty and the board.

Martin Stewart was unanimously approved by club members to continue his work as first team manager. The side’s return to the Mowi Premiership begins with Lovat’s visit to Canal Parks on Saturday March 5.

Liam Cameron was unanimously appointed Kilmallie second team manager after injury prompted his decision to step down as a senior player. He will be assisted by Bryan Mackay, with other experienced players offering their support.

Oban Camanachd start season away to Glasgow

New Oban Camanachd manager Gareth Evans takes his side to Peterson Park to play newly-promoted Glasgow Mid Argyll in the Mowi Premiership on the first day of the competitive shinty season.

Lochside Rovers host the GMA seconds in Mowi South Division 2.

Watt is new Inveraray chairman

Andrew Watt is the new chairman of Inveraray Shinty Club.

Andrew is a former Inveraray player, captain and Camanachd Cup winner who, along with his twin brother Ally and older brother Douglas, was an integral part of Davy Macpherson’s successful winning era at the club during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In recognising the impact covid has had on shinty and the increasing challenges clubs have faced in terms of maintaining squads, particularly for teams in the south, Andrew is keen to work with the committee to ensure the club’s longevity and build on the excellent work of previous committees.

Key to this plan will be the establishment of a structured player development pathway and a drive to strengthen links between the club and the community.

Andrew Watt said: ‘As a former player, I’m incredibly honoured to be taking on the role of chairman and look forward to working with all committee members to do everything we can to help and support all of our teams and coaches from primary school through to the senior team.

‘The aim is to bring success back to the club at all levels. We’re fortunate we have so many people involved with the club who are passionate and committed to achieving that.’

Ruaraidh Graham remains in charge of the Inveraray senior side, with Andrew McMurdo and Scott Robertson taking the seconds.

Newtonmore confirm managers

Norman MacArthur, Evan Cheyne and David Cheyne have been confirmed as Newtonmore’s senior management team following the club’s emergency general meeting on Thursday January 27.

Colin Stewart was unable to sign up because of work commitments.

The new coaching team replaces Orsten Gardner who stepped down from the manager’s role at the end of last season.

Newtonmore P Fort William P

Fort William’s pre-season preparations got off to a false start when their friendly match against Newtonmore at the Eilan was called off on Saturday morning due to high winds coupled with debris on the pitch and on the roads.

Fort William’s opening Mowi Premiership match will be against Kyles Athletic at An Aird on Saturday March 5, whilst the Fort seconds travel to Skye in Mowi North Division 1.

Pre-season friendlies

A number of pre-season friendlies are scheduled for this weekend.

They include Oban Celtic’s meeting with Lochaber at Mossfield, whilst Newtonmore travel to Beauly.

Kilmallie and Ballachulish were to meet but decided to cancel their match due to the poor weather forecast.

Lovat, captained this season by Craig Mainland, play Caberfeidh at Balgate and the Kinlochshiel first and second teams will meet at Rèaraig.

Ardnamurchan welcome the Lochaber second team.

Skye Camanachd host the John MacKinnon Sixes in Portree, whilst Kingussie play the Liz Young Sixes at Dalfaber, Aviemore.

With the unpredictable weather, it is advised to check the arrangements with the clubs concerned before taking in a match.

Clubs to merge

Taynuilt Shinty Club and Glenorchy Shinty Club have decided, due to a lack of numbers on both sides, to amalgamate under the name of Cruachanside Camanachd Club.

Both clubs have experienced team difficulties in the past and the covid pandemic has made the situation worse with players retiring and having other interests on a Saturday.

In the early 1970s, Dalmally and Taynuilt primary schools won the MacKay Cup under the name Cruachanside, coached by the local vet Kenneth Campbell, hence the change of name.

Both clubs will continue to have their own junior teams and it is hoped to start a joint under-14 team.

Cruachanside will play their home matches alternating between Taynuilt and Dalmally to keep an interest in both villages.
Dawnfresh Seafoods, which have fish farms on Loch Awe and Loch Etive, is to sponsor the new club.  The manager and the assistant manager will be appointed shortly.
The club has two friendlies arranged so far, against the Lochaber seconds and Lochside Rovers.

The Camanachd Association has agreed to Cruachanside’s request to take Taynuilt’s place in Mowi South Division 1 next season. It is hoped the decision to merge the two clubs will keep shinty alive in the two villages.