Shinty round-up

Skye's Iain MacLennan gets a close up view of the caman of Ali Mackintosh during the Glenurquhart v Skye Camanachd pre-season game, played at Blairbeg, Drumnadrochit. Photograph: Neil Paterson.

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2022 Glasgow Celtic Society Cup Draw

Oban Camanachd and Kyles Athletic will not face each other in the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup for the first time since 2016 following this year’s draw.

Kyles Athletic defeated Inveraray 3-1 in the 2016 final before beating Oban Camanachd by the same scoreline a year later.

But Oban Camanachd turned the tables on their rivals, winning 2-0 and 2-1 in 2018 and 2019.

Covid restrictions meant the tournament wasn’t contested in 2020, with Kyles Athletic edging out Oban Camanachd in penalties last season.

Eight teams compete this year with Aberdour, Ballachulish and Tayforth opting not to take part.

Holders Kyles Athletic open the defence of their trophy with a trip to play Cruachanside – newly-formed from an amalgamation of Glenorchy and Taynuilt.

Last year’s runners-up Oban Camanachd are also on their travels as they head for Rothesay to play Mowi South Division 1 side Bute.

Oban Camanachd manager Gareth Evans said: ‘There is the potential of home ties all the way in the Macaulay but it looks like we will have to do it away from home in the Celtic Society. All we will do is focus on the Bute tie when it comes though.

Oban Celtic journey south to face Glasgow Mid Argyll who they beat 3-2 in last season’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup second round, albeit they had home advantage that day.

The final quarter-final tie pairs Inveraray and Col Glen at the Winterton.

The prize for whoever comes out on top in the tie between Glasgow Mid Argyll and Oban Celtic is home advantage against Inveraray or Col Glen.

There is a potential repeat of last year’s final in the other last-four tie which sees Cruachanside or Kyles Athletic hosting whoever wins between Bute and Oban Camanachd.

Glasgow Celtic Society Cup draw

Quarter finals – Saturday April 16:

Bute v Oban Camanachd

Glasgow Mid Argyll v Oban Celtic

Cruachanside v Kyles Athletic

Inveraray v Col Glen

Semi finals – Saturday May 14

Glasgow Mid Argyll/Oban Celtic v Inveraray/Col Glen

Cruachanside/Kyles Athletic v Bute/Oban Camanachd

The Glasgow Celtic Society Cup Final takes place on Saturday June 25.

2022 cottages.com MacTavish Cup Draw

The draw for the first round of this year’s cottages.com MacTavish Cup took place at the home of inaugural winners Skye Camanachd on Monday February 14.

It is possibly the first time this all-north trophy has returned to Skye since the islanders lifted it back in 1898 – their only MacTavish success.

It currently resides 40 miles down the road after Kinlochshiel raised it for the first time last season and Johnston Gill’s side were given the tie of the round but they at least have home advantage against 2013 and 2014 winners Lovat.

The draw was made by Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh pupils Lucy Henderson and Grace Pert.

Mowi Premiership sides Fort William and Kilmallie both face National Division opposition as Kilmallie host Inverness and Fort William travel to Strathglass.

Host club Skye Camanachd visit Glengarry, just as they do in the Ferguson Transport & Shipping Balliemore Cup, whilst last year’s beaten finalists Kingussie received a first round bye.

First round – Saturday March 26 – Kilmallie v Inverness; Caberfeidh v Glenurquhart; Newtonmore v Lochaber; Strathglass v Fort William; Kinlochshiel v Lovat; Glengarry v Skye Camanachd. Byes – Beauly and Kingussie.

The second round draw will be made following the first round ties.

Camanachd Association chief executive officer Derek Keir said: ‘The Camanachd Association is delighted to have had the opportunity to take one of our cup draws to the west coast of Scotland and engage with the community in Portree. Our thanks go to the club for accommodating us and to Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Righ pupils for conducting the draw in such a professional manner.

‘Community is at the very heart of shinty which is one of the reasons cottages.com has supported the MacTavish cup and it was great to visit Skye to connect with some of our members in the area.’

cottages.com business development manager Christine Roberts added: ‘We at cottages.com live and work in these communities and that is a core reason we want to provide this support to shinty. We know just how important the sport is to the people in rural communities across the north of Scotland.’

The cottages.com MacTavish Cup Final will take place at the Bught Park, Inverness, on Saturday June 11.

Left to right: Luke Smith, Christine Roberts, Stuart Walkden, Karen Whiteford and Mark Whitehouse of MacTavish Cup sponsors cottages.com behind Grace Pert and Lucy Henderson from Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh following the draw.

Kilmallie player boost

Kilmallie manager Martin Stewart has been given a triple player boost a fortnight before the start of the new season.

The club has received confirmation Michael Rodger won’t miss the first two games of the new campaign as his two-match suspension carried forward from the end of the 2019 season is quashed as the player did not trigger any further ban last term.

Fort William’s Scott Knox, Caberfeidh’s Scott McLauchlan and Declan Wilson and Aberdour’s Cammy McCue also benefit from the special ruling introduced ahead of the abridged 2020 season.

Meantime Martin Stewart has used his powers of persuasion to convince Alan MacDonald to be part of his squad, increasing his defensive options as the side return to the Mowi Premiership.

Dugald MacPhee has also returned to the game after a 17-year absence.

Martin Stewart said: ‘Having the three boys in the squad from the start is a big help. Michael is Michael and everyone knows what a good player he is. I’m really pleased Alan is back with us and Dugald might have been missing from the game for a long time but he has kept himself fit and I don’t think he’ll have any problems slotting back in.’

‘We have two friendlies left, starting with a trip to Skye on Saturday before we take on Lochaber the week after. I just hope the weather improves so that we can get some game time before the season starts.’

Pre-season friendlies

Oban Camanachd 6 Lochaber 0

New Oban Camanachd manager Gareth Evans led his side to a comfortable 6-0 victory over Lochaber in their 2pm throw-up at Mossfield.

David Cameron made his first start for the senior side at wing centre, whilst Daniel Cameron and Daniel Sloss were joined in defence by Garry Lord and Craig Easton. Blair MacFarlane was flanked by David Cameron and Malcolm Clark in midfield, with Daniel MacVicar and Louis MacFarlane at half forward in front of Daniel Madej and Ross Campbell. Connor Howe was injured and Evan MacLellan was on holiday. Daniel MacCuish is playing football with Oban Saints at present.

The hosts took the lead on 12 minutes when Daniel Madej flicked the ball home following a scramble in front of goal.

And it was Madej again on 27 minutes when he had plenty time to drift the ball into the top corner of the net from around 25 yards.

Oban Camanachd were dominating play with their half forwards pushing up and Daniel Cameron clearing his lines when required.

The home side added a third late in the first half when Ross Campbell’s ball found Daniel MacVicar who had made a late run to the back post to poke the ball home.

Oban Camanachd made a number of changes at half-time with Scott McKillop and Scott Robertson coming into the defence, the latter making his first team debut.

Daniel Cameron went to full centre with Louis MacFarlane and Daniel Madej now at half forward, Daniel MacVicar in the hole and Daniel Sloss at full forward.

The changes didn’t interrupt the pattern of play as, soon after the re-start, Malcolm Clark sent the ball down the line, with Daniel Sloss running out to the corner. Sloss sent the ball hard across goal and Daniel MacVicar again ran towards the back post, slamming a first-time shot home.

Matt Rippon came off the bench for his return, whilst Innes Jackson became the third debutant. And he didn’t miss the chance to catch the eye as he scored two neat goals.

First Jackson netted at the back post after Matt Rippon had run out wide, then the youngster scored from around the penalty spot following a neat Daniel MacVicar pass.

Jamie Anderson took the list of debutants to four as the contest finished 6-0 in Oban Camanachd’s favour.

Gareth Evans said: ‘It was nice to score six goals and we missed a number of other opportunities. Everyone got a good run-out. I thought David Cameron was a shining light. He was all around the park, whilst Daniel MacVicar and Daniel Sloss were a handful. We’re all now looking forward to the game at Inveraray on Saturday.’

Kyles Athletic 4 Oban Celtic 0

Kyles Athletic scored four times in the second half to beat Oban Celtic 4-0 in their 1pm throw-up at the Dunoon Stadium.

Referee Graham Fisher was a late call-off, so Les Kinvig dashed down the road to referee the match.

The pitch was in reasonable condition to start with, but recent wet weather meant it cut up.

Kyles’ boss Robert Baxter was without Scott MacDonald and Colin MacDonald, whilst Celtic manager Dougie MacIntyre and his assistant Allan Duffy had a list of absentees including Peter Currie, Michael MacKinnon, Duncan MacDonald and Lennon Campbell. Teenager Robbie MacKay started in goal and there were debuts for Jordan Kerr in midfield and Scott Dempster in attack.

A torrential downpour brought a goal-less first half to an end.

Kyles swapped keepers at the interval, with reserve goalie Kieran Chrystal taking over from John Whyte.

Kyles finally broke Celtic’s resistance a couple of minutes into the second half with Conor Kennedy scoring and Innes MacDonald made it 2-0 on 55 minutes.

Ross Macrae’s distribution was excellent in the Kyles midfield and Andrew King mopped up everything behind him.

Two late goals put gloss on the win. Robbie Macleod drifted the ball into the top corner of the net on 78 minutes and Finan Kennedy made it 4-0, scoring his first goal for the senior team on 83 minutes when the Kyles forwards all ran in on the ball following a Robbie MacKay save.

Glasgow Mid Argyll 3 Inveraray 0

New Glasgow Mid Argyll manager Alan MacRae made a winning start as his side beat Inveraray 3-0 in their noon throw-up at Peterson Park.

Ewen Fraser scored the first two goals with Calum McLay, back in the side after a year out, adding a third.

Hamish MacLennan, Inveraray, right, and a Glasgow Mid Argyll Player, display some fancy footwork. Photograph: Stephen Lawson.
Glenurquhart 0 Skye Camanachd 1

New Glenurquhart first team manager Dave Stewart saw his team go down 1-0 to Skye Camanachd in their 2pm throw-up at Blairbeg.

Glenurquhart were missing Michael Fraser, whilst Skye boss Kenny Macleod was without keeper Ryan Morrison who is moving abroad, so Murphy Henderson stepped up from the second team.

The goal that separated the sides came with around 20 minutes remaining. Jordan Murchison’s shot from near the penalty spot was parried with his stick by Stuart MacKintosh and the ball rebounded to the right where James Pringle, who had a great battle with Lachie Smith, got to it first at the edge of the ‘D’ and slammed the ball into the net off the inside of the crossbar.

The Glenurquhart and Skye womens’ teams played earlier in the day, with Skye winning 6-1. Skye’s Caitlin Maclean grabbed a hat-trick, former Strathglass and Glenurquhart player Donna MacKenzie scored twice with Catherine Robertson getting the other.

An acrobatic Josh MacDonald-Haig of Glenurquhart attempts to block Martin Pringle, Skye. Photograph: Neil Paterson.
Inverness P Kilmallie P

Kilmallie’s friendly meeting with Inverness was called off on Friday morning as the Bught Park failed a pitch inspection, whilst the meeting between the Kilmallie seconds and Ardnamurchan at Canal Parks was called off for the same reason.

The Kilmallie second team are looking to arrange a friendly for Saturday February 26. They are willing to travel.

Lochaber P Cruachanside P

Cruachanside’s game against Lochaber’s second team was called off on Saturday morning when the pitch at Spean Bridge was deemed unplayable.

Fort William P Newtonmore P

Fort William and Newtonmore were unable to play at An Aird or the Eilan because of the weather.

Skye Camanachd P Lochcarron P

Skye Camanachd’s second team and Lochcarron were due to contest the ‘Kaid’ Maclean Cup, first won by Oban Celtic in 1935, but the game was called off earlier in the week as Skye’s Pairc nan Laoch pitch was unplayable.

Beauly P Kinlochshiel P

Beauly and Kinlochshiel were disappointed when their match was called off 24 hours ahead of throw-up beause of a waterlogged pitch.

Caberfeidh P Kingussie P

Kingussie were due to travel to Castle Leod to play Caberfeidh in their annual Bill MacPherson Plate match but the game was called off on Friday as Castle Leod was unplayable.

The Kingussie and Caberfeidh second teams were also due to meet, with their clash taking place at the Dell, but again the field was unplayable.

This weekend’s friendlies

With the new shinty season only a fortnight away, several pre-season friendlies are scheduled for this weekend.

Oban Camanachd are off to Inveraray, whilst the Oban Celtic first and second teams are in action. The seniors play Glasgow Mid Argyll at Mossfield and the juniors welcome the Lochaber seconds to Ganavan.

Glengarry travel to take on Aberdour in Fife whilst Kilmallie visit Skye to contest the Thomas Ferguson Memorial Cup, which Martin Stewart’s side won last season.

Fort William are off to Kingussie with the clubs’ second teams meeting at An Aird.

The Newtonmore and Caberfeidh first and second teams also meet, with the seniors clashing at the Eilan.

There is another first and second team clash at the Bught Park where the Inverness and Kinlochshiel first and second teams clash.