The Oban Times - - Feature -

THIS year’s Artemis Macau­lay Cup fi­nal is set to be an ex­cit­ing af­fair with an in­trigu­ing north v south en­counter.

New­ton­more, who are league lead­ers, reign­ing Macau­lay Cup cham­pi­ons and also win­ners of the inau­gu­ral tour­na­ment in 1947, will face south­ern ri­vals, In­ver­aray.

P J Mack­in­tosh’s side won their first Macau­lay Cup in 28 years when they were crowned cham­pi­ons last year, beat­ing Kyles af­ter ex­tra time.

In­ver­aray tasted Macau­lay Cup suc­cess in 2001, 2008 and 2009, and while they sit sec­ond-bot­tom of the Marine Harvest Premier­ship, are one of only three teams to beat New­ton­more this sea­son.

This will be the 66th play­ing of the Macau­lay Cup fi­nal, a com­pe­ti­tion that pits the best teams in the north against their south­ern equiv­a­lent, mak­ing it fit­ting that it is two teams from the dif­fer­ent ar­eas bat­tling it out.

Oban’s Moss­field sta­dium, one of shinty’s finest ground, is the lo­ca­tion for the fi­nal, giv­ing In­ver­aray a shorter jour­ney to the game and some­what of a home ad­van­tage.

The Macau­lay As­so­ci­a­tion, which runs the com­pe­ti­tion, was formed in 1946 and the first fi­nal was played in 1947 when New­ton­more de­feated Bal­lachul­ish 4 - 1.

It was due to the fore­sight of Mrs Macau­lay of the Oban Times that the cre­ation of the com­pe­ti­tion was brought about. At that time, lit­tle shinty, if any, was played be­yond April and the Macau­lay Cup ex­tended the sea­son un­til the Glas­gow Fair fort­night in July.

New­ton­more have ap­peared in the fi­nal 18 times, win­ning 10. In­ver­aray first made the fi­nal in 2001, win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion, and won again in 2008 and 2009. They also came run­ners-up in 2005, 2007 and 2010, when Kin­gussie stopped them from mak­ing it three-in-a-row.

The tro­phy was with­held in 1951, af­ter a dis­pute be­tween the north semi-fi­nal­ists, and in 2006 when the Macau­lay As­so­ci­a­tion with­drew the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter a dis­agree­ment over con­di­tions im­posed by the Ca­manachd As­so­ci­a­tion.

There have been many changes since the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion and, with the ad­vent of sum­mer shinty, the fi­nal tie is now played in the au­tumn.

In ad­di­tion to the se­nior event, a pop­u­lar and suc­cess­ful pri­mary school six-a-side tour­na­ment is staged each June by the Macau­lay As­so­ci­a­tion. Sup­port is also given to un­der-14s and un­der-17s com­pe­ti­tions and to women’s shinty.

Satur­day’s fi­nal will throw-up at 2.30pm at Moss­field.

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