THE ARTEMIS MACAULAY CUP FINAL
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.