Two late goals see Camanachd retain their premiership place
Kingussie now play off against Kilmallie at the Bught Park, Inverness, on November 28
OBAN Camanachd secured their place in the Marine Harvest Premierhip coming from behind to defeat Kingussie 2-1 at Mossfield last Saturday.
The win means the red and blacks jump a point clear of Kingussie who were playing their last league game of the season. The defeat leaves the Badenoch side to take on Kilmallie in a play- off to see who will be in shinty’s top flight next season.
Camanachd, still without the injured Keith MacMillan and top scorer Andrew ‘Papa’ MacCuish made light of this and recorded a fine win although not playing as well as they have done in recent weeks.
Mossi-field Stadium passed an early morning pitch inspection after the heavy overnight rain and, with the overhead conditions fair, the stage was set for this important fixture.
In front of a large crowd Camanachd were slow to start and Kingussie controlled much of the first half. The home team persisted in playing through the middle which was easily dealt with by Kingussie’s experienced defenders James Hutchison and Lee Bain and with John Gibson controlling the vital midfield area it was no surprise when Ryan Borthwick opened the scoring for the visitors.
The Oban side were lacking fluency in their play and Kingussie fully merited their half time lead.
The start of the second half was more of the same with Camanacd insisting in playing the ball through the middle which was having no effect as Kingussie continued to dominate the key areas and looked comfortable although the lead was only 1- 0.
However, with 15 minutes to go, the game turned on its head when Camanachd manager Ian Hay moved Daniel Cameron up to first forward with Scott MacKillop taking up Daniel’s defensive duties. This move seemed to unsettle the Kingussie defence and when Daniel was brought down in the box in the 84th minute a penalty was awarded by referee Robert Baxter after consultation with his goal judge.
However, Lorne Dickie’s effort was well saved by Kingussie keeper Andrew Dawson, but Malcom Clark, who had come on as a substitute reacted quickly and netted the rebound to make the score 1-1 – game on.
With the Kingussie defence tiring and the home side now using the width of the park their expansive game was starting to pay dividends and the red and blacks looked the more likely team to score – and this they did with only three minutes of the match remaining when an Aidan MacIntyre shot found the back of the net.
A shell-shocked Kingussie pushed forward to try and get back in the game but the Camanachd defence held firm with Gary McKerracher and Garry Lord outstanding. When referee Robert Baxter blew for full time it was the jubilant Oban Camanached players and their supporters who celebrated the realisation that premiership shinty will be played in Oban next season.
It was a dejected Kingussie team that trudged off Mossfield at the end of the 90 minutes, but at least they still have their future in their own hands with the play- off game against Kilmallie which will be held on November 28 at the Bught Park, Inverness.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for Camanachd who, for long periods of the season, looked certain to be relegated. The Oban side only had three points from their first eight games.
However, a run of only one defeat in eight games and with two games left, away to Kyles and a final home game against champions Newtonmore, the red and blacks will be looking for a good finish to a remarkable season. The Oban club can now look forward to their AGM in December in the knowledge that they will be playing premiership shinty next season.
Champions NEWTONMORE took on second placed KYLES ATHLETIC at the Eilan last Saturday and emerged 4-1 winners.
’More took a 2- 0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Norman Campbell and Connor Jones.
The Badenoch side increased their lead in the second half with further strikes from Fraser MacKintosh and Paul MacArthur. Robbie MacLeod netted a consolation goal with four minutes remaining in the match.
Both teams have one game left. Kyles play host to Oban Camanachd on Saturday and Newtonmore travel to play the Oban side on Saturday November 14.
South Division One
BUTE took over top spot in South Division One on goal difference from Lochside Rovers with a 6-2 home win over STRACHUR.
The islanders took the lead through Robert Walker but Brian Dickie levelled on 40 minutes to make the half time score 1-1.
However, two goals in two minutes from Robert Walker gave Bute a 3-1 lead. Brian Dickie netted his second goal of the afternoon to reduce the leeway, but further goals from Gordon MacMillan and two from Duncan Davidson gave Bute a comfortable 6-2 win. Bute play their final league game away to Oban Celtic on Saturday. OBAN CELTIC travelled to Tghnabruaich to take on KYLES ATHLETIC last Saturday but returned home on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. Dunkie Kerr opened the scoring for the home side but Lee Askew levelled on 50 minutes. Two further Rupert Williamson goals in the 62nd and 67th minutes gave Kyles a 3-1 win.
Celtic play their last league game on Saturday against Bute. The match will be played at Mossfield with a 1.30pm throw-up.
LOCHSIDE ROVERS’ game against Glenorchy was postponed last Saturday due to the Mart Park being unplayable as was the second option Ganavan. The game is scheduled to take place at Dalmally this weekend.
With Bute beating Strachur 6-2 the islanders now top South Division One on goal difference from Lochside. Lochside manager Gareth Evans said: ‘All we can do is win our game against Glenorchy. Bute remain favourites by virtue of having a better goal difference. Having said that they will not relish coming to play Celtic.’
WINNER: A season- defining moment as Oban Camanachd’s Aidan MacIntyre shoots and scores the winning goal to keep his team in the
Marine Harvest Premiership.
EQUALISER: Malcom Clark nets the rebound after Kingussie keeper Andrew Dawson had saved Lorne
NO WAY THROUGH: Camanachd defender Gary McKerracher fends
off Kingussie’s Louis Munro.
SPLASH: Oban Camanachd’s Connor Howe splashes through the
water to beat Kingussie’s James Hutchison to the ball.