Oban Camanachd finish the season with a home win over Kyles Athletic
Marine Harvest Premiership
WITH the pitch at Tighnabruiach deemed unplayable the last premier league fixture of the season was switched to Mossfield Stadium which was in excellent condition.
Both Kyles Athletic and Oban Camanachd were under strength with players involved in the shinty/ hurley International in Dublin.
Camanachd were still without long term injury victims Andrew ‘Papa’ MacCuish and Keith MacMillan. However, the red and blacks recalled Robert Dunnings in goals for the important game knowing that a win would see them finish comfortably in mid-table and round off an astonishing recovery in the second part of the season.
The home side began well with the forward line of Lorne Dickie, Connor Howie, Michael MacQueen and Malcolm Clark clearly in the mood and were two goals to the good after 10 minutes through Michael MacQueen and Lorne Dickie.
David Lafferty was controlling the midfield area ably supported by Lochside recruits Keith Burnett and Jordan Kerr.
The movement and pace of the forwards was causing the Kyles defence all sorts of problems and they can thank keeper Whyte, who produced some terrific saves that kept the scoreline at only 2 – 0 to the home side at half-time.
Team manager Ian Hay made changes for the second half with Aidan MacIntyre and Alex Dunnings coming on.
Kyles started the second half in positive fashion with the Camanachd defence of Gary Lord, Gary MacKerracher, James MacMillan and Scott MacKillop called into action to keep the Tighnabruaich men at bay.
However the game was all but over when a fine individual goal from Connor Howie left the Kyles defence in his wake to give Camanachd a three goal lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Kyles’ reaction was immediate and they pulled a goal back through Thomas Whyte.
Hard season The last quarter was played out in sporting fashion with referee Graham Cameron, who had a good game, signalling the end of a long, hard season for both clubs.
The result meant that Camanachd’s good run in the second half of the season – only two defeats in 10 games – ensured the club will play in the top flight of shinty after finishing comfortably in mid table after languishing for so long at the foot.
Team manager Ian Hay said the club would like to thank team sponsor Malcolm Kerr and all those who supported the team throughout the season. ‘ We are looking forward to playing in the Premiership next season and to bring through more players from our promising second team Lochside Rovers.
‘ We should have Keith MacMil- lan and Andrew MacCuish fit for start of next season which means competition for places.
‘My thanks also to Paul Kersley, Alex MacVicar and Dugie MacIntyre as well as Lochside manager Gareth Evans, who all contributed to the success of the team in the second half of the season.
‘We can look forward to our AGM which will be held at Rockfield on Tuesday December 1, but before that we have our annual buffet dance at Glencruitten Golf Club on Saturday November 28, where the player of the year awards will take place.’
Asked about his own position as team manager Ian said he would be delighted to carry on and hoped that with the backing of the club committee and players, the team could make a consistent start to season 2016 and make a positive impact in all league and cup competitions.
Camanachd’s Under 17 team lost 2- 0 to a strong Newtonmore outfit at Cannich last Saturday in the final of the London Shield.
WINNERS: Inveraray Shinty Club held its annual dinner dance and prizegiving ceremony recently. Above are the winners, top left to right, Andrew McMurdo (first team player of the year), Ruaraidh Graham (Jock McCallum memorial trophy for most promising player), Lewis Montgomery (MacQuiston Cup Captain) and Euan McMurdo (first team top goal scorer). Bottom left to right: Ross Montgomery (second team player of the year) and Fraser Watt
(second team top goal scorer).
ACTION: Lewis MacPhee, Oban Camanachd and Tommy Stewart,
Newtonmore in action during the London Shield final.
Photo: Neil Paterson
TEAM WORK: Keith Burnett shields the ball and gets ready to pass it
to his teammate David Lafferty.
CONCENTRATION: Malcolm Clark keeps his eye on the ball as he
prepares to pick out a pass.