Seven in a row for ’More but Skye rel­e­gated to Na­tional Divi­sion

The Oban Times - - Sport -

THERE were con­trast­ing for­tunes at the Ei­lan as New­ton­more cel­e­brated their sev­enth suc­ces­sive ti­tle tri­umph whilst Skye Ca­manachd dropped down to the Marine Har­vest Na­tional Divi­sion fol­low­ing the shinty ac­tion on Satur­day Oc­to­ber 29.

Marine Har­vest Pre­mier­ship New­ton­more 4 Skye Ca­manachd 1

New­ton­more cel­e­brated a sev­enth suc­ces­sive ti­tle suc­cess fol­low­ing a 4-1 win over a spir­ited Skye Ca­manachd side, a re­sult which means the is­lan­ders will play Marine Har­vest Na­tional Divi­sion shinty next sea­son.

With all of New­ton­more’s pre­vi­ous six ti­tle pre­sen­ta­tions tak­ing place away from the Ei­lan, this was a rare chance for Paul John MacK­in­tosh’s side to cel­e­brate their league suc­cess with their home sup­port.

Af­ter a year in shinty’s top flight, Skye knew their best hope of beat­ing the drop was to win the game by two clear goals. That un­likely out­come would have rel­e­gated Lochaber. Indeed, any Skye win cou­pled with a heavy Kin­gussie loss at Tighnabru­aich would also have saved John Ma­cLeod’s side, but that seemed an even less likely out­come.

New­ton­more had Glen MacK­in­tosh, Nor­man Camp­bell, Drew Mac­Don­ald, Iain Robin­son and Jamie Robin­son back af­ter they missed the 2-2 draw with Kyles Ath­letic at the Ei­lan a fort­night ear­lier. The first four started on the bench, with Jamie Robin­son tak­ing up a place in the heart of the mid­field. Liam Mul­len­der was sus­pended.

Skye boss John Ma­cLeod was with­out Danny Mor­ri­son who was on hol­i­day, whilst Iain Ni­col­son was work­ing. There were call-ups for broth­ers Ally ‘Spod’ Ma­cLeod and Iain Ma­cLeod and both started on the bench.

There was a chance for the home side when Evan Men­zies pounced on a de­fen­sive slip in the open­ing minute, but he was un­able to score.

Skye made a bright start to the game and, with their cen­tre line win­ning the early mid­field bat­tle, they pro­vided plenty balls for their for­ward line and they had a cou­ple of chances to break the dead­lock.

It was New­ton­more who took the lead on 18 min­utes though when Evan Men­zies con­trolled the ball around 20 yards from goal be­fore turn­ing and smash­ing a shoul­der-high shot into the net to make it 1- 0.

Fraser MacK­in­tosh added a se­cond just five min­utes later when he used all of his 6 foot 5 inch frame to stretch and take down a ball from the left at the edge of the ‘D’ and was al­lowed time to flick the ball home on his left side.

Although a Jamie Robin­son shot from 40 yards out came back off the Skye cross­bar on 27 min­utes, Skye were al­ways in the game and pulled a goal back on 36 min­utes. Jor­dan Murchi­son turned to get past Andy MacK­in­tosh near the corner flag on the Skye left. It seemed too tight an an­gle to score but Murchi­son sent a rasp­ing shot high into the net from a ridicu­lous an­gle.

Skye pressed to level the game but were re­stricted to shots from dis­tance so New­ton­more took their 2-1 lead into the break. The home side could have been fur­ther ahead had it not been for some amaz­ing saves from Skye goalie Jamie Gan­non.

’More flexed their mus­cles at the in­ter­val with Glen MacK­in­tosh, Nor­man Camp­bell and Drew Mac­Don­ald com­ing on in place of Conor Jones, Jamie Robin­son and David Fraser. MacK­in­tosh went to full for­ward with Evan Men­zies mov­ing onto the wing.

Skye suf­fered an in­jury blow soon af­ter the re-start when Kenny Camp­bell took a blow to the face fol­low­ing a tus­sle with Andy MacK­in­tosh. As Camp­bell was be­ing treated pitch­side, with Iain Mur­ray on in his place, New­ton­more ex­tended their lead. Fraser MacK­in­tosh stopped the ball in space fol­low­ing a corner from the left and made it 3-1 with a pow­er­ful drive from 15 yards.

Evan Men­zies’ first-half strike meant both he and Glen MacK­in­tosh were on 24 goals apiece for the sea­son.

Be­tween them, the ’More duo have notched a com­bined goals haul which ex­ceeds the over­all ef­forts of all other clubs other than Kyles Ath­letic. Both had chances dur­ing the re­main­der of the game to fin­ish out­right top scorer for the se­nior team.

Men­zies came close on 52 min­utes when he hit a cross from Fraser MacK­in­tosh off the face of the post.

Skye made a se­cond change af­ter an hour with Ally ‘Spod’ Ma­cLeod in­tro­duced in place of Ally ‘Cleodi’ Ma­cLeod and the sub­sti­tute had a chance to score but was un­able to con­nect.

Skye had long-range ef­forts from Jor­dan Murchi­son and Will Cowie saved com­fort­ably by ’More keeper Owen Fraser.

Skye’s fi­nal switch saw Iain Ma­cLeod take over from the tir­ing Chris MacLen­nan with 20 min­utes re­main­ing. James Pringle was brought back to wing cen­tre with Ma­cLeod fill­ing in up front.

As the match moved into the fi­nal 10 min­utes, Glen MacK­in­tosh struck the post af­ter get­ting onto a Chris Sel­lar ball.

Evan Men­zies then un­selfishly set up his strike part­ner Glen MacK­in­tosh, but the ball wouldn’t sit for him and the chance was gone. Men­zies then gath­ered a ball at pace in­side the ‘D’ but seemed to hes­i­tate, think­ing he was off­side.

Fraser MacK­in­tosh com­pleted his hat-trick seven min­utes from time when he took an Evan Men­zies cross into the ‘D’ be­fore slip­ping the ball past the keeper from around eight yards to make it 4-1.

Fraser MacK­in­tosh made a big con­tri­bu­tion to the New­ton­more cause whilst the ex­cel­lent Rory Kennedy, who started at buck­shee back but then spent most of the match at full back, was a top per­former in de­fence.

Ally Mac­Don­ald had a fine game in de­fence for Skye with Gil­leas­buig Mac­Don­ald and Will Cowie also catch­ing the eye.

The de­feat con­signs Skye to shinty’s se­cond tier next sea­son. They have just fallen short in a tight mid- divi­sion where only three points sep­a­rate fifth -placed Kin­gussie and Skye in ninth spot.

Skye will lick their wounds and aim to come back stronger for the ex­pe­ri­ence.

It was a par­tic­u­larly spe­cial oc­ca­sion for Andy MacK­in­tosh, Jamie Robin­son, Paul MacArthur, Nor­man Camp­bell, Steven Mac­Don­ald and Glen MacK­in­tosh as they have been in­volved in all seven New­ton­more ti­tle suc­cesses. Whether all six play­ers will be in the ’More play­ing squad that goes for eight-in-a-row next sea­son re­mains to be seen.

With Ca­manachd As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Jim Barr and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Torquil Ma­cLeod present, Steve Bracken from spon­sors Marine Har­vest, who are about to en­ter their 30th year back­ing shinty, pre­sented the Marine Har­vest Pre­mier­ship tro­phy to New­ton­more cap­tain Steven Mac­Don­ald.

New­ton­more have com­pleted their league pro­gramme un­beaten only drop­ping points in two draws with se­cond-placed Kyles Ath­letic. New­ton­more add the Marine Har­vest Pre­mier­ship tro­phy to the Ca­manachd Cup and RBS MacTav­ish won ear­lier in the sea­son. The Artemis Ma­caulay Cup was the one that got away. Their re­serve team brought home the Marine Har­vest North Divi­sion 1 ti­tle and the Aberdein Con­si­dine Sutherland Cup; all in all earn­ing New­ton­more an undis­puted 2016 Marine Har­vest Club of the Year award.

Kyles Ath­letic 0 Kin­gussie 0

Kyles Ath­letic and Kin­gussie shared the points in a 0- 0 draw at Tighnabru­aich.

Kyles Ath­letic were with­out Cal­lum Miller, Don­ald Irvine, Dunkie Kerr and long-term in­jury vic­tim Grant Irvine.

Kin­gussie wel­comed Ryan Borth­wick back into their side for the first time since May and he started at buck­shee back. Roddy Young kept his place in the side and started up front. Fel­low 16-year- olds Ruar­idh An­der­son and Alexan­der Michie were on the bench.

This was a good en­counter given the dif­fi­cult un­der­foot con­di­tions which made for a wet, heavy and slip­pery pitch.

It was a de­cent day over­head though and both teams put on a good show with­out be­ing able to break the dead­lock. Keep­ers John Whyte and Craig Daw­son both made a num­ber of good saves with Whyte per­haps just the busier of the two.

The draw confirms Kyles Ath­letic’s sta­tus as top divi­sion run­ners up whilst Kin­gussie climb to fin­ish fifth in the league. This was also a last game in charge at Kin­gussie for co-man­agers Rus­sell Jones and Davie An­der­son.

The high­point of their ten­ure came in 2014 when they beat Glenurquhart 4- 0 to lift the Ca­manachd Cup.

They now feel the team should be do­ing bet­ter than it has over the last cou­ple of years so the time is right for some­one else to come in and take things for­ward. Their re­place­ment will de­cided at the club’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing at the end of Novem­ber.

Marine Har­vest South Divi­sion 1 Taynuilt 1 In­ver­aray 2

The In­ver­aray se­cond team came from a goal down to beat Taynuilt 2-1 at Taynuilt Sports Field.

Mark Ber­gant gave Taynuilt the lead with the only goal of the first half on 12 min­utes.

In­ver­aray drew level shortly af­ter the restart when Niall Shaw scored.

The win­ning goal came on the hour mark when David Robert­son net­ted to give the vis­i­tors a 2-1 win.

Marine Har­vest North Divi­sion 2 Kil­mallie W/O v Bole­sk­ine

The Kil­mallie se­cond team were given a walk- over when Bole­sk­ine were un­able to raise a team for their meet­ing at Canal Parks.

The Kil­mallie colts still have matches re­main­ing and are sched­uled to meet Strath­spey Ca­manachd at Canal Parks this com­ing week­end and the Lochaber sec­onds at Spean Bridge a week later.

Lon­don Shield semi fi­nal Beauly U-17 0 Oban Ca­manachd U-17 4

FOUR se­cond-half goals from Oban Ca­manachd U-17 hotshot Daniel MacVicar sent his side into the Lon­don Shield fi­nal as they de­feated Beauly U17 4- 0 at Canal Parks.

Oban Ca­manachd en­joyed most of the first half pres­sure but some good de­fend­ing from Beauly meant it was score­less at the turn­around.

Oban Ca­manachd got the goal they de­served on 50 min­utes with Daniel MacVicar on tar­get.

When MacVicar got his se­cond on the hour mark, Beauly’s frus­tra­tion showed and Lee Dun­bar was red carded by ref­eree Ron­nie Camp­bell with oth­ers for­tu­nate not to join him on the side­lines.

Daniel MacVicar went on to take his per­sonal tally to four goals with ef­forts on 73 and 75 min­utes to give his side an unas­sail­able 4- 0 win.

Oban Ca­manachd will now play Skye Ca­manachd in what is sure to be a crack­ing Lon­don Shield Fi­nal this Satur­day, Novem­ber 5.

At the time of go­ing to press, the fi­nal was sched­uled for the Ei­lan, New­ton­more, with a 1.30pm throw-up.

New­ton­more won their sev­enth cham­pi­onship in a row this year and pic­tured are the six play­ers who have picked up all seven win­ners’ medals. Back: Andy MacK­in­tosh, Jamie Robin­son and Paul MacArthur. Front: Nor­man Camp­bell, Steven Mac­Don­ald and Glen MacK­in­tosh.

New­ton­more cap­tain Steven Mac­don­ald re­ceives the Marine Har­vest Tro­phy from Steve Bracken, Marine Har­vest sup­port man­ager.

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