Last gasp goal wins Lon­don Shield for Oban Ca­manachd un­der 17s

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

WITH the 2016 shinty sea­son draw­ing to a close, Oban Ca­manachd U17 came out on top as Scot­land’s top two youth sides met to con­test the Ma­rine Har­vest Lon­don Shield in New­ton­more.

2016 Lon­don Shield Fi­nal Skye Ca­manachd U17 2 Oban Ca­manachd U17 3

A last-gasp Daniel MacVicar goal gave Oban Ca­manachd U17 a dra­matic 3-2 vic­tory over Skye Ca­manachd U17 to win the Ma­rine Har­vest Lon­don Shield at the Ei­lan on Satur­day Novem­ber 5.

Wet weather in Bade­noch the pre­vi­ous day forced an 8am Satur­day morn­ing pitch in­spec­tion.

How­ever, with Lo­vat’s Bal­gate ground on standby, the Ei­lan was ruled playable so both sets of squads and sup­port­ers made their way to youth shinty’s na­tional show­piece.

Both teams went into the fi­nal af­ter win­ning their re­spec­tive area tro­phies – Skye the MacTav­ish Ju­ve­nile Cup and Oban Ca­manachd the MacQuis­ton Cup.

Skye reached the fi­nal af­ter fin­ish­ing run­ners-up to Beauly in the North League sec­tion. They went on to de­feat Fort Wil­liam in the semi-fi­nal.

Oban Ca­manachd’s route to the fi­nal saw them fin­ish sec­ond to Fort Wil­liam in the South League. They beat Beauly in their semi-fi­nal at Canal Parks a week ear­lier.

Skye Ca­manachd youth coach Davie Pringle was with­out the in­jured An­gus MacDon­ald, who had a bro­ken thumb, al­though MacDon­ald trav­elled with the squad. They had Scot­land U21 player John Gil­lies in their side, as well as fel­low first­team player James Pringle.

Oban Ca­manachd youth coaches David MacCuish, Scott Buchanan and Ge­orge Eas­ton had a full squad to choose from and they also had a Scot­land U21 cap in their ranks as Daniel MacVicar started up front.

There was also a place for first­team squad player Ross MacMil­lan, while Lewis Buchanan had al­ready proved to be a goal threat in this com­pe­ti­tion.

It was a per­ish­ing day in New­ton­more and Oban Ca­manachd played with a strong wind in their favour in the first half.

Oban Ca­manachd took the lead on 10 min­utes when Lewis Buchanan got onto the ball on the edge of the ‘D’ and sent a strike on his left side into the top cor­ner of the net to make it 1- 0.

Ruaraidh Ma­cLeod drew Skye level on 17 min­utes. The ball was played through to the edge of the ‘D’ where Ma­cLeod gath­ered pos­ses­sion and fin­ished well on his back-hand, send­ing the ball past on-rush­ing keeper Brian Lo­gan to make it 1-1.

The Oban side went back in front on 22 min­utes when Daniel MacCuish won pos­ses­sion and ran down the left wing down be­fore tuck­ing a low shot past Skye keeper Mur­phy Hen­der­son to make it 2-1.

With just sec­onds of the first 40 min­utes re­main­ing, Skye drew level for a sec­ond time. Great work from Ross Gor­don set up a chance for Ruaraidh Ma­cLeod and, from 15 yards out, he fired the ball into the top cor­ner of the net, giv­ing the keeper no chance, to make it 2-2 at the in­ter­val.

Oban Ca­manachd had per­haps edged a fairly even first half, but Skye now had the el­e­ments in their favour.

Oban Ca­manachd made a change at the break, in­tro­duc­ing Daniel Sloss, who still plays with their U14s.

Skye started the sec­ond pe­riod well with for­ward Ross Gor­don see­ing a shot saved by Brian Lo­gan. At the other end, Daniel MacVicar, who was po­liced through­out by John Gil­lies, had a cou­ple of chances to put his side in front for a third time but was un­able to take them.

In­deed, MacVicar was given a chance from the penalty spot mid­way through the sec­ond half when ref­eree Deek Cameron pe­nalised Skye goalie Mur­phy Hen­der­son for a kick in­side the ‘D’ but the Oban full for­ward sent the spot-hit wide.

The next goal was go­ing to be cru­cial and Oban keeper Brian Lo­gan made a mag­nif­i­cent save with 10 min­utes re­main­ing, tip­ping a Ste­wart Tay­lor shot over the bar to keep his team on level terms.

With ex­tra time loom­ing, and just sec­onds of the reg­u­la­tion 80 min­utes re­main­ing, Oban Ca­manachd con­jured up a dra­matic win­ner.

Daniel MacVicar took the ball in a cen­tral po­si­tion and, from just be­hind penalty spot, his loop­ing ef­fort dropped into the top cor­ner of the net to spark the Oban cel­e­bra­tions with barely enough time to restart the game.

It just wasn’t Skye’s day and, fol­low­ing a bruis­ing en­counter, de­fender James Mor­ri­son and for­ward Ruairidh Ma­cLeod re­quired hos­pi­tal vis­its for hand in­juries with Mor­ri­son later con­firmed to have suf­fered a hair­line frac­ture. Calum Robert­son was also in the wars and needed stitches af­ter tak­ing a blow to the shin.

Oban Ca­manachd cap­tain Ross MacMil­lan climbed the steps at the New­ton­more club­house to be pre­sented with the Lon­don Shield by John An­gus Gil­lies from spon­sors Ma­rine Har­vest, who is also a Ca­manachd As­so­ci­a­tion grade one ref­eree.

Re­flect­ing on the win, Oban Ca­manachd youth coach David MacCuish said: ‘It was a tough end to end game

‘At 2-2, you felt the next goal was go­ing to be the win­ner and the even­tual out­come could have gone ei­ther way. It was keenly con­tested through­out and, in the end, the break of the ball went our way. It’s a shame some­one had to lose.’

MacCuish re­flected on how of­ten the same Oban and Skye young­sters have faced each other in re­cent years.

He said: ‘The same boys have been play­ing against each other for a few years now. They’ve bat­tled it out in a cou­ple of MacMaster cup fi­nals while they were at U14 level and it’s re­ally good to see so many now com­ing through the ranks at U17 level. Both sets of play­ers were again a credit to the game and to their own clubs dur­ing the fi­nal on Satur­day.’

When asked about his own play­ers, MacCuish said: ‘ We’ve been coach­ing these young boys for sev­eral years now. It’s been a plea­sure to work with them. They are at train­ing ev­ery week and that’s good to see.’

MacCuish is op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture. ‘ We want to have a con­veyor belt of tal­ent at Oban Ca­manachd,’ he said.

‘Steven Sloss is do­ing a great job with the U14s and there are good play­ers com­ing through from there to the U17s.

‘ We will lose five play­ers at the end of this year as they will be too old for next year’s U17 squad but what we hope for with all the play­ers is that they keep at it and progress to play for Gareth Evans at Lochside and then, hope­fully, for the Oban Ca­manachd first team.

‘ We’ve al­ready seen Daniel MacVicar and Ross MacMil­lan get their chance in the se­nior side.

‘Other younger play­ers see that so it’s great en­cour­age­ment for them all and our first-team man­ager Iain Hay will give the young­sters a chance if they show they are good enough.

‘ With the first team do­ing so well in the league and get­ting to the Ca­manachd Cup fi­nal, things are on the up and it’s all about keep­ing the mo­men­tum go­ing through­out the club.’

Skye Ca­manachd U17 from: Mur­phy Hen­der­son, Ross Ni­col­son, Jamie Gil­lies, Jack Hen­der­son, Con­nor Gilpin, Sam MacPhee, John Gil­lies, Martin Pringle, James Pringle, Mark MacQueen, Ross Gor­don, Ruaraidh Ma­cLeod, Ste­wart Tay­lor, Calum Robert­son, Ryan Macaskill, James Mor­ri­son, An­gus MacDon­ald

Oban Ca­manachd U17 from: Brian Lo­gan, Craig Kirk­patrick, Craig Eas­ton, Ross MacMil­lan, Lewis MacPhee, Ruaraidh Horne, Euan MacLel­lan, Scott Robert­son, Daniel MacVicar, Craig MacMil­lan, Daniel MacCuish, Lewis Buchan­nan, Daniel Sloss, Euan Lo­gan, Cammy MacMil­lan

Match ref­eree: Deek Cameron.

The vic­to­ri­ous Oban Ca­manachd un­der 17 team cel­e­brate their Lon­don Shield suc­cess.

Mark MacQueen, Skye, and Ross MacMil­lan, Oban.

Oban cap­tain Ross MacMil­lan re­ceives the Lon­don Shield from John An­gus Gil­lies of Ma­rine Har­vest.

Oban’s Daniel MacVicar with John Gil­lies, Skye.

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