Pre-season fixtures come thick and fast
WITH the new shinty season just over a fortnight away, clubs have cranked up their pre-season preparations.
Pre-season friendlies Ballachulish 0 Kilmory 5
Kilmory beat Ballachulish 5- 0 in their match at Jubilee Park.
Both sides will play in Marine Harvest South Division 1 this coming season, Ballachulish-having dropped down from the National, whilst Kilmory were promoted from South 2.
Both sides were missing key players for this one. Kilmory’s Andrew Cunningham opened the scoring and Sandy Leiper made it 2- 0 from close range just before half time.
Alex Cunningham added a third before Rhys Williams slotted home number four.
Alex Cunningham got his second to make it 5- 0 and had the chance to complete his hat-trick in the final minute but failed to convert from the penalty spot.
Next up for Kilmory is a meeting with Col Glen on Saturday February 25.
Caberfeidh 3 Kingussie 2
Caberfeidh continued their good pre-season form with a 3-2 win over Kingussie at Castle Leod to win the Billy MacPherson Challenge Shield.
The addition of former Beauly defender Ryan Mackay and the return of Kevin Bartlett helped ‘Cabers’ to a convincing win over a weakened Glenurquhart team a week earlier and both lined up for this one too. Caberfeidh assistant manager Malcolm Morrison filled in as keeper in the ‘Glen’ game and injured wing centre Iain MacColl deputised for regular goalie Ewen Pilcher against the ‘Kings’.
This was a first match in charge for new Kingussie boss Dallas Young.
Caberfeidh went in front through Ben MacDonald but James Falconer drew Kingussie level.
Kevin Bartlett put Jodi Gorski’s side back in front and his goal was the pick of the bunch.
He collected a long ball forward, juggled it on his stick before lofting it over Kingussie keeper Craig Dawson.
Colin MacLennan made it 3-1 before a great strike from distance from Roddy Young made it 3-2.
Craig Morrison was excellent in midfield for a Caberfeidh side who could well be the team to watch in the Marine Harvest National Division this season.
Caberfeidh 2 Kinlochshiel 0
The Caberfeidh colts beat the Kinlochshiel colts 2- 0 in their encounter at Castle Leod.
Scott MacPhail and Stewart Krzyzanowski scored the goals.
Col Glen 2 Bute 0
Col Glen defeated Bute 2- 0 at Otter Ferry.
Conor Kennedy got the opener for Col Glen and Lorne Marshall made it 2- 0 in what was a good win against higher league opposition.
Fort William 1 Glenurquhart 1
The Fort William seconds came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with the Glenurquhart seconds at An Aird.
Both teams fielded a number of their promising young players who all cancelled themselves out in a goal-less first half.
Ewen Carroll, scoring for the second successive Saturday, gave Glenurquhart a second half lead but a Padraig McNeil goal earned Fort William a share of the spoils.
Glenorchy 2 Oban Lorn 1
Marine Harvest South Division 1 side Glenorchy beat Oban Lorn from the league below 2-1 at Mart Park, Dalmally.
The influential Findlay Ross scored both goals for the home side, with Drew Walker countering for Oban Lorn.
Glenurquhart 3 Beauly 1
Glenurquhart beat Beauly 3-1 in their 2pm throw up at Blairbeg.
Beauly boss Alan MacRae has added former Inverness and Glenurquhart player Liam Girvan to his ranks and he debuted in this one.
Neale Reid scored twice for the ‘Glen’, with David MacLennan adding a third.
Sandy Elrick got the Beauly goal.
Inveraray 2 Kinlochshiel 6
Kinlochshiel made it 14 goals in two pre-season outings when they beat Inveraray 6-2 in their noon throw up at the Winterton.
Jordan Fraser grabbed a hattrick for ’Shiel, Keith MacRae scored twice and Finlay MacRae got the other.
Neil Campbell and John Kennedy were on target for Inveraray.
Inverness 0 Kilmallie 2
Kilmallie beat Inverness 2- 0 in their 1pm throw up at the Bught Park outside pitch.
A light covering of snow on Saturday morning made for a crisp surface, but the game went ahead.
Inverness manager Drew McNeil opted to watch from the touchline whilst former Skye and SCOTS Camanachd keeper Ian Munro took over from Kenneth Loades in the home goal.
Martin Stewart was missing for Kilmallie, however, there was a place for Peter McIntyre on his return to the side.
Ryan Stewart and Craig MacIsaac got the goals in the match refereed by John Matheson.
Whilst this was a first outing of the season for Kilmallie, it was a second pre-season friendly for Inverness who put in a much better performance than in the 8- 0 defeat against Kinlochshiel a fortnight earlier.
Lochaber 0 Fort William 6
Fort William lifted the Glen Mhor Cup when they beat an under-strength Lochaber side 6- 0 in their 1pm throw up at Spean Bridge.
Shaun Nicolson, Stuart Callison, Barry MacDonald and Danny Delaney were amongst the home absentees on a bright but cold day at Spean.
Deek Cameron took charge of this derby encounter and Fort William took the lead through Arran MacPhee.
Lochaber came close to drawing level when a Brennan MacDonald effort came back off the crossbar.
Calum Shepherd doubled Fort William’s lead, with Arran MacPhee getting a second to make it 3- 0.
Calum Shepherd tucked home a re-bound for his second and the Fort’s fourth, whilst a late double from youngster Lewis Clark, who had gone close earlier, rounded off the morale-boosting 6- 0 win.
Fort William captain James Tangney lifted the Glen Mhor Cup and, after postponements against Aberdour and Kyles Athletic, the Fort’s pre-season got off to a winning start.
Lochcarron Skye Camanachd 6
Skye Camanachd’s second team beat neighbours Lochcarron 6-1 at Battery Park.
The game was a personal triumph for Skye’s Ruaraidh MacLeod who scored five times. Another youngster, Stewart Taylor, got the other goal to give boss Kenny MacLeod a win in his first game in charge.
Crisdean Finlayson scored the Lochcarron goal.
Lochside Rovers 1 Kyles Athletic 1
Lochside Rovers and the Kyles Athletic second team drew 1-1 in their 2pm throw up at Ganavan.
Iain MacMillan netted for the home side, whilst youngster Paddy Mulholland was the scorer for Kyles.
Oban Camanachd 4 Kyles Athletic 2
Oban Camanachd were 4-2 winners in their noon throw up against Kyles Athletic at Ganavan.
Kyles made a strong start to the game and dominated the opening quarter.
Oban Camanachd settled into the contest, however, and Aidan McIntyre put them in front after 37 minutes with a low strike.
It took a couple of good saves from Oban Camanachd keeper Gavin Stobbart to keep his team in front at the break.
A superb strike from Matt Rippon made it 2- 0 just after the re- start.
A touch from Oban Camanachd substitute Evan MacLellan saw the ball deflect into the top corner of the net on the hour to make it 3- 0.
Another well-taken Matt Rippon strike on 74 minutes increased Camanachd’s advantage.
Oban Camanachd reshuffled their pack during the closing stages and Kyles scored twice during the final 10 minutes through Martin MacFadyen and Roddy MacDonald to narrow the deficit to 4-2.
Oban Camanachd manager Iain Hay was happy with the work- out. He said: ‘Overall, it was a good performance. Matty Rippon scored two cracking goals and it’s good to have him returning to the squad.
‘We also had Gary McKerracher and Scott MacMillan back from the team which played last week so I had 16 players to choose from.
‘We made a lot of changes late in the game and that’s when we lost the goals.
‘We are at Cannich to play Strathglass this coming Saturday so we’ll look to keep it going.’
Oban Celtic 1 Glasgow Mid Argyll 7
Glasgow Mid Argyll found their scoring touch, beating Oban Celtic 7-1 in their 1.30pm throw up at Mossfield.
With manager Kenny Wotherspoon on holiday, the Oban side were also minus Daniel Madej, Neil Carmichael, Lee Askew, Iain Mackechnie and Allan Mckie from their starting line-up.
GMA found goals hard to come by in their 1- 0 defeat to Aberdour a week earlier but they turned in a good performance in this one.
They led 2- 0 at the break when Celtic changed keepers and lost the influential Andy MacDonald through injury.
Last season’s top scorer Craig Anderson opened his account for the new term with a hattrick whilst former Kinlochshiel player Duncan ‘Ach’ MacRae scored twice.
John McNulty was also on target, as was Mark Bain from the penalty spot.
Rory Bruce countered for Oban Celtic with new signings Ross MacMillan and Fulton Ronald their best performers.
Skye Camanachd 1 Lovat 3
Lovat lifted the George Michie Memorial Cup with a 3-1 win over Skye Camanachd at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree.
There were new bosses at both ends with co-managers Willie Cowie and Peter Gordon beginning their tenure at Skye and Fraser Gallacher in charge at Lovat.
Skye were without keeper Jamie Gannon, Neil MacVicar, Chris MacLennan and Kenny Campbell. Iain MacLeod started in goal.
Lovat travelled without Ryan Ferguson and the injured Mark Kelly.
The first 20 minutes of the match were fairly even, but Lovat started to get a grip of the midfield with Callum Cruden and Bailey MacKay particularly effective.
Fraser Gallacher opted to play Craig Mainland, back after a serious shoulder injury, in the Lovat attack rather than his more accustomed defensive role and the move paid dividends when Mainland gave the Balgate side a 29th-minute lead after the ball broke to him at the edge of the ‘D’.
Greg Matheson made it 2- 0 on 33 minutes when he ran forward to get to a ball just ahead of his marker and Matheson tapped the ball home.
Craig Mainland was withdrawn at half time but the visitors extended their lead when Greg Matheson added his second and Lovat’s third goal on 58 minutes.
Lorne MacKay cut in from the Lovat left.
His shot was well-saved by keeper Iain MacLeod but Matheson ran in to knock the re-bound past the keeper before tapping the ball into the empty net.
There was some consolation for Skye when James Pringle pulled a goal back on 78 minutes.
The ball fell to Pringle in space and he touched the ball wide before hitting it low across keeper Stuart MacDonald into the bottom corner of the net.
After already winning the Lovat Cup a day into the New Year, this was a second cup success of year for Lovat.
And it was a good start for Greg Matheson’s Lovat captaincy as he came forward to lift the trophy.
Strathglass 3 Inverness 1
The Strathglass and Inverness second teams had a noon meeting at Cannich with the home side, newly-restored to Marine Harvest North Division 2, running out 3-1 winners.
The match was played on a firm surface but it was playable despite freezing temperatures.
Strathglass included former Lewis Camanachd player Eoghan Stewart.
Inverness will be encouraged to have Scott Watson and Gordon MacKenzie back in their ranks, whilst youngsters Ross MacKinnon and Finlay Calder were amongst their debutants.
Stuart MacRae put Inverness ahead but Strathglass levelled before the break and they scored twice more in a five minute second half burst to seal the 3-1 win.
The Strathglass goals came courtesy of a Barry John Phimister double with Ciaran Melens getting the other.
Strathglass 2 Tayforth 1
Strathglass beat Tayforth 2-1 in their encounter at Cannich.
Orsten Gardiner gave Tayforth the lead after nine minutes, but Lewis Douglas drew the sides level mid-way through the first half.
Scott Douglas scored to put Strathglass 2-1 ahead just before half time and, with no goals in the second half, his strike proved to be the winner.
Taynuilt 1 Glasgow Mid Argyll 0
A late goal gave Taynuilt a 1- 0 win over the Glasgow Mid Argyll second team at Taynuilt Sports Hub. Ryan Gillies notched the winner with his effort in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Shinty action this Saturday
Pre- season friendlies continue on Saturday February 18.
Oban Camanachd head north to play Marine Harvest National Division side Strathglass at Cannich for the Murdo MacKenzie Memorial Cup, whilst Oban Celtic welcome Marine Harvest Premiership opposition as Kilmallie visit Mossfield. Lochside Rovers face Newtonmore’s second team at Ganavan.
Newtonmore host Inverness, whilst Fort William head for Kirkton to play Kinlochshiel.
Glengarry have home advantage against the Inverness second team and Kingussie and Beauly meet at the Dell.
Ballachulish welcome the Kilmallie second team to Jubilee Park whilst the Glenurquhart and Skye Camanachd first and second teams meet – the firsts at Blairbeg and the seconds in Portree.
Glasgow Mid Argyll play Bute in Yoker, whilst Tayforth have home advantage against Aberdeen University.
Aberdour take on Kyles Athletic’s second team at Silversands.
Black is back at Boleskine
Graham Black will manage Boleskine for the 2017 shinty season.
Former Lovat player Jamie Matheson started off last season in charge at Smith Park but later stepped down.
Black had a previous spell managing the club and his appointment at Smith Park will give the squad stability ahead of their Marine Harvest North Division 2 campaign.
Glasgow Mid Argyll bolster squad
Glasgow Mid Argyll have made four additions to their squad ahead of their return to the Marine Harvest Premiership.
GMA last played in shinty’s top league in 2010 and long-serving manager George Hay will again be assisted by Dougie Lake and Neil McLay this year.
They have increased their defensive options by adding Lochside Rovers goalie Robert Dunnings and ex- Glenurquhart defender Stuart Reid to their squad.
John Don MacKenzie returns to Yoker after a season with his original club Kinlochshiel.
Another ex-Kinlochshiel player, Duncan ‘Ach’ MacRae, who can play in midfield or in attack, has also signed on for the season ahead.
The remainder of the squad is along the lines of last year.
Skye Camanachd awards night
Skye Camanachd held their annual award presentations at a ceilidh night at the Skye Camanachd Clubhouse on Saturday February 11.
The 2016 club player of the year was Neil MacVicar, with Allan MacLeod collecting the second team award.
Youngster James Pringle broke into the Skye first team during the 2016 season and he was given the coveted ‘Caman DR’.
The Angus Murchison trophy, presented to the person who has done most for the club off the field of play, was presented to Helen Gilpin who, along with Dr Wilson Banks, provides pitchside match- day medical cover for all the Skye teams throughout the season.
James Pringle and John Gillies shared the U17 player of the year accolade whilst Jamie Gillies took the U14 award.
Marine Harvest national ladies player of the year Rhianna Kirk was also the Skye Camanachd ladies player of the year.
2017 WCA fixtures released
The Women’s Camanachd Association has released their fixtures for the new season.
In an earlier than normal start, the opening Marine Harvest North Division 2 and Development League fixtures both take place over the weekend February 25-26.
Lochaber are away to Lewis in North 2, whilst Glengarry are off to Cannich to play Strathglass and Strathspey host Inverness.
The Development East fixtures will also take place that same weekend in Strathspey whilst the Development West fixtures are hosted by Strathglass.
The Marine Harvest South Division 2 fixtures start over the weekend of March 4-5 when Oban Lorn are at home to Glasgow Mid Argyll, Lorne Ladies host Ardnamurchan and Cowal and Bute are at home to Dunadd.
That same weekend, the second round of Marine Harvest North Division 2 matches sees Glengarry, Glenurquhart and Lochaber all with home advantage against Inverness, Strathglass and Strathspey respectively.
The much-anticipated Marine Harvest National Division 1 programme starts over the weekend of March 11-12.
Champions Skye Camanachd play 2015 league winners Glasgow Mid Argyll at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree. Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup winners Lochaber face Badenoch at Spean Bridge, whilst the league’s newly-promoted sides, Lovat and Fort William, play at Balgate.
Aberdour don’t have a fixture in this seven team league.
Unorthodox defending from Adam MacMaster as Kilmallie’s Duncan Rodger gets his swing in.
Fort William’s Calum Shepherd and Lochaber’s James MacRae in action durng last weekend’s Glen Mhor Cup match at Spean Bridge.