Camamnachd Cup first round ties on Saturday
Artemis Macaulay Cup - first round
THERE were surprises, extra-time and penalty shoot- outs and all but one of the Artemis Macaulay Cup quarter-finalists are known following the shinty action on Saturday April 29 2017.
Kinlochshiel 0 Lovat 0
(AET - Lovat won 3-2 on penalties) Artemis Macaulay Cup holders Kinlochshiel have been knocked out of this year’s competition, eventually losing out to Lovat after a penalty shoot- out at Kirkton
There was a minute’s silence ahead of throw up to remember Lovat’s 1953 Camanachd Cup winner Willie MacLean who recently passed away.
There may have been no goals in this tie but it had just about everything else.
Kinlochshiel hit the frame of the goals on three occasions and whilst Lovat keeper Stuart MacDonald produced some marvellous saves, Scott Kennedy in the ’Shiel goal was certainly no idle bystander.
’Shiel kept the ball wide in attack and created a number of chances but the Lovat defence was on form with Daniel Grieve outstanding.
There was a good battle between full centres Finlay MacRae and Danny Kelly, who cancelled each other out, although Lovat had more success on the midfield wings.
You just couldn’t take your eyes off the action and the game’s main talking point came on 73 minutes. Lovat passed up more than one chance to clear their lines following a ’Shiel corner and as Oliver MacRae went into a challenge, Jordan Fraser raced across from the right to send a thunderous shot goalwards. What happened next will be remembered by all those who attended the game for many-a-year. Lovat keeper Stuart MacDonald got his hand to the shot but such was the power of the strike, the ball spun up and over the keeper and looked certain to drop into the back of the net. Keeper MacDonald, by now on his knees, threw himself forwards towards his goal and, with an out-stretched arm, he flicked the dropping ball away with his caman for a corner on the ’Shiel left.
The save was captured by cameraman Norman Strachan and has since become a YouTube sensation, featured on the Ca- manachd Association Facebook page, and it drew warm applause from both sets of supporters.
The extra-time period still failed to produce a goal and, as with what had gone before, the ensuing penalty shoot- out at the top goal was dramatic.
Lovat player/manager Fraser Gallacher led by example, giving his side the lead only for Jordan Fraser to level.
Lovat’s Greg Matheson, who had suffered several knocks during the game, and ’Shiel’s Finlay MacRae both sent their efforts over the top.
Scott Kennedy made a great save, high to his left, to deny Lorne MacKay and John MacRae fired low into the net to put ’Shiel 2-1 ahead.
Craig Mainland restored parity, although Kennedy almost kept the ball out, and Stuart MacDonald made a great save, stretching a foot to his left, to thwart Keith MacRae.
Scott Kennedy then stretched a foot to his right to save Callum Cruden’s strike so Oliver MacRae had a chance to win it for ’Shiel but Stuart MacDonald made another fantastic save.
With the shoot- out at 2-2 after the first 10 hits, the contest went to sudden death with the players lining up in the same order.
Fraser Gallacher scored, sending the ball high over the keeper’s left shoulder, to give Lovat the advantage.
Jordan Fraser had to score for ’Shiel but his strike was well-saved with his caman by Stuart MacDonald to give Lovat victory.
It was a game neither team deserved to lose and referee John Angus Gillies flashed the yellow card five times to diffuse any potential flashpoints.
Fort William 2 Glenurquhart 2
(AET - Fort William won 2- 0 on penalties) Marine Harvest National Division side Fort William are through to the next round after they beat Marine Harvest Premiership outfit Glenurquhart on penalties following their 2-2 draw in their 3pm throw up at An Aird.
Fort William took the lead through Arran MacPhee on 20 minutes but Fraser Heath levelled with an unstoppable first time shot just six minutes later.
James Hurwood scored a minute before the break to put the Glen in front and it looked as if they would see out a 2-1 win.
Glenurquhart at times seemed to be looking for the perfect goal and they were made to pay as Fort William upped their game in the final period, showing increased urgency and Arran MacPhee got his second to make it 2-2 with 10 minutes remaining.
Garry MacKintosh in the Glen goal made a couple of late saves but, with no further scoring, referee Archie Ritchie took the tie into extra-time.
But with neither side able to add to their tally, a penalty shoot- out ensued.
Arran MacPhee was up first but his effort was saved with by the legs of Garry MacKintosh. The Glen couldn’t take advantage though as Fraser Heath’s penalty was saved with his stick by Paul MacKay.
With Mark Grant’s penalty saved and John Barr missing the target, it was scoreless after four penalties.
Fort William’s Jack Fraser was up next and he broke the deadlock and Paul MacKay saved from Lachie Smith.
Bobby MacMillan’s penalty went in off the keeper to make it 2- 0 and, with Paul MacKay saving the Glen’s fourth penalty from David MacLennan; the An Aird side went through to the quarter-finals.
Kingussie 0 Lochaber 2
Lochaber notched their first win of the season, beating Kingussie 2- 0 at The Dell.
Forwards Martin Dallas, Ryan Borthwick and James Falconer were all missing for Kingussie.
Lochaber’s Barry MacDonald served the second game of a two-match suspension whilst Brian MacDonald was out with a broken thumb.
Lochaber have found goals hard to come by this season but Shaun Nicolson, who linked up well with Connor Sweeney throughout, got his rewards in this game with finishes on 15 and 22 minutes to make it 2- 0.
Findlay MacDonald played well for Lochaber and Ally Ferguson’s side will look to build on this win when they eventually return to league action.
Oban Camanachd 4 Ballachulish 0
With Mossfield unavailable, the tie between Oban Camanachd and Ballachulish was switched to Ganavan, where the Oban side ran out comfortable 4- 0 winners.
There was a similarity to all four Oban goals; all netted from close in with Iain Hay’s side taking advantage of any rebounds off the keeper.
Andrew MacCuish scored on 33 and 41 minutes and when Daniel MacVicar made it 3- 0 on 42 minutes, there was only going to be one winner.
Oban Camanachd made a bit of a meal of things after the break but Daniel Cameron did add a fourth with just SEVEN minutes remaining.
Inveraray 4 Oban Celtic 5 (AET)
2016 Artemis Macaulay Cup runners up Inveraray were knocked out of this year’s tournament, losing 5- 4 to Oban Celtic after extra-time in their all-Marine Harvest National Division tie at The Winterton.
Lee Askew opened scoring with a scrappy goal after five minutes of what would proved to be a nine-goal thriller.
As the game flowed from end to end, Inveraray responded well and young Ruaraidh Graham levelled on 14 minutes with Allan MacDonald putting the home side ahead on 31 minutes.
Another blow was to follow for Celtic as they lost full back Andy MacDonald with a nasty cut to his face.
However, this all seemed to spur Oban Celtic on and former Scotland U21 international Daniel Madej made it 2-2 with a well-worked goal on 37 minutes.
Oban Celtic then shot themselves in the foot, conceding directly from the restart as Allan MacDonald grabbed his second to give Inveraray a 3-2 advantage at the break.
When Allan MacDonald completed his hat-trick on 65 minutes, Inveraray had one foot in the next round.
It would have been easy for Oban Celtic to throw in the towel but manager Kenny Wotherspoon went for broke.
Ross MacMillan was moved into the forward line, where he gave Douglas Dando a torrid time, and David MacInnes went to half back. Lee Askew went out on the wing and Daniel MacMillan came off the bench with Daniel Madej going onto the D and Neil Carmichael dropping back to half forward.
Oban Celtic showed great character and a ‘never say die’ attitude and the moves paid dividends with Neil Carmichael scoring twice in the final seven minutes.
Carmichael made it 4-3 on 82 minutes with a low, driven shot which sneaked into the corner of the net.
Even then it looked as if Inveraray would grind out the win and make it into the next round but Neil Carmichael clearly hadn’t read the script and, just a minute from time, with Inveraray in disarray at the back, he flicked the ball into the top corner of the net to make it 4- 4 and referee Willie MacDonald took the tie into extra-time.
Oban Celtic were the fitter side during extra-time, with Inveraray failing to match their opponents’ desire.
Oban Celtic had the ball in the net on 97 minutes but the effort was correctly ruled out for offside.
With Ally Munro going off injured, Inveraray pulled Allan MacDonald back into defence where Celtic forward Daniel Madej was proving a handful.
Gary MacPherson moved up top but never really threatened as the Celtic defenders were strong.
With just 90 seconds left, and both managers contemplating their five penalty takers, Celtic won it. Daniel Madej hit a snap-shot on the turn from 20 yards out which was saved by Scott MacLachlan but Daniel MacMillan was first to react and he rifled the ball low and hard into the net to win the tie and set up a derby meeting with Oban Camanachd at Ganavan in the quarter-finals.
After the match, Oban Celtic player/manager Kenny Wotherspoon said: ‘Our boys were just great today. They never gave up; even at 4-2 down, and away from home, they believed in themselves as did I. The hard work at training is paying off. We have no game this coming Saturday as it is Calum Fox’s stag- do, so the boys will enjoy a well- earned rest before we get back to it again.’
Inveraray will obviously be disappointed with the result but they don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves as they are back to cup duty this coming Saturday, at home to Tayforth in the Camanachd Cup.
Skye Camanachd 1 Newtonmore 3
Newtonmore beat Skye Camanachd 3-1 at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree.
Steven Morrison was still out for Skye. Paul MacArthur, who has been hampered with a hamstring problem, travelled with Newtonmore and was an unused substitute. Norman Campbell continued in goal and Rory Kennedy recovered from a knock sustained in the previous week’s win over Lochaber.
Newtonmore won the toss and played with a stiff breeze at their backs in the first half.
Skye made a positive start to the game but it was Newtonmore who went in front on five minutes when Iain Robinson gathered possession. He showed great pace to burst forward from the right wing, into the D, and sent the ball into the net to make it 1- 0.
Glen MacKintosh made it 2- 0 just four minutes later when he drove a loose ball from a Drew MacDonald corner into the net from 22 yards out.
Skye absorbed a fair bit of Newtonmore pressure before pulling a goal back on 34 minutes. A John Gillies free-hit from the left of midfield broke for James Pringle on the Skye right and he sent a great shot into the net to make it 2-1.
Glen MacKintosh restored ’More’s two-goal advantage on 56 minutes when he collected a Drew MacDonald pass on the right and he gave keeper Iain MacLeod no chance with a firm strike.
Aberdour 1 Glasgow Mid Argyll 5
Glasgow Mid Argyll defeated Aberdour 5-1 in their 3pm throw-up game at Silversands.
Goals from Calum McLay, with a 30-yard strike on four minutes, and Brian Slattery, who played a one-two with Garry Luke before scoring on 10 minutes, got GMA off to a solid start.
The visitors played with Premiership pace in the first half and they killed the tie before the break.
Calum McLay got his second on 40 minutes, tapping home a rebound off the keeper and Craig Anderson also found the back of the net a minute before the break when he raced onto a long ball over the top to make it 4- 0.
Craig Anderson got his second on 75 minutes, slotting home a rebound after a Calum McLay effort was saved, and although David MacKenzie pulled a goal back a minute later with a shot from distance which bounced past Robert Dunnings in the visiting goal, it was GMA’s day.
Lovat players celebrate the save made by keeper Stuart Macdonald (second left) that won the penalty shoot out against last year’s Macaulay Cup winners Kinlochshiel.
Action from the Fort William/Glenurquhart match which Fort William won on penalties.