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A Camanachd Cup final to remember

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Gary Innes | 12:53 UK time, Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The 104th Camanachd Cup final took place on Saturday at Bught Park in Inverness, and what an epic historic final it was.

Arguably shinty's biggest rivals clashed head on in their first Camanachd final meeting since 1997.

Newtonmore fought Kingussie in front of a monster crowd, and hauled the Camanachd cup back to Newtonmore after a 25 year absence.

From the throw-up, Newtonmore's Danny Macrae scored after only 11 seconds, which nearly equalled the fastest ever Camanachd final goal record which was nine seconds, ironically held by Derek Cameron, this years referee. A visible grin came over Cameron's face as he realised his record was still safe.

Macrae then set up Steven Cameron for 'Mores second minutes later.

Fraser Munro was the man to lift Kingussie's spirits with a stunner, when he leathered the ball from 25 yards into the top corner to bring the deficit back by one.

Danny Macrae then put Newtonmore ahead by two once more when he scored his second of the day just seconds before half-time. Fortunate to get a deflection off Rory Fraser, he rifled the ball past Andrew Borthwick into the top left corner.

Kingussie started the second half the stronger of the two, and when Martin Dallas steadied himself and let loose an unstoppable drive, to set Bught Park alight.

Kings skipper Ronald Ross, who had been menaced by 'Mores Norman Campbell all day, had switched positions, and, with only a half-swing he managed to steer the ball past a rooted Ritchie to level the tie.

I can tell you, the atmosphere when that ball hit the net was just sensational, but there was more to follow.

With 90 minutes complete and the scoreline deadlocked at 3-3, the game raged into extra-time.

Both teams had given everything and looked physically exhausted. However, surprisingly it was Newtonmore that looked the fitter of the two throughout the following 30 minutes.

After chances going a-begging at both ends, it was Danny Macrae who found the winner, to complete his hat-trick and start a week of partying in the highland village of Newtonmore.

Norman (Bandy) Campbell was named Man of the Match - and deservedly so - after dominating and commanding the Newtonmore defence for 120 minutes.

With over 500 supporters awaiting their arrival on return from Inverness, you can be sure whatever day of the week you read this, the party will still be going strong.

This unbelievable final will be remembered and talked about for many years, of that I am sure.

However, with the outstanding contribution made by Kingussie's youngsters, I could near as damn it guarantee - as hard as this one is to take - they will get their hands on a Camanachd Cup winner's medal very soon.

It's back to league action in the Scottish Hydro Premier league this weekend where Glenorchy welcome Kingussie, Kilmallie host Lovat, Newtonmore face Inveraray, while Kyles Athletic visit Oban Camanachd.

Kyles Athletic still sit two clear points ahead of Newtonmore with only four matches remaining, while Oban Camanachd, Lovat and Inveraray all fight for survival at the bottom.

If any of these three manage even a point this weekend, it would be a huge boost for there Premier league survival.

Safe travels to all clubs and supporters.

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