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Mud, sweat and tears for shinty

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Gary Innes | 11:03 UK time, Wednesday, 12 October 2011

All fixtures in the Scottish Hydro Premier Division bar one, were once again cancelled due to the wet weather.

The one place that did manage to beat the mud baths was Glenorchy, who hosted Lovat.

Lovat's Owen Ferguson and Greg Matheson both bagged a brace in a 4-0 win for the Kiltarlity men.

This was a must win game for Lovat in order to try and keep their Premier survival chances alive but, despite this win, Lovat are not yet out of the woods.

With Glenorchy already relegated, this leaves one relegation spot remaining.

Fort William's Gary Innes is tackled by Kingussie's Ian Borthwick

With only one league game left both Lovat and Inveraray are level, one point ahead of Oban Camanachd who, however, have two league games to play.

Things are really heating up at the bottom of the league.

Looking ahead to this weekend's four fixtures, there are three crucial games.

Newtonmore meet Oban Camanachd at the Eilan where the home side must win if they wish to continue their push for the title, while Camanachd are hunting for points for survival.

With three games remaining for Kyles they welcome Kingussie to Tighnabruaich, where they must also secure both points to continue with their bid to be the first South team to win the Premier title.

Kilmallie play Lovat at the Canal Parks in Lovat's last game of the season. As mentioned before Lovat must take points to stand a chance of 2012 Premier shinty.

Glenorchy will be happy to finish their season against Glenurquhart in what has been an extremely hard season for the Dalmally club.

They have not managed to pick up a single point since promotion last season and I'm sure will look forward to rebuilding and getting back into their winning ways in South Division 1 next year.

Although this past week has been fairly uneventful in terms of league shinty, Scotland manager Drew MacNeil named his 19-man squad to face the Irish in this year's Internationals.

After five weekends of training and whittling the squad down, I am delighted to make the final squad again this year and I look forward to the coming weeks.

The away leg of the tie will take place in Athy, Co Kildare, on Saturday 22 October, with the return leg taking place one week later at the Bught Parks, Inverness, on 29 October, live on BBC One.

The shinty/hurling international takes place once a year between Scotland and Ireland where these sister sports compromise rules to bring together a unique sporting occasion of two fine games.

Shinty is played more on the ground, where as hurling is predominantly played in the air - because of its fast pace and high scoring, this makes for a very exciting spectacle for supporters and players alike.

Last year was the first time in the home and away series that the points from both games were combined to give the winner.

Scotland beat Ireland at the home of hurling, Croke Park in Dublin, for the first leg, but lost the home tie in Inverness to allow Ireland their first International victory in seven years.

The international differs from most others in that most international competitions involve several countries, this is, however, a shinty/hurler's only opportunity to represent their country at their sport, and it is a great honour to be picked to represent Scotland.

Come on Scotland!

Safe travels to all clubs and supporters.


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