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Kingussie save Ross firepower for biggest prize

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Gary Innes | 17:01 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

Newtonmore stunned the Scottish Hydro Premier League on Saturday when they thumped local rivals and last year's champions Kingussie 6-0. Doubles from Glen MacIntosh, Danny Macrae and David Cheyne boosted the Badenoch club back to the top of the Premier while shattering any dreams of a Kingussie grand slam.

The question I am sure you are asking is, was Ronald Ross playing? The answer is no.

Ronaldo was one booking away from missing the Camanachd Cup final in two weeks' time and Kings' management obviously felt having Ronald available for the final was more important than trying to win the league so left him on the bench.

This again highlights for me the fact that the Camanachd Cup is the trophy every club wants to get their hands on each year more than any other.

I have been lucky enough to be in a few CC finals and, for me and my team-mates, being part of this final will always be the highlight of the season. It's the day the media goes as wild as they ever will for shinty. If your village/town can't travel to support you, you can be sure they will turn on their tv or radio to catch shinty's blue-ribboned affair.

In most other sports, winning the league is the main objective of the season, proving your team has played consistently throughout.

However, it seems that, for most players, lifting the Camanachd Cup is deemed more prestigious than winning the league.

So do you feel the Camanachd Cup is the most important competition in shinty, or is the league still shinty's must-have medal at the end of the season?

In Tighnabruich, the final scoreline was exactly the same, when travelling Glenurquhuart met Kyles Athletic. A Grant Irvine hat-trick followed by singles from Duncan Kerr, Colin MacDonald and Donald Irvine saw Kyles finish the game 6-0 winners.

Oban Camanachd were desperate for both points in their home tie against Lovat. An Iain MacMillan double saw Oban lead at half time 2-0 while Lovat regrouped. Greg Matheson scored quickly for Lovat after the restart and then again minutes later to finish the match 2-2.

Meanwhile, in the Marine Harvest North Division 1, Kilmallie remain a point behind Lochaber despite a 5-1 win away to Beauly (picture shows Mark MacFadyen trying to stop Kilmallie's Steven MacAlister). Lochaber stay on top after their 2-1 win away to Caberfeidh.

Looking ahead to this weekend, Inveraray play Newtonmore in the league leaders' second last game. Newtonmore will be on a high after last week's result and will hope to boost their chances of winning the Premier League for the first time with an away win.

Bute travel to Drumnadrochit to play Glenurquhart in a game from which Glen need only a point to see them safe from relegation.

Lovat host Kingussie at Kiltarlity in the Kings' last game before the Camanachd final. With their league title race over, they may rest key players ahead of the Camanachd showdown.

Fort William travel to Mossfield Park, Oban, this week needing a win to keep their title hopes alive. Oban, on the other hand, must take both points from Fort William to avoid relegation. Fort William's Liam Macintyre will not relish this fixture, when he battles against his two brothers, Daniel and Aiden MacIntyre, in what is a must-win game for both clubs.

The second Scotland International training session took place in Beauly on Sunday, when new boss Drew MacNeil and staff put the under-21s and senior hopefuls through their paces. This will be the last training session before the squad is announced to head to Croke Park next month to play against the Irish.


  • Comment number 1.

    Gary, if you look at hurling they have a national league, do you hear about it ? (no) what do most people know about that sport ? well its got to be the All Ireland final played at a capacity Croker ( 83 700). It receives all the coverage and kudos. That's the "big day" that showcases the sport, just like the rugby, football world cups or the Heineken league or Champions league. They start as leagues but end in knock out stages later in the tournament creating theater and drama until you are left with two teams battling for the big prize on the biggest stage. The Camanachd Cup is no different as it attracts the National press and T.V. to shinty. Players love there day in the sun ( week or two building up to it) and the communities involved really feel part of the whole build-up. The big bonus for the two clubs contesting the final is that children are inspired that people they know and see can achieve at the top level and it generates new players and future talent... One question Gary, which trophy the League or Camanachd looks better? (no contest)


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