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Are shinty youth scared of the shy?

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Gary Innes | 10:52 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2012

Last week I had the privilege of teaching the up and coming superstars of the sport at the National Shinty Camp at Strathallan,

Perthshire, where I managed to pick up a few tips myself. It was brilliant to see youth Shinty being represented from North, South, East, and West, with a few islands thrown in for good measure.

One thing that did strike me, apart from a few 'allegedly' stray balls during the week, was the lack of confidence in young players taking a shy.

A shy in shinty is the equivalent of a 'throw in' in football. However, in shinty both feet must be planted parallel to the line (no running towards it) where you then throw the ball above your head. You then draw back your stick directly above your head, and connect with a forward motion, ensuring the stick is still perfectly in line with your body.

This can be occasionally daunting when the opposing fans are inches away from you calling you all the bad words your mum doesn't like you saying,

However it can also be used to a huge advantage. Fortunately, Michael Clark from Kingussie was on hand to show many how to do it properly.

Michael's shys on the shinty field are legendary, and he went on to explain how he crafted his art.

Recently I have noticed though that it seems many clubs at senior level are also losing possession with foul shys, or not managing to connect thoroughly with the ball after throwing up.

Is this something you have noticed?

Do you get to practice taking shys at training out with a wee game at the end, or are you expected at your club to practice yourself in your own time?

Let's hear your thoughts and views on this.

Lochaber Camanachd lifted the first mational silverware of the season after beating Beauly 5-1 in the Balliemore Cup final.

It was however Beauly's Jack MacDonald that struck first after only 10 minutes to give the green and white an early advantage.

Scotland International Sean Nicholson was the man to get Lochaber back level with a strike on 33, followed by a Stuart Callison goal moments later to put the Spean Bridge men in front leading in to halftime.

Lochaber's third came seconds after the restart from Ben Delaney, who went on to net a second minutes later.

Then, on 63 minutes, Callison stamped his name once more on the scoresheet to wrap up Lochaber's fifth and final goal.

This was a tremendous result for Michael Delaney's men, and as captain Hughie Innes (my brother) lifted the cup high in the sky, the Balliemore Cup was on its way back to the village of Spean Bridge, after a 26 year absence.

This was a very proud moment for us in the Innes household with Shuggie also receiving the black caman.

Only a winning captain receives the prestigious silver mounted black stick for their efforts, and before him our uncle, Ally Ferguson, was the last man to hold aloft the black caman for Spean back in 1986.

In the Orion Group Premiership, Newtonmore took a huge step towards winning the 2012 Premiership with an impressive 5-2 win away at Tighnabruaich.

Before Saturday match up, Kyles Athletic and Newtonmore sat on exactly the same points at the top of the table.

Kyles Athletic's Dunkie Kerr opened the scoring for the home-side, however Kyles defender, Calum Miller, cancelled the advantage with an own-goal after 23 minutes.

Through the remaining 67 minutes, 'More's Danny Macrae went on to bag a hat-trick, with the assist of two penalties.

Dunkie Kerr did manage to pull one back for the home-side, however Newtonmore's Calum Stewart put the final nail in the Kyles coffin on 90 minutes, to ensure both crucial points headed home to Badenoch.

Lovat beat Fort William 3-1 at Kiltarlity to jump into second spot in the Premiership. Two goals from Greg Matheson, followed by an Owen Ferguson goal blasted Lovat ahead by three.

Stevie Stewart did manage to find the net late for Fort William, however Lovat's task was complete.

Bute remain firmly at the bottom after succumbing to a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Kingussie. Ronald Ross opened for Kings after only a minute, followed by strikes from Stuart Downie, Ryan Borthwick, James Hutchison, and Lee Bain.

Bute are still joined by Kilmallie in the bottom two of the table after Inveraray thrashed them 7-1. Alongside a Euan MacMurdo single, two apiece from Chris Crawford, Garry MacPherson, and Russell MacInlay had the yellow and black in seventh heaven.

Mark Graham was the scorer for Kilmallie.

Kinlochshiel played Glenurquhart at Balmacara in their OGP fixture, and lost 3-2. Neale Reid opened for the visitors, before Finlay MacRae levelled the tie.

Reid then bagged his second, followed by teammate Fraser Heath's goal. An OG from 'Glen defender, Andrew (Corky) Corrigan brought the deficit back by one, however Fraser MacKenzie and Drew MacNeil's men secured a fine victory.

Looking ahead to this weekends action, in the Orion Group Premiership, Lovat have the chance to leap frog Newtonmore at the top if they can nab both points at Inveraray, Kyles
welcome Glenurquhart, while Fort William travel to Rothesay to play Bute.

Lochaber fresh from there cup success meet holders Newtonmore in the last Camanachd Cup quarter final at 'The Eilean'.

With the semi-final draw already taken place live on the John Beattie Show, the winners already know they will face Kyles Athletic in the semi.

This draw means Kinlochshiel and Inveraray now clash head-to-head in the other Camanachd Cup semi-final.

In the Aberdeen Considine Sutherland Cup final, Kingussie meet local rivals Newtonmore at the Dell, Kingussie. This is the largest of the reserve team finals, and you can catch all the action live from 1600 BST on BBC ALBA.

Safe travels to all clubs and supporters.

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