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Kinlochshiel fall short of cup final dream

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Gary Innes | 20:54 UK time, Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The quiet Highland village of Kintail was emptied on Saturday as hundreds of supporters made their way to Fort William hoping to witness history.

In 105 years of shinty's most prized possession, the Camanachd Cup, this was Kinlochshiel's first-ever semi-final.

Live on BBC ALBA, Shiel met 2004 champions Inveraray at An-Aird, Fort William, for the first game at the re-opened ground since September 2011.

But the day did not start well for the underdogs, with Inveraray's Garry MacPherson scoring within the first minute and Andrew McMurdo added another soon after.

Shiel mounted a comeback when Keith MacRae managed to squeeze the ball past Inveraray goalkeeper 'Toad' on 12 minutes.

The next goal was crucial and both teams fought hard for it.

It was to be Inveraray's day, as a perfectly weighted pass found MacPherson running through to slip the ball into the net for his second, sparking a party in the Argyll town.

Inveraray were too strong for Kinlochshiel in the semi-final

Inveraray ran out 3-1 winners against Kinlochshiel in the semi-final

So the boys from the Burgh have booked their place in the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup final.

Kinlochshiel will be bitterly disappointed but they have had an incredible first year in the top flight and I have no hesitation in saying it will not be another 105 years before we see them in another Camanachd semi, or even final.

In the Orion Group Premiership, Kyles Athletic stretched their lead at the top with a 3-1 away win over Fort William.

Roddie MacDonald opened the scoring for the away side, followed by goals from Thomas Whyte and Fraser MacDonald. Alan Knox pulled one back for Fort-William, but it was Kyles who wrapped up both points as they bid for their first-ever Premiership title.

Scotland international goalkeeper and fellow box player Stuart Macintosh secured both points for Glenurquhart when his penalty conversion was the only goal to separate the sides.

Stuart started the long walk to the spot on 45 minutes and, after scoring, had to seek medical attention for a nose bleed as he had never been that far up the field before! I can foresee a special tune being composed for this.

Now what do you do when you lose a cup final 5-4 when the person who scored two goals for the winning side shouldn't have been on the field?

This is the question and dilemma that Shinty's Camanachd Association Behaviour in Sport Committee will face when they host a meeting to try to decide what course of action to take.

In shinty, often young players of the second team will be promoted to cover when there are shortages for the first team and as they progress through their shinty career. However, rules state that, for cup games, players who exceed five games for the first team are not eligible to play for the second team.

When Newtonmore met local rivals Kingussie in the reserves Sutherland Cup final two weeks' ago, neither club were aware that 'More striker Calum Stewart was ineligible as he had played too many games for the first team.

It is normally the responsibility of the managers to monitor the number of games their team members have played, but it is a mistake that can easily be made over a season. If the youngster was still playing Under-17 shinty then this would not be a problem, but he marginally missed the cut-off date.

It would be very harsh to overturn the win for Newtonmore, but some may argue that's why we have rules in place. Whether the Camanachd Association decide to overturn the victory in Kingussie's favour or not, one thing to be taken from this is the CA must put measures in place to monitor players' participation within their own club.

So what do you think should happen in this situation? Let me hear your thoughts.

Looking ahead to this weekend's action.

Newtonmore clash with Kyles Athletic in the second Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup semi-final.

The cup holders will be strong favourites but Kyles Athletic have had another great season and have the opportunity to make it the first all south Camanachd final since 1983!

In the Orion Group Premiership, Glenurquhart meet local rivals Lovat, Bute battle Inveraray, while Fort William meet Kingussie at the Black Parks.


  • Comment number 1.

    'Now what do you do when you lose a cup final 5-4 when the person who scored two goals for the winning side shouldn't have been on the field?'.

    Well, if this were football, and the winning team were Rangers, you'd get death threats if you protested.......

  • Comment number 2.

    Freenonbrit - what's that opinion based on? Utterly ridiculous comment.

  • Comment number 3.

    From your description the rules are clear with no wriggle room, the rules are designed to ensure fair play and should be applied. If an illegible player is fielded then the result should be struck out and the match awarded to the team that played to the rules. This may seem harsh but this is often the nature of enforcement and the alternative is to ignore the laws of the game (whatever game) when convenient. This undermines the authority of the rules and would lead to more protests on future occasions when rule infringement is being dealt with. The solution is simple, all that is required is a little bit of backbone from the governing body.


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