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International miss leaves Innes dark blue

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Gary Innes | 13:59 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2012

The little village of Spean Bridge was celebrating this weekend as Lochaber Camanachd secured Premiership promotion from the North.

It was set to be top v bottom as Lochaber were to face league strugglers Strathglass at Spean to lift the North 1 Marine Harvest trophy.

However news came through on Friday evening that Strathglass could not raise a team, and had awarded Lochaber the points.

All a bit of an anticlimax for the Lochaber team; however, as news filtered through, the bar started to fill, as did the glasses, as the supporters congratulated their champions.

Kingussie defeated Glenurquhart in the replayed Sutherland Cup Final (pic: Neil G Paterson)

With the game now off, this allowed the players to show off their golf skills as the yearly 'Texas scramble' golf tournament took place at the local Spean course on Saturday morning.

As you can imagine, this started like any other golf match.

However, before long it had turned into a feast for seagulls as the clothes disappeared.

Congratulations to Lochaber who now face Beauly away this Saturday, but are hoping to be presented with the trophy the following weekend at home.

Kingussie lifted the Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup after a 2-0 win over Glenurquhart.

The match was being played for a second time after Newtonmore - who had initially beaten Kingussie - were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.

Savio Genini and Michael Clark had Kings leading in under 20 minutes, with two goals within three minutes.

This left young skipper Rory MacKeachan the honour of lifting the 2012 Sutherland Cup for Kingussie.

In the Orion Group Premiership, it was the Camanachd Cup final revisited as Inveraray met cup winners Kyles at the Winterton, Inveraray.

Unfortunately for both groups of supporters, there was to be no such goal feast on this occasion.

Kyles Athletic were first off the mark when Euan Campbell gave Kyles an early lead on 15 minutes.

However, Inveraray's Lewis MacNicol had the game all square by half time.

With no more goals in the second half, both clubs had to settle for a share of the points.

This was Kyles Athletic's last Premiership game of the 2012 season.

They have had another fantastic league campaign this year, although I'm sure they'll feel disappointed at once more missing out on the league title to Newtonmore

However, I'm sure the Camanachd cup will do a fine job of catching their tears.

As the curtain draws on the 2012 Orion Group Premiership, the last remaining fixture to take place has Kingussie welcoming Inveraray to the Dell.

If Kingussie beat 'Aray they will leap Glenurquhart and join Fort William in joint fourth spot, whilst Inveraray have the chance to leapfrog Kingussie with a win and join Glenurquhart in joint fifth spot.

The next big match we have to look forward to is the yearly compromise shinty/hurling International between Scotland and Ireland.

Drew MacNeil named his 19 man squad last week to face the Irish at the Bught Parks, Inverness on 20, and Ennis, Co Clare on 27 October.

This will be the third home and away tie between the two sister sports and countries, as previously the match was only a one day affair.

Newtonmore's Norman Campbell retains the captain's armband to skipper the blue and white Scotland side.

Norman is regarded as one of shinty's best ever defenders, and will be over the moon at the appointment.

Scotland have not won the double header since it was introduced in 2010, and will be determined not to make it three in a row this year.

This will also be the first year since 2000 that I won't pull a Scotland strip over my head at junior or senior level.

Having been away most of the summer and over the Scotland selection weekends with
the band, I thought it best to hang up my Scotland boots - for this year at least.

It feels very strange to think about it, not to be part of the build-up, the atmosphere in the changing rooms before the match, and of course, not being part of the big occasions on the field with that jersey on.

However, every cloud has a silver lining, and, thanks to the BBC i'll be able to sit in the commentary box with a cup of tea, and slag off my pals to the nation.

Although, I know where I'd rather be...


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Gary, I know Rory MacKeachan is a talented wee shinty player (proud Dad speaking!) but I don't think he has quite reached the heights of captaining the Kingussie 2nd team. That honour was deservedly held by Greig MacRae.
    A pity that the match wasn't a great advert for shinty and didn't come up to the 'first final' as a spectacle or the senior Camanachd Cup. Much of this was generated by the ill will generated in some quarters before a ball was even struck. I will keep my thoughts to myself about what I believe were and are the rights and wrongs of the situation but it genuinely saddens me that thoroughly unpleasant and petty manoevering has crept into the sport to eek out any kind of advantage. Stronger leadership and direction from the CA would help. The game has moved on and they need to show a more 21st century grasp over their governance.
    Rant over!
    Ewan MacKeachan


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