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Shinty faces up to season's end

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Gary Innes | 21:15 UK time, Monday, 8 October 2012

Shinty's Premiership closed its gates on Saturday afternoon for the 2012 season after the final whistle rang out at the Dell between Kingussie and Inveraray.

Euan McMurdo and David MacPherson had given Inveraray a two-goal advantage before King's Lee Bain struck back shortly before halftime.

Neither team found the net in the second half leaving Inveraray the joys and spoils of driving back to Argyll with both points in the bag.

Newtonmore lifted the 2012 Orion Group Premiership

I feel each time I try to write about the end of a season I can never quite capture the magic on paper as I see and remember it in my head.

Although with an IQ of 17, and being as bright as two in the morning, this should come as no surprise to me.

The title race for the Premiership took many twists and turns though out the year.

It was no real surprise however, that Newtonmore for the third consecutive season secured the league title, and added the MacTavish Cup to their haul along the way.

Kyles Athletic once more ran the champs close, but just couldn't do the business
against the Badenoch boys when it came down to it with three games remaining.

For the first six weeks or so Lovat, and 2011 North 1 winners Kinlochshiel, were running the show, leaving top teams pointless with home and away wins.

Meanwhile, Fort William started their season on their interim field 'Black Parks' with fresh faces in key positions as many of the old heads had bowed out at the end of the 2011 campaign.

Kingussie finish mid table after an up-and-down season with injuries and work commitments playing its part throughout.

Inveraray finished with their highest league position in a number of seasons, also bagging the Celtic Cup, and a Camanachd runners-up medal for their efforts.

South 1 winners Bute, unfortunately didn't manage to make any form of impact on the Premiership, and, after 18 games, head back down a division to rebuild in South Division 1 next season.

Glenurquhart raised their game this season lifting their first ever senior trophy, the Macaulay Cup under Scotland boss Drew MacNeil and Fraser MacKenzie.

Kyles Athletic lifted the Camanachd Cup in such dramatic fashion that we will likely be talking about the 2012 Scottish final for years to come.

Kilmallie were the North's Premier casualties and make way for North Division 1 winners and neighbours Lochaber to replace them in shinty's top flight.

They will be joined by Oban Camanachd from the South, who also breezed South Division 1 and grabbed a MacAulay Cup runners-up medal to boot.

With the end of every season comes change, reflection and mixed feelings for everyone involved throughout the sport.

With more and more companies and factories working seven days a week, we're definitely starting to see more players missing fixtures through work commitments than ever before.

This doesn't obviously just stop with players, as three Premiership managers also hung up their boots for the last time.

Fort William boss Peter MacIntyre, Newtonmore's Norman 'Brick' MacArthur, and Johnny
Morrison of Kilmallie all step down as they struggle to juggle their time with work.

Having played under my now old boss, Peter MacIntyre, while having some of the best days out and games against 'Brick' and Johnny's bruisers over the years, I wish all three my best wishes and luck in the future - and hope you don't stay away from the sport for too long.

It's a mad old mental game the shinty, and, if you're fortunate enough to be involved in it, you just can't help but love it.

However, at this time of year, many will be planning throwing the stick in the shed and throwing the boots in the bin for the last time.

But, with ecstatic wives and girlfriends across the country now getting their men back for the weekends, I don't think it will be long before a wee change of heart is had after a few cold Saturdays traipsing around the shops.

Roll on March 2013...


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