Camanachd Cup final: Newtonmore 1-0 Oban Camanachd

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland in Fort William
Newtonmore are the Camanachd Cup champions once again
Newtonmore celebrate their latest shinty success

Newtonmore secured their 31st Camanachd Cup victory with Glen Mackintosh's early strike proving decisive against Oban Camanachd.

Mackintosh picked up possession after good work by Norman Campbell before thrashing a wonderful effort low into the corner from distance.

Newtonmore captain Steven MacDonald said: "Everybody who stepped out on to that pitch was unbelievable.

"We defended right from the front. It was just a team performance."

Oban, having not lifted shinty's premier trophy since 1996, came into the final as underdogs despite good form this season against a side chasing their seventh straight Premiership title.

"Oban gave us absolutely nothing," MacDonald told BBC Scotland. "They were winning every ball and fighting for everything and never gave up.

"All credit to them, they are going to be in plenty of finals."

Midfielder Paul MacArthur paid credit to his team's defence.

"Oban haven't been giving away many goals all season and our defense is by far the best in the league this year - so we knew it was going to be a defensive sort of game," he said.

"When they really need to, with our backs are against the wall, we just keep teams out and we didn't help them because we didn't convert enough chances to give ourselves a bit of a cushion.

"Defensively, Mike Russell, Steven MacDonald, Andy Mack and Rory Kennedy and Owen in the goals were just incredible. They are expert at keeping teams out.

"This is only the third time for me and this group of players and, as far as we are concerned, that's probably not enough."

Mackintosh's goal was a significant blow, coming after just two and a half minutes, and you wondered if it might spark an early onslaught. It didn't, but it ultimately settled the contest.

His opener was well worked. Norman Campbell fed him coming off the left and Mackintosh instinctively drilled an accurate low drive that gave goalkeeper Gavin Stobart little hope.

Oban did well to steady the ship, remain competitive and contain a strike-force that looked more inventive and composed in threatening areas.

Daniel Cameron came closest to a leveller with a close-range attempt, but the shot was saved by Owen Fraser.

Newtonmore looked more threatening going forward and Mackintosh was unfortunate not to add to his opener with a number of efforts threatening Stobart's goal.

Campbell was upended on the edge of the box as he raced in on Stobart late on as he looked likely to end the contest.

A comeback never materialised despite late pressure and Newtonmore successfully negotiated their route to another Camanachd Cup success to add to their Premiership dominance of recent years.