Shinty: MacDonald dreaming of more cup glory

Camanachd Association president, Archie Robertson, and shinty historian Hugh Dan MacLennan with the cup at Spean Bridge. Picture: Contributed
Camanachd Association president, Archie Robertson, and shinty historian Hugh Dan MacLennan with the cup at Spean Bridge. Picture: Contributed
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The man whose goals helped Kyles lift the 2012 Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup is dreaming of a repeat after they secured a home tie in yesterday’s quarter-final draw.

The pairings for the last eight took place at Spean Bridge, with Kyles paired with lower league giant killers Beauly.

Beauly claimed the scalp of Premiership Oban on Saturday, but Kyles will be confident that with a home tie at Tighnabruaich they can muscle their way into the last four.

Last year’s televised showcase was regarded by many as one of the finest of the modern era, with Kyles edging an 11-goal epic against Inveraray 6-5 in Oban.

Roddy MacDonald was man of the match with a four-goal display that left him croaking with emotion as the club’s support celebrated around him on the Mossfield Park turf. Now he hopes to savour another run to the final as the competition reaches the high-tension stages.

“For Kyles, the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup is the be-all and end-all,” said the 25-year-old Scottish international. “It’s what your season is all about and the special nature of it is something that has been drummed into us in Tighnabruaich since we were small.

“To win it last year against Inveraray was incredible. I’ll never forget it but I think retaining it would really prove something and we would certainly love to, although we know how difficult it is to achieve and every other side is obviously hoping it will be their year.

“In terms of the draw, it is probably one of the ties we would have wanted, although we know Beauly are doing well in their league and beat Oban Camanachd.

“In saying that, we would have taken anyone at Tighabruaich. A home tie was the key for us.”

With the competition gathering intrigue and interest, several other pairings are set to capture the imagination – and the crowds – on 6 July.

With Fort William travelling to face the winners of the Lochaber versus Glen Urquhart replay, a potential Lochaber derby is on the cards.

Winners in 2011, Newtonmore, avoided Premiership opponents and will play Caberfeidh or Glenorchy. Kingussie, who knocked out Lovat, face a stiff test against Premiership Kinlochshiel at the Dell.

Camanachd Association President Archie Robertson, who made the draw yesterday along with shinty historian Hugh Dan MacLennan, believes the pairings will make for fascinating competition.

He said: “We have a potential Lochaber derby and the big four of Kingussie, Newtonmore, Kyles and Fort William are still apart, so there are a lot of excellent ties to come.

“The last couple of years have thrown up special finals and that could still happen here the way the draw has worked.” 
Along with MacLennan, Robertson was joined at the draw by musician Fergie MacDonald, and Scotland Shinty star Gary Innes as they helped to launch a new BLAS festival 2013 show entitled ‘Shinty’s Heroes’.

Newtonmore v Caberfeidh or Glenorchy

Lochaber or Glen Urquhart v Fort William

Kyles v Beauly

Kingussie v Kinlochshiel

• Ties to be played 6 July