DCSIMG

Newtonmore win Shinty’s Camanachd Cup

Newtonmore takes the Cup. Picture: Maurice McDonald/Universal News And Sport

Newtonmore takes the Cup. Picture: Maurice McDonald/Universal News And Sport

Revenge may have been sweet for Newtonmore after their recent MacAulay Cup final loss to Kyles in controversial circumstances, but for once yesterday wasn’t the explosive, nail-bitingly dramatic climax to the season that shinty fans have become accustomed to after a succession of outstanding Camanachd Cup finals. Instead, this was about grinding it out, about Newtonmore making their superior physical strength pay dividends.

Kyles Athletic0

Newtonmore3

Robinson 14; G MacKintosh 61; MacRae 87

Revenge may have been sweet for Newtonmore after their recent MacAulay Cup final loss to Kyles in controversial circumstances, but for once yesterday wasn’t the explosive, nail-bitingly dramatic climax to the season that shinty fans have become accustomed to after a succession of outstanding Camanachd Cup finals. Instead, this was about grinding it out, about Newtonmore making their superior physical strength pay dividends.

That’s exactly what the sport’s blue-bloods did as they bullied and bustled their way to a 30th Camanchd Cup title, choking the life out of the young Kyles side as Newtonmore turned the tourniquet and dominated possession and territory against the reigning champions. After winning the league title last week, Newtonmore pursued the double with a dogged and single-minded approach that wasn’t pretty and which drew frequent complaints from the stands and the outraged Kyles players but was phenomenally successful. By far the bigger side – burly forwards Fraser MacKintosh and Danny MacRae look like they’ve been assembled from spare parts – they dominated the 50-50 tackles, and moved the ball from end-to-end with greater directness and aggression, while Kyles’ fluid game was stymied at source.

At the back Norman Campbell and converted striker Ackie MacRae used their power and aggression to snuff out virtually all Kyles’ attacks, with only the free-ranging and superbly gifted Roddy Macdonald ever looking capable of breaking free of their shackles. In midfield, the impressive Paul MacArthur and ‘More skipper Jamie Robinson prowled like two scrapyard dogs looking for something to bite, while up front the Badenoch men’s two goliaths were aided and abetted by Glen MacKintosh, who was in superb form and a constant threat.

Expectations had been high for this first meeting for 33 years between the two traditional giants of shinty, despite the fact that Kyles have underperformed in the league and squeaked past Inverary and Kingussie to reach this final while Newtonmore utterly dominated the league and thrashed Strachur 9-0 and Fort William 7-0 on the way to An Aird. After all, both sides were going for a double and they boasted wildly contrasting styles of play, while the backdrop of the controversial sending-off of skipper Jamie Robinson in the MacAulay Cup final on their only previous meeting this season lent an extra pinch of spice to proceedings. Yet any expectations of a classic were soon dispelled as Newtonmore took an early grip on the game and never let go.

Although Newtonmore pressed from the outset. when it came the first goal arrived out of the blue. It had been Kyles who had launched a sortie with just over ten minutes gone, with some deft caman work by Sandy MacKenzie setting up Thomas Whyte, who managed to get a shot away under pressure. No sooner had he done so, however, than Newtonmore moved the ball upfield swiftly while Kyles were still out of position. Danny MacRae slipped the ball through to skipper Jamie Robinson, whose scuffed shot from an acute angle had just enough power to force its way past keeper Kenny Macdonald, who was otherwise in superb form but who will be disappointed not to have kept it out.

Few men would have taken more satisfaction from the goal than Robinson, who was – he thinks wrongly – sent off when Newtonmore were beaten by Kyles in the final of the MacAulay Cup. The Newtonmore skipper subsequently served a two-match ban and has only just returned, missing last week’s league-clinching win. Presumably his goal and Albert Smith medal for man of the match will have dulled the pain.

That medal could easily have gone to Glen MacKintosh, who was at the heart of everything good that Newtonmore did in attack and who got his just rewards fifteen minutes into the second half when he ended this game as a contest by robbing Donald Irvine out on the left as he was in the process of trapping the ball and then ghosting past three defenders before rounding keeper Kenny Macdonald before sliding the ball in from a tight angle. Wayne Gretzky in his pomp could not have shown better close control.

With the game effectively killed off as a contest by that second goal, the game became a lot more open. The Tighnabruaich men, game and resilient throughout, kept going til the end, with Dunky Kerr worrying keeper Michael Ritchie with two excellent long-range strikes, but it was always pretty comfortable for the 2011 champions. Indeed, just to ram home their advantage, with two minutes remaining Glen MacKintosh’s pass from the right wing found Danny MacRae, the man whose hat-trick against bitter rivals Kingussie two years ago gave Newtonmore their first Camanachd Cup title for quarter of a century, unmarked and in space. MacRae rarely needs to be asked twice, and the big man trapped the ball expertly and drove it low and hard into the bottom corner to give the final result a more realistic sheen.

Kyles: K MacDonald; C Millar, D Irvine, A King (Z Coley, 75), C Keith, D Kerr, D Zavaroni, R Macleod (captain), T Whyte, R Macdonald, S Mackenzie (R Zavaroni, 38), G Irvine.

Newtonmore: M Ritchie; N Campbell, A MacRae, A MacKintosh, C Binnie, S MacDonald, P MacArthur, J Robinson (captain, (B MacKintosh, 88)), F MacKintosh, G MacKintosh, D MacRae, S Chisholm (A MacDonald, 75).

Referee: I Wood (Fort William). Attendance: XX,000.

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page

 

EDINBURGH
FESTIVALS
2014

#WOWFEST

In partnership with

Complete coverage of the festivals. Guides. Reviews. Listings. Offers

Let's Go!

No Thanks