DCSIMG

Shinty: Irrepressible Ross scores four as Kingussie clinch Macaulay Cup

Ronald Ross has written himself into cup final history so often that headline writers must be exhausted trying to come up with new ways of telling an old story.

In the first half against Inveraray in Saturday's Macaulay Cup final in Oban he looked subdued by his own side's formation, restricted to falling deep and feeding others.

By the end of the 120 minutes, he had broken Inveraray's hearts with four goals in a 4-3 victory and showcased individual skills that would make up the contents and most of the inner chapters if a manual was ever written on playing perfect shinty.

Indeed, perhaps the new thing would be to let him win the games then write the headlines himself as well and save everyone the bother.

In the first half, Inveraray must have thought they'd stifled him and, if they had made more hay when the sun shone, would have won this final, broadcast live on BBC2 Scotland.

Instead they went in only 1-0 through a Neil Andrews tap-in and faced Kingussie and the wind whipping up from Oban Bay in the second period.

Aware of the prevailing breeze, Kingussie manager Stephen Borthwick resorted to push Ross up as last man and it was from that familiar position the number 11 wreaked havoc.

His equaliser was a thing of beauty. A turn, a change of pace and then a shot from 30 yards that almost raised the net off its trusses.

However, Inveraray didn't want to relinquish the silver trophy after two successive wins and when Russell MacKinlay capitalised on a moment of hesitation by Gary Munro to score, it looked as if victory number three was on the cards.

Ross wasn't convinced, though, and with four minutes left turned Scott Robertson one way, then another before rifling the equaliser past Graeme Macpherson.

Kingussie's tails were up and, when Ross hit the third in a move straight from throw-up in extra time, the outcome began to look inevitable. By the time he had made it 4-2, the rallying cries of those in yellow and black had a lethargic ring.

Perhaps the greatest injustice for them was that MacKinlay's second goal should only make a note in a digest rather than a headline. The forward must have struck the ball from all of 35 yards and you could hear it whistle as it beat man-of-the-match Andrew Borthwick all hands up.

The day belonged to Ross, though, and the red and blue hordes dancing on the park at the end.

Afterwards he said he would review whether to keep playing in 2011.

Quit? On this form it would surely be unforgivable.

For those who read the form, perhaps Kingussie's name was on this trophy.

To get to Mossfield, they had to overcome rivals Newtonmore and Fort William.

Inveraray scored over 25 goals on the way against lesser sides and it was only on Saturday that they lost their first goal. "It was tough but we got there in the end," said Kings boss Stephen Borthwick. They now have the Camanachd Cup final to look forward to.

 
 
 

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