Shinty: Glen make history with MacTavish Cup triumph

Bolted on: Neale Reid seals the victory and celebrates in style.  Picture: Neil G Paterson
Bolted on: Neale Reid seals the victory and celebrates in style. Picture: Neil G Paterson
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Glen Urquhart secured the 2015 RBS MacTavish Cup yesterday, defeating Newtonmore 3-1 in Inverness.

It was the first time the club had lifted the ancient silver bowl and only the second senior trophy of their 130-year history.

Newtonmore will wonder what might have been had Jamie Robinson not been red-carded but the day belonged to the men in red and black.

This final had a supposed pattern but, from the outset, it looked as if things would rumble along differently.

Glen, billed as underdogs, set the early pace and, if it wasn’t for the quick reactions and agility of veteran keeper Michael Ritchie in the Newtonmore goal, they would have been ahead in three minutes.

Connor Golabeck thumped a vicious effort towards goal and the 19-year-old’s effort would have sailed high into the net had Ritchie not shot out his stick to deflect.

The game’s big flashpoint occurred in the 18th minute. Glen’s Ali Mackintosh and Newtonmore’s Jamie Robinson were involved in a gutsy tussle on the centre line and, spiked with cup-final adrenaline, Robinson foolishly lashed out with his stick.

On another day it would not have happened but referee Evan MacRae had little option but to end the player’s involvement and, suddenly, it was 12 versus 11.

Six minutes later, Glen were to take advantage of their numerical superiority. Celebrating his 21st birthday, Fraser Heath thundered an unstoppable shot into the net after the ball skidded towards him across the penalty box.

Newtonmore fought manfully and ended the half stronger but, at the interval, Glen had that all important first goal.

In 55 minutes, Heath was under the impression he had netted a second goal.

A Neale Reid free hit was converted into the net off his stick but the officials spotted a Glen player in an off-side position.

There were no questions to answer after 69 minutes. Ewan Brady followed up after Ritchie blocked a shot and tapped the ball home to double the advantage.

The Glen fans celebrated as if they had won the cup but were quietened within a minute as Paul MacArthur let fly for Newtonmore with a titanic effort to make it 2-1.

Just two minutes later, there was another goal, for Glen Urquhart this time, as Reid gave himself a yard of space and cracked the ball high into the net to clinch the trophy and end the club’s long wait.