Shinty’s blue riband event, the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup final, takes centre stage at An Aird, Fort William this afternoon where record 33-times winners Newtonmore meet Oban Camanachd, whose last Scottish win came in 1996.
Newtonmore are out to make it four-in-a-row whilst Oban Camanachd will try to take the trophy for only the fourth time.
Captain Evan Menzies played a prominent part in last year’s 3-0 final win over Lovat, scoring twice and collecting the coveted Albert Smith Medal as man of the match. He said: “There’s a huge history behind our club and whilst that comes with a certain amount of pressure, it’s also what drives us on. To do four-in-a-row, which Newtonmore also achieved in 1910, would be huge for the club and the village. We’ve yet to play Oban Camanachd this season, which makes the final very interesting as there’s nothing to go on. However, we’re mindful that they have reached all three cup finals this year so they are rightly recognised as a huge force in the game.”
Oban Camanachd skipper Daniel Cameron was part of the side which lost 1-0 to Newtonmore in the 2016 final. He added: “You can’t take your eye off Newtonmore and their record over the last decade proves that. We’ve been training hard, though, and our younger boys are a bit older than in 2016 so we’ll give it everything.”
Cameron is well aware what a win would mean to the town of Oban. He added: “It would be massive for the town and it would really mean something to shake off the 1996 tag. Even the boys who played that day agree that it’s about time Oban Camanachd lifted the Camanachd Cup again and they would love to see us do so.”
Newtonmore have injury concerns over Glen MacKintosh and Michael Russell, whilst Oban Camanachd’s Scott MacMillan is suspended.