14 October 2021

Kinlochshiel make history with epic Camanachd Cup victory

With the dust still settling on what has been hailed as one of the greatest finals in its illustrious 125 year history, huge congratulations go out to Kinlochshiel Shinty Club, who lifted the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup for the first time on Saturday 18th September.

On the day, It seemed like the entire shinty community were watching the scintillating contest unfold at Mossfield Stadium, Oban. The sides were evenly matched going into the final, and with two-time winners Lovat having not lifted the trophy themselves since 2015 (after a 62-year hiatus), supporters were in for a classic showdown. And the Kinlochshiel and Lovat squads did not disappoint.

Both teams started quick out of the traps, though the first big chance of the match fell to Lovat’s Fraser Heath who struck the post with a fierce shot across Kinlochshiel keeper, Josh Grant. But it was Kinlochshiel who broke the deadlock in what was their first-ever appearance in shinty’s blue riband event, with Keith MacRae receiving the ball after a mis-hit shy to fire high into the Lovat net. As a breathless first half neared its end, Lovat’s top scorer for the last five years, Greg Matheson, proved his pedigree to level the scores.

In the early stages of the second half, it was Lovat who looked most likely to take the lead, with Matheson shooting just wide after a good build-up play from Heath. But it was Shiel who edged in front on the 61st minute through MacRae again, who lifted the ball past the advancing Stuart MacDonald to make the score 2-1.

As the increasingly tense, combative game entered its final third, Lovat almost levelled when Matheson hit an incredible volley from ten yards inside his own half that nearly caught Grant, who lost the flight of the ball in the Autumn sun, out. The scare emboldened Shiel who in the dying seconds of the game added to their lead to make it 3-1 when MacRae completed a memorable hat-trick to make sure shinty’s greatest prize would reside in Wester Ross for the very first time.

Speaking about Kinlochshiel’s historic victory, Tulloch Homes Chief Executive, George Fraser, who was among the supporters at the game, said: “I’d like to extend huge congratulations to manager Johnston Gill and everyone involved with Kinlochshiel Shinty Club. To lift the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup for the first time in their history, in what was their first appearance in the final, is an incredible achievement. I’m sure the positive effect of their victory will reverberate around Wester Ross shinty for years to come.

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