Iain “Diablo” Sinclair has issued a rallying cry to the public in Lewis and Harris to turn out in numbers and support the islands’ shinty team for the first home game in Marine Harvest North Division Three at Shawbost this year.
The Camanachd Leòdhais shinty supremo said “It would be great to have a big crowd to welcome the boys on homecoming weekend. It’s a crunch game and a big crowd will help us get momentum going for the rest of the home games. We’ve done reasonably well on our travels and all I can say is: “thig sios dhan phairc agus cuir taic ris na gillean!”
It will be a challenge against title challengers Strathspey Camanachd. Lewis went down 4-2 to Spey in Grantown in March, with a second half fightback not enough to make amends for a slow start. However, Lewis scored a strong 5-3 victory last season on home soil and will look to try and ensure the classy play they have shown in patches this season can be imposed for the full 90 minutes.
Sinclair can call on a reasonably strong squad although several mainland players will be unavailable due to work commitments and university exams.
The homecoming fixture with Strathspey will throw up at 2.30pm. Match referee is Archie Ritchie. Live match updates as always will be found at the club’s twitter feed @lewiscamanachd.
This weekend will also see Lewis Camanachd stalwart Micheal Macdonald involved in the St Andrew’s University Alumni Weekend. As the newly appointed captain of the varsity team, Micheal will play a large role in this festival of shinty which will see the second USA v England International as well as the successful St Andrew’s Sixes which was won in 2012 by several Lewis Camanachd players playing for Glasgow Island.
Strathglass manager Callum Duff paid the Nicolson Institute’s shinty training a visit last Friday. The experienced coach, who has strong Niseach connections, gave the youngsters a rundown of shinty skills and passed on his wisdom from a long career in the sport of the Gael.
Youth development league fixtures are expected within the coming days and this will provide an exciting new outlet for youngsters in the Hebrides to play shinty more regularly.
Marine Harvest North Division Three
Camanachd Leòdhais V Strathspey, Sgoil Shiaboist, 2.30pm