CAMANACHD Leodhais youth player Paddy Sinclair travelled to Spean Bridge last weekend to play for The Skye and Wester Ross Under 17s in The Ferguson Transport Inter District Shield against teams from Lochaber, Badenoch and Inverness.
This was the first time a player from the club had represented their district team at this level.
And Uist Camanachd were represented by Ewen Campbell who was also in the eighteen man squad.
Badenoch were drawn against Inverness and in the hour long game Inverness turned out 2-0 winners relatively comfortably with goals from Jack Hosie and Callum Morrison.
Skye and W.Ross then took on Lochaber in the second semi-final and a fiercely contested game ensued. The play swung from end to end with some excellent shinty on show. Many of the players play first team shinty in all leagues from the Premier to North Division Three and the high standard of play was evident.
As the game progressed Lochaber gained the upper hand and some fine finishing saw them run out 5-1 winners. Robin Smith scored Skye and W.Ross’ consolation goal with Paddy coming on midway through the second half with the score at 4-0 .
He equipped himself well at left wing centre in a fast moving game seeing plenty of ball and keeping the play moving forward for his side with a number of shies and forward passes.
Skye and W.Ross were immediately back in action for the third and fourth place play-off against Badenoch. This was arguably the best game of the day with both sides determined to register a win and avoid the wooden spoon.
The game got off to a blistering pace with Badenoch taking the lead early on. A corner from Uist’s Ewen Campbell from the right found Kinlochshiel’s Ali Dixon who equalised for Skyeand W.Ross before Aedan Macrae put the West coasters ahead before halftime.
At the restart Badenoch equalised and Kinlochshiel’s Hugh Macrae performed heroics in goals to deny Premiership players such as Kingussie’s Savio Genini what looked like a certain goal.
Paddy again came on for the last 15 minutes. This time he was in the Left wing forward position and began to see a lot of the ball down the left side. Some good play on the left saw Paddy get clear of his marker and his chipped lob from outside the 10 metre area only narrowly went over the bar.
The West coasters were pressing hard with their fast forward play and Aeden Macrae struck again to give them the lead, 3-2. With the clock ticking Skye and W.Ross made certain of their victory and Leodhasach shinty fans will be pleased that Paddy played a big part in the goal.
Again Paddy got himself clear of his marker on the left side and fired in an accurate cross that Kinlochshiel’s young Premier League star Oliver ‘Ach’ Macrae knocked in first time. Paddy’s assist leading to a final 4-2 victory over a strong Badenoch team .
The final was a close encounter with some fine shinty skills on display. Duncan Mackinnon for Lochaber scoring the winning goal in the second half. Lochaber were deserved winners of the Ferguson Shield and all four team coaches will have difficult decisions in picking the sixteen from the talent on show for the North versus South match at the end of the month.
From a Lewis point of view it was great to have a Camanachd Leodhais player compete so well at District level and hopefully this will lead to further representation at this level and above for Camanachd Leodhais with a number of our players having already represented Alba at Shinty/Hurling and turning out for the Scottish Universities at Shinty/Hurling against Ireland. Thanks must also go to The Sports Council for their sterling support of shinty on Lewis.
Anyone wishing to take part in The Camanachd Association’s representative Gary Reid’s Shinty coaching course which is part of The Sports Council’s Coaching Conference on Sat. Oct. 6th in Stornoway please contact Iain Sinclair on 07747161481