According to the Guinness Book of Records, they are the most successful sporting club in history due to their exploits in the 80s, 90s and 00s but Kingussie Camanachd Club have never played a game in Lewis.
They make history this Saturday when they visit Shawbost this Saturday for a Strathdearn Cup fixture and they will have the greatest player of the modern age, Ronald Ross, in the dugout. Several of the golden generation have been turning out for the Badenoch giants’ second string, although it seems Ronald’s old strike partner, Kevin Thain will miss out, but whilst there is sure to be a good number of Camanachd Cup medals on the park, there will also be some very talented youngsters to really test out the Islanders, all across the park.
However, after an admirable, gritty performance in a 5-2 to runaway league leaders Aberdeen University on neutral ground at Kiltarlity, where a fine brace by Will Church was reward for a performance which gave the Granite City, which featured ex-Lewis Scott Murray, something to think about, manager Duncan MacIntyre is relishing testing his troops out.
“Playing Kingussie is a fantastic opportunity for the Club to pitch itself against one of the real big names on Shinty in a competitive match.”
“It will be a fantastic experience for our younger players in particular and an opportunity to show how far we have come.”
“As I said to the boys on Saturday against Aberdeen University 12v12 that’s all it comes down to and we’ll give it our absolute best.”
Lewis have held a “home” fixture against the Badenoch giants but that was back in 2008 when Lewis were required to play home games at Inverlael, Ullapool. The fledgling island side lost 14-0 in the Sutherland Cup in only their second season as a cup side.
This Saturday, in the lead up to the big cup clash at 2.30pm, the club will be launching a new Under 14 youth competition, Cupa na Sgìre, to be based around districts starting at 10.30am at Shawbost. Head of Youth Development, Eòghan Stewart said “we’ve made a lot of progress in terms of teams travelling away, but we need to develop our own competitive opportunities on the island as well in order to compete with other sports, and local identity is crucial in doing so. We’ve had a great response for this first tournament and we hope that every area in Lewis & Harris, from Ness to South Harris will have a youth shinty team in future.”
“We hope that as many of the kids will stick around for the game. It’ll be great for them to see a Kingussie side up close and it will help add to the development of their own skills. Got to pay tribute to Joanne Mitchell and all the others who are helping drive shinty forward at youth level here in Lewis and Harris.”
Camanachd Leòdhais V Kingussie
Strathdearn Cup, Shawbost, 2.30pm, Saturday 18 June