Oban Camanachd are still on for the treble as they face up against the current leaders of the Mowi Premiership, Kingussie. Oban come off the back of a huge win in the Camanachd Cup semi-final where they beat Kyles Athletic 3-0, whilst Kingussie havn’t played since their unfortunate draw against Badenoch rivals Newtonmore in the Mowi Premiership.
A slow start to the season saw Oban suffer two draws and two losses within their opening four matches, of which one defeat came from Kingussie where the Badenoch side left with a promising 2-0 victory. Despite the slow start Oban soon warmed to the season going on a 12 match win streak, in which they defeated an otherwise promising Kyles Athletic side 3 weeks in a row. However, Kingussie asserted themselves as marginal favourites for this weekend’s final 3 weeks ago after they ended Oban’s dominant winning streak and dealt them a 3-2 loss at Mossfield Park in the Premiership.
Other than Kingussie winning both of the two sides previous encounters this season, at full strength they also hold one of the most threatening forward lines in shinty. A partnership between Roddy Young, Savio Genini and Ruaraidh Anderson makes for a diverse attacking force, mixed with pace, power and agility. However, after Young suffered a fractured thumb in Kingussie’s clash with Newtonmore 2 weeks ago, questions have been raised as to whether the Scotland U21 player will be listed in the team sheet.
Young cleared the air saying that “I was informed that the thumb is broken but this is an injury I can play with. It’s painful, but when there are rewards like the Macauley Cup up for grabs you play through it.” He assured Feet and Away of his fitness adding, “I’ve played with it for a couple of weeks now and it’s feeling good, I can play my usual shinty without any hassle.”
The Last Ten Matches
Despite Kingussie getting the better of their previous encounters this season, it’s Oban who have had the more promising record in the last ten fixtures. After an unconvincing start to the season Oban have undoubtably become one of the biggest names in senior cup competitions for the 2019 season, having made it to all 3 of their finals. Last weeks victory in the Camanachd Cup semi-final versus Kyles Athletic will have no doubt given them an extra surge in momentum, however questions still lie within the sides confidence when facing Kingussie.
Camanachd’s keeper Cameron Sutherland adressed his sides attitude going into the final saying; “you have to be confident going into any final, it doesn’t matter who it’s against. Getting beat by Kingussie twice this year was tough to take but we’ve bounced back both times. I think it’s all about getting the mentality right this Saturday.”
Sutherland, who has played with many of the Kingussie players at international level, acknowledged Kingussies threat in attack explaining, “they have a fast skillful forward line that is very difficult to deal with sometimes, but our defence has been solid all year so we’ll be able to match them and hopeful reduce the amount of chances they get.” Sutherland went on to describe his feelings building up to the final saying, “I’ve been nervous all week for this one, but I think everyone is, once the game starts you start to settle into it and begin to enjoy it.”
All in all tomorrows match is rounding up to a very equally balanced contest, as you’d expect of any senior final. Kingussie’s attacking threat lies heavily upon the hope for no further injuries, whilst if Oban are to be successful they will have to clear any doubts from their mind and enter the match filled with confidence. The throw up will take place at 16:05, Mossfield park whilst Hugh Dan MacLennan will be covering all of the action live on BBC Alba from 16:00.