Former Newtonmore Gaelic Medium students, Sorley Thomson and Iain Fraser, talk about what shinty and Gaelic means to both them and the wider Badenoch community for this years National Mòd programme, ‘Iomain aig a’ Mhòd’ (Shinty at the Mòd).
Huge Congratulations to Big Rob Ritchie who has recently solidified his status as a shinty legend by being awarded a Brittish Empire Medal for his commendable contribution towards the Badenoch community (not that he needed the Queens signature to legitimise that claim). To celebrate this outstanding achievement, here’s a recent video we filmed with Rob for this years National Mòd programme ‘Iomain aig a’ Mhòd’ (Shinty at the Mòd). Here he recalls his memories of the first ever Mòd Cup, where he played against Kingussie in 1969.
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.
Coming soon – Feet and Away are set to release their first professional documentary delving deeper into former Newtonmore manager Glen Tonkin’s struggles with mental health.
Feet and Away caught up with Skye Camanachd Ladies and Badenoch Ladies Shinty Club ahead of the 2019 Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final. Not even a hair can split the two teams this season, with each side having defeated the other in the league, with both the wins having come from the travelling side. Badenoch will be looking to retain the trophy after a 4-1 victory to Skye in last years final, but Skye will not leave empty handed for a second year running without a fight. Get along to the Dell for a 16:05 throw up, or tune in live with BBC ALBA and Hugh Dan MacLennan to experience a true expedition of women’s shinty.
Inverness Shinty Clubs’s Ladies return to the Challenge Cup final for a second year running, where they’ll face off against 2016 winners, Lovat Shinty Club. Having won both of the sides previous encounters this season, Lovat stand as favourites heading into the bout, but a young and energetic Inverness side will no doubt put them to the test.
Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK and mental illness is something which in some way touches upon every single shinty community. It takes real courage to speak publicly about the issue, but the more it happens the more natural it becomes. It’s okay not to be okay. Your club cares, your community cares, shinty cares. Music – Gary Innes ‘The Dream fields’
Co-founder and newly found secretary of the Shinty Memories Project Hugh Dan MacLennan, explains to us the thinking behind this dementia help structure.
Every year university shinty teams travel from all over Scotland to compete for the second most expensive sporting trophy in Scotland, the Littlejohn.
Feet and Away reminisced over some memories with shinty legend ‘Big Rob’ Ritchie. Big Rob is known across the country for his dedication to the sport, his love for ‘the heavies’ and his distinguishable white pick up truck.