Published: 17/08/2012 09:51 - Updated: 17/08/2012 09:56

Newtonmore stripped of the Sutherland Cup

Newtonmore celebrate their win in the Sutherland Cup
Newtonmore celebrate their win in the Sutherland Cup

Newtonmore have been stripped of the Sutherland Cup for fielding an ineligible player, it has just been confirmed by the sport’s governming body.

The decision comes after a meeting of the Behaviour in Sport Committee of the Camanachd Association last night to consider the protest lodged by beaten finalists Kingussie.

The Red and Blues will now play Glenurquhart, who were knocked out in the semi-finals by Newtonmore, for the cup at a date yet to be announced.

The second strings of the Badenoch giants contested an enthralling final 4-3, however, it subsequently emerged that the Blue and Whites had fielded an ineligible player.

Calum Stewart netted twice in the first half hour for the visitors at the Dell in front of some 700 fans in the final at the end of last month.

However, questions soon arose that Stewart had played too many first team games to qualify for the match.

The Kingussie club accepted that a genuine oversight occurred but felt obliged to lodge an official protest to the sport’s governing body.

The Camananchd Association also concluded that Newtonmore had not acted deliberately but came to their decision after taking legal advice.

Their statement just issued said: "We have had to make a difficult decision in a very unfortunate case.

"We have upheld the complaint of Misconduct made by the Discipline Administrator of the Camanachd Association against Newtonmore Camanachd.

"In doing so, we would commend Newtonmore for their prompt admission of their breach of the rules of the Sutherland Cup Competition and for the thorough and honest approach taken by Mr MacArthur and Mr MacDonald, their representatives at the hearing.

"We have no doubt Newtonmore’s breach of the rules arose by way of an honest mistake.

"However in this case the breach may have had practical consequences in influencing the outcome of both the semi-final and the final, in both of which games their ineligible player scored a goal.

"Our decision, which is the only realistic one open to us, is that Newtonmore must forfeit the semi-final game to the opponents and are disqualified from the 2012 Sutherland Cup competition.

"The result of their semi-final and the cup final are therefore nullified.

"We thank the Camanachd Association for assisting us by obtaining specialist legal advice from sports lawyers frequently advising Sportscotland and other sports governing bodies in such matters.

"It has also been decided that the 2012 Sutherland Cup Final will now be played between the losing semi-finalists to Newtonmore, namely Glenurquhart Shinty Club, and the losing finalists to Newtonmore, namely Kingussie Camanachd Club.

"The Camanachd Association will now make the arrangements."

* Lots more reaction to this breaking news in the next Strathy out on Thursday.

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