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Newtonmore claim title with last gasp winner

By Dave Fallows

The Newtonmore players celebrate after their last gasp title win
The Newtonmore players celebrate after their last gasp title win

Newtonmore have clinched the league and Camanachd Cup double in the most dramatic style possible.

Danny MacRae was the hero netting his second and the title winning goal in the 90th minute of Saturday's league decider against Kyles Athletic in Dunoon.

The match started at 100mph with big hitting out of defence and bye-hits that landed well into the opponents' half.

It was a tale of two solid defences, quick to the ball, and determined.

Kyles had chances, and were stopped by a resolute defence, and some good work by Michael Ritchie in the 'More goal.

Newtonmore had chances, and some of Kenny MacDonald's now legendary prowess between the posts was required to keep the scoreline blank.

Kyles took the lead just before half-time when Dunkie Kerr closed in to bundle the ball home..

Newtonmore did not have to wait long to level matters after the break.

MacRae produced a determined run into the area with the ball to slot home coolly past MacDonald to level the game.

As the second half wore on, both sides continued to play fast and furious shinty.

The ball moved from one end to the other in the blink of an eye.

But the key difference between the sides was that it was noticeable that the Kyles attack tended to bunch in the middle third – a failing that used to be particular to Newtonmore not so long ago.

In contrast the Blue and Whites constantly used the full width of the field.

As a result, their attacks continued to look more penetrating and dangerous.

MacDonald was continuing to demonstrate heroics in the Kyles goal, at one time slipping three good shots in succession round for corners.

Newtonmore, of course, needed more than a draw from the match or else they would be relying on old rivals Kingussie for a massive favour.

It was Danny MacRae – Super Dan – who was to write his name in the history books with Newtonmore's very last attack of the game, and their whole season.

Once again he ghosted in with the ball toward MacDonald in the Kyles goal.

He waited and took stock for half a second, seeing the whites of MacDonald's eyes, then oh so coolly struck a volley rising, into the top half of the net, leaving the keeper with no chance.

That was in the 90th minute. Just a minute or so later, the final whistle went and the celebrations erupted.

Delighted players, managers and supporters invaded the pitch in unconfined joy at a double which at certain points in the year had looked unlikely

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