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Newtonmore greats have Camanachd Cup record within reach

By Gavin Musgrove

Man of the match Rory Kennedy (left) and captain Evan Menzies with the Camanachd Cup. Pic: Neil Paterson
Man of the match Rory Kennedy (left) and captain Evan Menzies with the Camanachd Cup. Pic: Neil Paterson

NEWTONMORE'S Camanachd Cup-winning heroes have equalled the achievements of their pre-World War I heroes and now have the chance to go one better.

The Blue and Whites claimed the Scottish Cup on Saturday with an emphatic 5-1 win against Oban Camanachd at An Aird in Fort William in the rescheduled final.

It means the current crop have drawn level with Dr John Cattanch's side who claimed the trophy each season from 1907 to 1910 although they still have a way to go to top Kingussie's winning streak from 1997-2003.

Drew MacDonald (ninth), Jamie Robinson (49th), Glen Mackintosh (54th and 82nd) and captain Evan Menzies (75th) were on the scoresheet, with David Lafferty (59th) briefly raising Oban hopes of a comeback.

Newtonmore manager PJ Mackintosh was in ebullient mood after clinching the cup again.

He said: "We are delighted. We didn't win anything for over 20 years but once you start winning it can become a habit.

"We train harder, play faster, manage our injuries and yes sometimes just get that wee bit of luck that helps.

"The Camanachd Cup is always a key target at the start of the season and I'm really happy to be part of writing a new chapter in the club's history."

Mackintosh had been struggling with a spate of injuries this season with three players having extra physio therapy, acupuncture or injections with their participation in doubt till Saturday morning.

He said: "We played really well on the day and in the circumstances it's a major achievement.

"I was really pleased that Rory Kennedy won the Albert Smith Memorial medal as, in my opinion he is the best player in the game today.

"He hardly put a foot wrong and big Ian Richardson who has taken the place of Norman Campbell was almost as good.

"I thought Evan Menzies and Glen Mackintosh dovetailed superbly and the whole squad gave 100 per cent.

"It was a real team effort."

It maybe was not the biggest crowd that gathered late on Saturday evening at club sponsors the Balavil Hotel to welcome the team bus home.

But social media shows that it was in good voice with enthusiastic renditions of club songs celebrating the record equalling fourth win in a row.

Oban manager Stephen Sloss was naturally disappointed.

But despite their pressure Oban's play in attack was too one dimensional and they did not use the width of the pitch to stretch the Newtonmore defence enough.

He said: "We just didn't perform and that's a huge disappointment.

"Too many experienced players didn't step up on the day."

The biggest controversy in the match highlighted by the BBC and on social media was why Oban's Daniel Macintyre was not sent off after one of the worst challenges many supporters can remember in Scottish Cup final.

The incident caused his international team-mate Steven MacDonald to be taken off five minutes later.

Newtonmore club secretary Ian Gibson commented: "I can only assume the referee was unsighted as I saw him speaking to the linesman and fourth official before taking his decision.

"Steven could have been seriously injured and the television replays show that Daniel changed direction to deliberately take him out.

"It was out of character for him.

"Daniel apologised afterwards and that is the end of the matter as far as the club is concerned."

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