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Hundreds see Kingussie All Stars shine

By Tom Ramage

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Rory MacEachan with the Robert Sinclair Trophy.
Rory MacEachan with the Robert Sinclair Trophy.

THE traditional Ne'er Day shinty match at Kingussie produced a 3-1 victory for the current crop of All Stars against the veterans in front of a huge turnout at the town's Market Stance.

Getting the goals for today's stars were James Falconer, Savio Genini and Ryan McWilliam with Louis Munro having equalised for the past stars to make it 1-1 at the turn.

Club president Russell Jones said afterwards: "Everybody really did the event justice including young piper Iain Fraser who led us all to the ground.

"The conditions were good and the play was surprisingly equal for much of the match.

"It was a great atmosphere and it was really appropriate to see former star Donnie Grant presenting the Robert Sinclair Trophy to the winning captain Rory MacEachan.

"Donnie more than deserved the honour after a lifetime of devoted service to Kingussie Camanachd."

And the applause from some 350 spectators confirmed that.

Star of the first half was keeper Michael Thain whose brilliant performance between the sticks ensured the young stars – including many of their Premier Division winning players – did not run away with the match.

Time and again Thain defied the young forwards until James Falconer finally beat him with a tremendous strike.

Forward Savio Genini blocks the ball from Ali Macleod.
Forward Savio Genini blocks the ball from Ali Macleod.

However, the score was cancelled out not long after by a cracker from Louis Munro. Savio Genini eventually shot the present-day team back into the lead in the second half.

By now the years were starting to take their toll on the senior team, although clearly playing over a football-sized pitch rather than the larger Dell allowed for an entertaining match, with plenty of end-to-end action.

Only when Ryan McWilliam forced the ball into the net for the current Stars did a gulf start to grow between the two sides.

The 3-1 final score confirmed the 2020 crop has the fire power and stamina to add to their silverware this season.

But there was still clearly plenty to learn from the older heads and this was demonstrated in some of the passages of play. That was acknowledged by 2020 skipper MacKeachan after proudly receiving the trophy from Donnie Grant.

The referee for the fixture was Davie Anderson.

Veterans: Paul Gow, Ali MacLeod, Willie Fraser, John Gibson, Sandy MacDonell, Garry Munro, James Hutchison, Michael Thain, Craig Dawson, Greig McRae, Kevin Thain, Iain Borthwick, Louis Munro, Barrie Dallas, Robbie MacPherson, Jake MacPherson, James MacLean, Ryan Borthwick.

Current All Stars: Owen Reid, Robert Mabon, Rory McGregor, Thomas Borthwick, Ryan MacWilliam, Alexander Michie, Lee Riddoch, Ruaridh Anderson, Iain Fraser, James Falconer, Savio Genini, Rory MacKeachan, Darren Hanlan, Kieran MacPherson, Fraser Munro, Lee Bain, Liam Borthwick, Cameron Leiper, Eoin Baikie.

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