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Lewis finish home season with a flourish and bid farewell to “The Shinty Referee”

August 30th, 2022 No comments

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Saturday’s last home game of the season at Shawbost was a refereeing swansong for Henry MacInnes, who is retiring for shinty refereeing after a long career. Pictured here with his relations Willie and Finlay before the game, Henry is one of the many Hearachs of Portnalong, Skye and a well known face in the Gaelic and shinty worlds over the years. He lived and worked in Easter Ross before moving to Lewis.

Henry has refereed several matches since moving to the Isle of Lewis, and the club is thankful for him taking the time to ensure games can go ahead. Henry is of course famous as the inspiration behind Fergie Macdonald’s famous tune and song “The Shinty Referee”. He will be refereeing one final match at the Mòd Cup Aviemore Trophy match between Tayforth and Aberdour on Saturday 15th October. Henry has refereed this fixture several times in the past, including our legendary 2011 victory over Uist.

Henry’s first ever refereeing gig was a Division Four North game in 1979 between Lochcarron and Strathglass at Battery Park, which the Glasaich lost. Finishing off with a match involving the Cannich side was a good luck charm for the Dubh is Gorm, as it resulted in a record win in the league for the club at home. Strathglass played well, but Lewis put in one of the best performances of the season and the 5-0 margin matched that of a 6-1 away win at Inverness in 2019. Callum MacRitchie also equalled Duncan MacIntyre’s haul of 4 goals in a game against Uist in the 7-0 drubbing at HebCelt Cup 2013. His first was an awkward ball into the box that got lucky but the other three goals, as well as Paul Duke’s goal were goals of the finest quality and finishing. This result guaranteed the club will finish at least 5th in North Division Two, the club’s best finishing position ever in North Two, and the best result since 2014’s second place in North Division Three.

Thanks to all the teams who travelled over this season, hopefully we can get a full card next year. Next up is the final game of the season away to Aberdeen University on September 10th.

HebCelt Swings back for 15th Anniversary of Festival Shinty!

July 14th, 2022 No comments

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Hebridean Celtic Festival Shinty Challenge Cup

Lewis V Uist

Saturday 16th August

Bayhead Park, Stornoway, 2pm

Since 2007, the HebCelt Challenge Cup has been an unmissable highlight of Hebridean Celtic Festival Saturday; the camans swaying without warning, great athleticism, tremendous skill and never-say-die commitment. As with the festival itself, there has been a three year gap since 2019 due to COVID, but both Camanachd Leodhais and Uist Camanachd will be itching to get going on Saturday 16 July in the heart of Stornoway, at Bayhead Park, 2pm. Entry is by donation.

Lewis come off the back of three straight league wins in North Division Two and will look to retain the trophy after winning it back in 2019, however 2018 winners Uist, will hope that they can use their native talent, some of whom play for mainland clubs, as well as their usual sprinkling of mainland loan stars to take the trophy south for the fourth time.

The fixture is always a pulsating occasion that attracts a big crowd. Several have gone to penalties, whereas others have seen the from book totally ripped up or mighty goalfests. No matter what, when the islanders clash, it is a great day out for any festival goer before they head down to see the bands play later. What an appropriate way to mark 25 years of HebCelt with the 15th Anniversary of the first HebCelt Cup! Read more about the history of this fixture here.

Over the years, retiring HebCelt Director Caroline MacLennan has been a stalwart supporter of the fixture, buying the cup in 2007, presenting the cup in 2008 (pictured above) and always ensuring that both sets of players can enjoy hospitality in the big tent in the evening every year since. Both clubs, as well as those individuals who have helped organise this important fixture over the years would like to thank Caroline for giving shinty this valuable high-profile platform for so many years and wish her a happy retirement.

The Harrow Cup winning Lews Castle College team of 1959

June 7th, 2022 No comments

Harrow Cup Winners 1959

Whilst shinty has been revived as a part of the sporting landscape in Lewis since the mid 1990s, there were several decades after the decline of the sport after the First World War where the sport was little played. The Lews Castle College team of 1959 was a rare exception as they travelled to Strathpeffer to attend the Ross-shire Camanachd Association Sixes.

The Gazette article of June that year reporting this adventure commented “The Castle Boys had never had practice against other players because they are so few shinty enthusiasts in the Island.” However, all the players were either from Lochcarron or Lochalsh who were boarding in Stornoway and were well versed in the arts of the native game.

They started off their campaign in the Under 18 Harrow Cup against a team that they would have been quite familiar with when they knocked out Plockton in a nil-nil game decided by the number of corners the Castle had won.

They faced Dingwall “B” in the next round. Having settled down the Castle won 3 to 2 with a brace from Donald Beaton and another from Ian Matheson.

They then faced Dingwall “A” in the final, and according to the report were “undoubtedly the better team”. Donald Murchison and Alasdair DD MacRae were strong in defence and kept the Dingwall side at bay. The Castle team won the final convincingly 5-nil with Beaton scoring a hat-trick, joined on the scoresheet by Matheson and Ewen Michael.

The trophy was presented by Dr Thomson, Ross-shire Director of Education to MacRae, the Captain. The Harrow Cup was donated for the revival of shinty in Ross-shire after the Great War by David Harrow of Harrowdale, Strathpeffer in 1920. The team travelled back with the trophy to Lewis via Kyle of Lochalsh where the photo of the team was taken.

In the photo is front row Donald Murchison, Alasdair DD MacRae and Donald Beaton, the back row is Charlie Maclean, Ewen Michael and Ian Matheson.

Other than Charlie Maclean who has sadly passed away, all the team members are still living in various parts of the world, with Ian Matheson the nearest to home in Kyle. He and his friends were part of a unique tale in the secret history of shinty in the Western Isles.

 

Thanks to Kenny “Jeck” MacKenzie of Lochcarron for supplementary information and to Ian & Connie Matheson for the picture.

A version of this article previously appeared in the Stornoway Gazette 2nd June 2022.

Club unveil new Away Strip to mark 15 years of senior shinty

May 29th, 2022 No comments

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Camanachd Leòdhais has unveiled its first ever away kit to mark 15 years as a senior club.

The new strips are a tribute to the strips that were used by the club in the first ever senior match v Lochbroom in February 2007.

Those strips, borrowed from the Nicolson Institute, were Orange with black shorts, and so the strip echoes those colours whilst also bringing in blue highlights – the colours of long term sponsors Woody’s Express, who sponsored the very first iconic “Dubh is Gorm” strips, and have provided several sets of strips since returning as kit sponsor in 2014. Thank you to all at Woody’s Express, especially Peter Gomez for their continued support.

Four of the line-up played in the original Orange strips; Sean MacLeod, Daniel “Gaga” Gallagher, Duncan MacIntyre and Stuart “Tyson” Campbell, and indeed four of the players were not even born when the club was re-constituted in 2006!

Whilst the new kits did not see a maiden victory against Caberfeidh in the Sutherland Cup second round match,  the club gave a home debut to Paddy Wilson who has moved to the island and faced up against his old club. Welcome Paddy!

Cabers came away with a 3-0 win. Best wishes to them in the rest of the competition. It was good to get a home game after almost three years and also after all the recent travel difficulties. Next up is Lochaber at Shawbost.

First Minch Cup

First Minch Cup

Feet and Away Caberfeidh! – Sgoil Shiaboist Saturday 7th May

May 3rd, 2022 No comments
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Lewis face Caberfeidh at Castle Leod in 2014 – Caberfeidh would win this game 5-0 and be presented with the North Division Three Trophy – Photo Sheena Ritchie

 

Saturday 7th May sees the first home game of the 2022 season. Always a marker of the historical nature of playing shinty in Lewis since the first home game against Lochbroom in 2011, it will also be the first competitive home game for Camanachd Leòdhais since a 2-0 defeat to Strathspey in July 2019. Uniquely up until this point, it will not be a league game either, but a second round fixture in the HIS Sir William Sutherland Cup against Caberfeidh.

The Caberfeidh club have always been great friends of Camanachd Leòdhais as befitting the home of the Ross-shire Camanachd Association as well. A warm welcome has always been had at Castle Leod as well as bonds made from Cabers many trips over the Minch when in the same league.

It’s been a few years since the Dubh is Gorm faced off against Caberfeidh seconds but over the years there have been some cracking games between the sides so it’s worth looking back at the history of the fixture since 2011.

Lewis first played Caberfeidh at Castle Leod on April 16 2011 in a 4-0 defeat. Cabers very much enjoyed their first ever trip to the island part of old Ross-shire, taking a large travelling support as they overcame the debutants 6-1 with Andrew Murray Macdonald scoring the only island goal. This was a great bonding experience and Caberfeidh’s steadfast support was greatly appreciated when the Camanachd Association’s probationary period was reviewed.

2012 saw Will Church and Calum “Stompy” Stamper push Cabers all the way before the team went down to a 3-2 defeat in Strathpeffer, whilst Donald Lamont was both saint and sinner, scoring then being sent off at home in a 5-1 defeat at Shawbost.

2013 was a great season for Camanachd Leòdhais as they became accustomed to league play. None more striking in how well they played against Caberfeidh. Cabers were lucky to come away with the win as Will, Duncan MacIntyre and Michael MacLeod all score in a 4-3 thriller in Shawbost, but then Lewis got their first ever point in a 2-2 draw at Castle Leod thanks to a fine performance that saw Ally Lamont grab his first goal for the club in addition to Duncan’s 13th of the season.

In 2014 the sides faced off four times in the league due to the Strathspey-inspired split (ironically Strathspey are the only other team to have played a cup match in Lewis, a Strathdearn tie in the same season, but scratched both league matches including the one post-split) The post-split result which secured Lewis finishing second that year was a famous 3-0 victory against Cabers who only required a point that day to secure the title, Duke, Ally Lamont and Church all scoring. A famous day for the Dubh is Gorm.

A couple weeks later Lewis were the visitors but could do little to stop Cabers from crowning being presented with the North Division Three trophy (the last North Three Champions to date) at Castle Leod with a 5-0 win. The hosts were very happy to allow the visiting Leòdhasaich a taste of the whisky from inside though.

The next year Cabers were unexpectedly in the same league as Lewis again thanks to league reconstruction and an early summer season defeat in Lewis was forgotten a few weeks later when Cabers were beaten 1-0 on their home patch thanks to a Will Church opener and a robust rearguard action, as epitomised by this iconic shot of Innes Lamont.

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In 2016 a very disappointing season opener which saw a 9-0 collapse at Castle Leod was however matched with a well fought 2-2 draw at Shawbost thanks to Connor Chalmers and Kenny Murray.

2017 saw Kieran Macdonald score the only goal for Lewis in a 4-1 defeat at Cabers in addition to losing 3-0 at home after the initial fixture which was scheduled as the first home game of the season was postponed.

And in the most recent fixtures to date in season 2018, which saw Cabers win North Two this time, Lewis also bagged a fine 3-3 draw on the island  thanks to a Dukey hat-trick,  and at least grabbed a couple goals via Michael Macleod and Ally Lamont when they shipped 10 at Castle Leod.

Over the years, the club has also sent youth sides to the Ross-shire Camanachd Sixes at Castle Leod due to Lewis traditionally being part of Ross-shire and this has been an important opportunity for some much needed competitive youth shinty.

Camanachd Leòdhais V Caberfeidh Results since 2011

2011 Cabers 4 Lewis 0; Lewis 1 Cabers 6 (North Division Three)

2012 Cabers 3 Lewis 2; Lewis 1 Cabers 5 (North Division Three)

2013 Lewis 3 Cabers 4; Cabers 2 Lewis 2 (North Division Three)

2014 Cabers 2 Lewis 1; Lewis 1 Cabers 5; Lewis 3 Cabers 0; Cabers 5 Lewis 0 (North Division Three)

2015 Lewis 1 Cabers 6; Cabers 0 Lewis 1 (North Division Two)

2016 Cabers 9 Lewis 0; Lewis 2 Cabers 2 (North Division Two)

2017 Lewis 0 Cabers 3; Cabers 4 Lewis 1 (North Division Two)

2018 Lewis 3 Cabers 3; Cabers 10 Lewis 2 (North Division Two)

This will be the first meeting of the sides in Cup action. This will be the second of three games in the cup this month. Last Saturday a young Lewis team battled strongly but eventually succumbed to a 5-0 scoreline against Kinlochshiel at Reraig in the Strathdearn Cup. Next weekend the club reacquaints itself with Boleskine in the as yet unnamed Single Team Club Cup.

 

The First Minch Cup 15 years on – 15 Bliadhna o Chuach a’ Chuain Sgìth

February 21st, 2022 No comments

Lochbroom v Lewis Shinty

Today Saturday 21st February 2022 marks 15 years since Camanachd Leòdhais’ first game as a senior club. The occasion was a trip to play Lochbroom in Ullapool at a pitch by the golf course.  It was an entertaining game, and the fledgling Lewis side did well to only be losing 1-0 at half-time, although in the second half changes and their oppponents’ experience led to a 7-0 win for the Ullapool based-side. (As well as Ally Mackenzie’s blood injury which never stopped him smiling). It was the first of many games between Lewis and Mainland opposition, and it was fitting that Lochbroom were the first club to play a league match in Shawbost. The Cuach a’ Chuain Sgìth, or Minch Cup is currently in abeyance due to the sad folding of Lochbroom in 2015. A full history of the fixture over the years can be found here.

First Minch Cup

First Minch Cup

Camanachd Leòdhais squad – (Back Row) John Hutton, Eòghan Stewart, Sean MacLeod, Daniel ‘Gaga’ Gallagher, Conor Macdonald Micheál Macdonald, Alasdair Mackenzie, Stuart ‘Tyson’ Campbell, Ewan MacKay, Gary Macdonald, Alexander ‘Ally Fro’ MacLeod, Niall Iain Macdonald

(Front Row) Peter Gomez, Kenny Mould, Paul Duke, Jamie Fraser, Innes Lamont, Scott Murray, Niall Bartlett, Andrew Ross MacLennan

Shinty Camanachd Leodhais

553 làithean – tha an Dubh is Gorm air ais! Hebridean Shinty is back!

September 12th, 2021 No comments

Beauly 2021

After 553 days (no that is not a typo!), we finally got back to playing competitive shinty yesterday as we travelled to take on league leaders Beauly Shinty Club at Braeview. Considering that the club’s very first league game was at Beauly ten years ago this March, it was apt to break our shinty fast at Braeview Park, although there was no goalscoring sensation in the opening minute ala Stompy!
Whilst we were on the wrong end of a 4-0 result, for a first game back in over 18 months, the team performed very well & made Beauly work for their win.
We had a handful of youngsters make their competitive shinty debuts yesterday & hopefully it was the first of many for them. Everyone got at least 15 minutes and an opportunity to show what they can do on the grass.
It was wonderful to be back doing what we love & the players deserve every credit for the effort & commitment they put into the game.
A huge thanks to Beauly for being wonderful hosts on the day. Their fans were very welcoming to us, the post-match takeaway was very much appreciated & the game was played in excellent spirits. A worthy win for a team with an exciting future. Good luck for the rest of the season & we hope to both visit & host you in 2022.
Taing mhòr dhan BhBC airson tighinn gar coimhead cuideachd. Tweet an-àird
DUBH IS GORM 🖤 💙 🖤 💙 🖤
Lineout – Stuart ‘Tyson” Campbell, Daniel “Gaga” Gallagher, Innes Lamont, Owen MacKenzie, Michael Macleod, Scott Macloed, Paddy Sinclair, Ronan Sinclair, Allan “Ginger” Mackinnon, Daniel Harrison, Lewis Mackay, Paul Duke – Subs, Sean MacLeod, Seumas MacLeod, Innes Begg, Donny Murray

Deich Bliadhna – Camanachd Leòdhais V Beauly – Ten Years On

March 5th, 2021 No comments

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Tha latha an-diugh an còigeamh latha den Mhàrt a’ comharrachadh deich bliadhna on dearbh latha a chluich Camanachd Leòdhais geam lìog airson a’ chiad uair. Bhiodh sin cudromach leis fhèin, ach bha na thachair an latha sin cuideachd anns a’ Mhanachainn ga dhèanamh buileach nas cudromaiche. Chuir Calum Stamper aig Leòdhas a’ chiad thadhal agus chùm iad greim air an cothrom sin airson uair a thìde. Ged a thug a’ Mhanachainn buaidh orra mu dheireadh thall 5-1, airson uair a thìde, bha Camanachd Leòdhais air mullach an t-saoghail! Abair eachdraidh!

Today the 5th of March marks ten years exactly since the first ever Camanachd Leòdhais league game. That would be important in and of itself, but what happened on the day lives long ins the memory, Calum Stamper opening the scoring and the Lewis boys holding onto that lead for an hour. Even though Beauly eventual brought their resources to bear to win 5-1 for an hour at least, Camanachd Leòdhais were kings of the world. What a history!

Squad – Conor Macdonald, Daniel Gallagher, Micheal Macdonald, Eoghan Stewart, Sean MacLeod, Paddy Sinclair, Scott Murray, Donald Lamont, Paul Duke, Ally MacKenzie, Kenny Mould, Calum Stamper, Michael MacLeod, Duncan Edwards, Euan Gilmour, Andrew Murray Macdonald

(Photos clipped from West Highland Free Press – originally Neil Paterson and Tina Marshall)

Bidh Gàidhlig Gu Leòr agus Iomain Cholmcille a’ sgaoileadh bhideo sònraichte de chòmhradh sa Ghàidhlig eadar Pòl, Dòmhnall, Sean agus Eòghan Stiùbhart mun gheam seo air YouTube is Facebook air 6mh den Mhàrt. Gheibhear an-seo e.

Nuair a thill an iomain – When the shinty returned

May 14th, 2020 No comments

Action from Lochbroom V Lewis at Shawbost

An-diugh, o chionn naoi bliadhna chaidh a’ chiad gheam lìog ann an eachdraidh Innse Gall a chluich aig Sgoil Shiaboist air Taobh Siar Eilean Leòdhais. Gu freagarrach, chluich Leòdhas an aghaidh Loch Bhraoin, a’ chiad sgioba a chluich an club nuair thòisich sgioba nam fear ann an 2007.

Chaidh an geam leis na Braoinich gu h-ìre mhath furasta 7-1, ach chunnaic na ceudan de dhaoine eachdraidh ga dèanamh air a’ phàirc agus far na pàirce an latha sin. Bha mòran dhaoine air strì is sabaid fad ùine mhòr airson a’ chothruim seo agus ged nach urrainn dhuinn ar deicheamh seusan mar chlub lìog a chomharrachadh, tha sinn a’ coimhead air adhart ri bhith a’ cluich an ath bhliadhna no nuair a tha e sàbhailte tilleadh dhan iomain.

Today nine years ago the very first league game in the history of the Outer Hebrides was played at the Sgoil Shiabost pitch on the West Side of Lewis. Fittingly it saw Camanachd Leòdhais face Lochbroom, who were the first team the club had played when the senior men’s team was started in 2007.

The game went quite easily to the Broom 7-1 but hundreds of people saw history being made on and off the park that day. Many people had struggled and fought to bring about this happening and although we aren’t at the moment able to mark our tenth season as a league club properly, we look forward to next year or whenever it will be safe to return to shinty.

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Sguad Leòdhais v Lochbroom 14/5/11  – Conor Macdonald, Daniel Gallagher, Eoghan Stewart, Stuart “Tyson” Campbell, Scott Murray, Paul Duke, Calum Stamper, Micheal Macdonald, Sean MacLeod, Donald Lamont, Paddy Sinclair, Michael MacLeod, Daniel McFadden, Andrew Murray Macdonald, Andrew Henderson

Leòdhas 1 (Scott Murray) Lochbroom 7 (Sandy Urquhart 2, Josh Talbot 2, Jamie MacFadyen 2, Steven Bellshaw) – Referee: John Spod MacLeod, Skye

Match report from Stornoway Gazette 19/5/2011

Shawbost for Shinty as Hebridean History made

Camanachd Leòdhais suffered from a touch of stagefright as they went down to Lochbroom in the first-ever game of league shinty to be played in the Western Isles.

The eyes of the shinty world and indeed a great deal of the national media were on a small piece of ground on the Westside of Lewis as the game of the Gael returned to the land of the Gael.

A crowd of over 200 watched as history was made and the game started, a little late due to some teething problems with getting the new goals in place.

Fans came from far and wide, but special mention must go to die-hard fan Kevin “Lamp-post” Morrison, who had driven from Newcastle (via Glasgow to pick up Stuart “Tyson” Campbell”).

Lochbroom had taken a large travelling support as well and although they had left the mainland in heavy rain, the sun shone as the game began at Sgoil Shiaboist.

Lining up for Lochbroom was Martin “Toad” MacLean, who had played for Beauly in the last senior shinty game in Lewis, the Mod Cup against Skye in 1987.

Lewis started the brighter of the two teams, despite having not been able to have a warm-up but Donald Lamont and Calum “Stompy” Stamper did not take advantage of the opportunities which fell their way.

Unfortunately, the first goal to be scored was a Lochbroom one as Sandy Urquhart took advantage of room to blast the ball past Conor MacDonald after quarter of an hour.

Lochbroom were then on the front foot and they doubled their lead 5 minutes later with a messy goal that MacDonald almost stopped with his foot and then went in off the post.  Josh Talbot was the scorer.

Captain Scott Murray struck a long ball in from 40 yards which deceived former Scotland Under-21 goalkeeper Ruairidh Hughes.  This historic strike was greeted by a roar from the watching crowd.

Sean MacLeod was having a fine game on the left wing having cut out the flights of fancy which have blighted his game for large parts of this season. In fact his opponent was substituted just after Murray’s goal by James “Ach” MacRae, who has links with Bernera, due to his dominance.

Then the mistakes which would cost the islanders the chance of winning the game started, the first one from Eòghan Stewart, who in a rush of blood to the head ran to tackle Talbot leaving Urquhart totally free to receive a push pass and slam the ball home.

Steven Bellshaw began to pull the strings at buckshee forward and his pushing and prodding pulled the defence apart, with Gallagher, Duke and Stewart all over the shop, Talbot grabbed the fourth and with the Lewis centre-line being drawn back to assist, Broom’s full centre Jamie MacFadyen used the room this created to score with 5 minutes left of the first half. MacFadyen was very impressive and got the upper hand on both Murray and Campbell in midfield.

The second half saw the game settle down and Lewis again had the best of the play despite playing against the wind.  The forwards were too profligate yet again although debutant Daniel McFadden showed in spells that he will be a great player in the future.

Any chance of a Lewis comeback was ended on 65 minutes after a concerted spell of scrappy defending, which might easily have been ended by simply putting the ball out the wings, resulted in Bellshaw scoring a scrappy goal that emerged from a melee on the edge of the D and rolled in, Stewart stretching despairingly to clear as it finished two inches over the line.

Lewis rallied again but MacFadyen scored the goal of the day when a well worked piece of play between himself and Paddy Wilson split the defence.  However, Stewart tackled him and it seemed that the big Gaelic teacher had pinched the ball, however the bounce favoured MacFadyen and he carried on to slot the ball home with quarter of an hour remaining.

Na Leòdhasaich then began to fade in the last fifteen due to a lack of fitness but nevertheless they closed out the game without any further damage, although they were disappointed to have conceded more goals against Lochbroom than against any other team in the league bar Aberdeen.

The large crowd stayed for the full game and almost on cue an Atlantic squall hit 5 minutes after the final whistle.  Of course, such a large crowd will not be the norm but if even a quarter of these new shinty fans return each week it will be a great boost for both the moral and the coffers of the club.

Lewis manager Paul Duke, who was watched by his new-born son Seumas, “I think that the occasion got to us especially as we were running around putting things in place up until the last minute. Our all round general play was good we just suffered from a few simple but catastrophic errors by the defence.  We also didn’t take any of our chances up front, scoring goals changes the complexion of a game. That was Lochbroom’s strongest possible side and they also had the edge in fitness.  I want to send a message to our players especially the youth, they need to start attending training and getting fit if they expect to get on the park.”

Lochbroom double goalscorer Sandy Urquhart said “We were very impressed by the Lewis boys, they have improved greatly, the score didn’t reflect their level of performance and we all had a great time in Stornoway.”

Despite the score, it was a highly successful day and in the post-match function at Stornoway Golf Club, sponsored by Harris Tweed Hebrides, a range of speakers including Harris Tweed Hebrides chairman Brian Wilson and Camanachd Association president Archie Robertson, paid tribute to both teams, to the individuals, both past and present, who brought shinty back to Lewis and Harris and to the historic nature of the day.

This was Robertson’s first official visit as President of the sport’s governing body. Although he was clear to point out that Lewis are still “on trial” as regards continued league entry, it was also evident that he was impressed by the whole set-up.

Also speaking at the function was Hugh Dan MacLennan, who commentated on the game for MacTV.  The esteemed shinty historian praised the surface at Shawbost “It was certainly one of the finest surfaces in shinty, it is a fantastic facility.”

So history has been made, and now begins the normality of regular matches in Lewis.  Next up is Ardnamurchan this Saturday, Lewis will be looking to avenge a 6-2 defeat in Strontian last time out.  Come along and show your support.

 

 

Craig Morrison 1989-2009 | Ten Years Gone, Never Forgotten

July 2nd, 2019 No comments

 

CRAIG

This week the club remembers the untimely passing of Craig Morrison at the age of 20 on the night of the 6th of July 2009.

Craig passed away in a tragic quad-bike accident ten years ago and left a hole in a fragile young club where a kind, friendly and committed young man and shinty player had been.

Hailing from Back, and having started playing shinty as a youngster in the developing Lewis shinty scene, Craig became a fixture at the club during the early days of the senior club, being an ever-present at training, playing in the Strathdearn and Sutherland Cup, as well as winning the HebCelt Cup in 2008. He would even drag in his brother Shaun to fill a shirt when numbers were low. Craig was a quiet, unassuming but important part of keeping the Dubh is Gorm going.

Craig was a second year deck cadet in the merchant navy. He had been working for Scotline and very much enjoyed life at sea.  He was home on leave and looking forward to returning to college in August at the time of his death.

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Craig Morrison at HebCelt Cup Final 2008

The loss of Craig happened just weeks before the HebCelt Cup in 2009, devastating his family and friends, and whilst there were initial thoughts of postponement, with the agreement of Craig’s family, the game went ahead, with a minute silence impeccably held by players from both Lewis and Uist. Uist won the game 3-0. Afterwards, Paul Duke spoke of a conversation that he had a month or two previously with Craig, ever the sportsman with the good of shinty at his heart, Craig had said “It would be quite nice if Uist won it this year, to keep things interesting.” Despite his short life, Craig would leave a lasting legacy amongst those who played with him.

MInute Silence For Craig Morrison July 2009

Minute Silence For Craig Morrison July 2009

After the initial coming together as a club in 2009, the 2010 started off as a difficult season for Camanachd Leòdhais with heavy cup defeats and a spread out player pool who were starting to feel a sense of discouragement after many years of plowing a lonely furrow for little success. What happened next became an important event in both paying tribute to a fallen friend, and protecting the future of the club he cared so much.

In order to mark Craig’s memory, the club committee decided to revive the Stornoway Sixes, which Craig had featured in its only previous playing in 2007, as the Craig Morrison Stornoway Sixes. This also gave the club some extra competitive shinty on the island, a rare thing in the pre-league days. A memorial shield was commissioned and teams from Skye, Lochcarron, and the infamous Stromeferry (No Ferry) United, which featured players from Kinlochshiel, Lochbroom and Uist, ensured that all the West Coast’s clubs were there to pay tribute.

CRAIGS 2010

The West Coast Shinty Community Comes Together to Pay Tribute to Craig Morrison in 2010

The success of that first tournament in 2010, including a draw by our A team against Skye Camanachd A, helped galvanise the club’s spirit and certainly contributed to the groundswell of enthusiasm for league entry in 2011. Craig would surely have been one of the most enthusiastic backers of that decision, and his memory was without doubt a motivating factor in  driving those involved to secure that first home game against Lochbroom.

Skye Camanachd A won that first sixes tournament, with Craig’s close friend and Camanachd Leòdhais legend Scott Murray winning Player of the Tournament, and both prizes were presented by Graham Morrison, Craig’s father.

Craig Morrison Sixes 2016 Winners "Simply the Best - Michael MacLeod VI"

Craig Morrison Sixes 2016 Winners “Simply the Best – Michael MacLeod VI”

Graham has continued to present the trophy whenever possible, the tournament having been held every year since, other than 2012, (a list of winners can be found here) and he is often joined by Craig’s mother Kareen, and the rest of the family. Our thoughts remain with them always and Craig’s memory is never far from the thoughts of those who played alongside him whenever they go on the park to represent the Dubh is Gorm.

The Craig Morrison Stornoway Sixes 2019 will be held in the autumn after the end of the league season. Entries are welcome from all shinty clubs and selects. Contact secretary Jo Mitchell for more information.

Craig Morrison 1989-2009 – Gus am bris an là