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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.

craig 2008

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

 

Iolaire Commemorative Shinty Challenge Match | Geama Iomain airson cuimhneachadh call na h-Iolaire

November 12th, 2018 No comments

Iolaire Commemorative Shinty Challenge Match

iolaire-poppy-pin-badgeThe 100th anniversary of the Iolaire tragedy will be remembered in a special commemorative shinty match on the 1st of January 2019.  Kinlochshiel Shinty Club will be the opposition as Camanachd Leòdhais honour the 201 men who didn’t make it home on that fateful night. The historical significance of the match lies in the fact that the Iolaire left Kyle of Lochalsh, a town represented by Kinlochshiel, and that many of the Lewis men who served in the Great War were shinty players. 

Camanachd Leodhais captain Ally Lamont said “As a club we are conscious that we represent the island and our community in everything we do. The unimaginable loss of the Iolaire tragedy can still be felt across our island and we feel that a shinty match, a sport which many of the Lewis men who went to war would have played, is a fitting way to honour their memory. We would like to thank Kinlochshiel Shinty Club for making the journey to Lewis and for their understanding of the importance of this event to our club and community.”

Neil Macrae, a Director of Kinlochshiel Shinty Club, welcomed the opportunity to honour those who never came home. “Kinlochshiel Shinty Club are pleased to participate in the Iolaire commemorations. Notwithstanding the fact the boat started her journey in Kyle, the tragedy took the lives of young men of shinty playing age from an island renowned for its sportsmen. This commemoration is a sobering reminder of how fragile life can be and how lucky our young men and women are to be able to play freely. We can only wonder how prominent shinty may have been on Lewis had these lads been given the chance to take up the game. We look forward to a sporting and respectful challenge with the present and growing Lewis Camanachd “

Respected shinty historian Dr Hugh Dan Maclennan explained how appropriate the match is. “The significance of Kyle of Lochalsh as a key part of the chain which has historically linked the Western Isles and the mainland will forever be overshadowed by the tragic events which began to unfold when the Iolaire set sail for Stornoway. There was, no doubt, an overwhelming sense of relief that the War and its traumas were being set aside; the impending celebration of a New Year and all that this entailed, with local shinty matches still fresh in the memory. The Iolaire changed the Western Isles forever. It is singularly appropriate, however, that the sportsmen of the West Coast and Lewis, and in particular the shinty players, are coming together to play their own distinctive part in marking the events 100 years ago. Shinty withered on the Western Isles with the passage of time and the cataclysmic events of WW1. The home
coming of men with their football and changed habits, along with other changes in community life saw to that. But now, with the fullness of time, the caman is again at the heart of the community, a symbol of the strength of its people, their resilience and a pride in its past.”

Norman A MacDonald, Chairman of The Iolaire Working Group commented “The Iolaire Working Group is pleased to support this shinty match as part of the wider commemorative events for the centenary of the Iolaire tragedy. Although not known to many, shinty was, of course, the sport played by many of the men at the time. We are very pleased and grateful to Camanachd Leòdhais and to our friends in Kinlochshiel for making the effort to organise this very fitting sporting event on the 1st of January 2019.”

The match will take place at 1.30 pm on January the 1st at Bayhead Playing Fields. Spectators are warmly welcomed. 

 

 


https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-50802139-235209787348-1-originalGeama Iomain airson cuimhneachadh call na h-Iolaire

Bidh Iomain mar phàirt de thachartasan a’ cuimhneachadh ceud bliadhna bho chall na h-Iolaire. Cluichidh Camanachd Leòdhais geama càirdeil an aghaidh Cheann Loch Seile air a’ chiad là den bhliadhna ùir. Chaidh an geama a chur air adhairt airson togail air ceangalan eachdraidheil co cheangailte ris a’ Chiad Chogaih. B’ e iomain spòrs nan eilean mus do chuir an cogadh às dha anns na sgìrean seo. Chaidh an spòrs a chumail beò sa chòrr den Ghàidhealtachd agus tha e iomchaidh gur e Ceann Loch Seile a tha a’ tighinn a null airson an gheama seo a chluich leis gur ann à Caol Loch Aillse a dh’fhàg an Iolaire.

Thuirt Alasdair Lamont, sgiobair Camanachd Leòdhais “Mar chomann tha sinn mothachail gu bheil sinn a’ riochdachadh ar eilean agus ar coimhearsnachd anns gach rud a tha sinn a’ dèanamh. Chan eil e comasach a chur ann am facail buaidh na thachair ach tha e ri fhaireachdainn nar coimhearsnachdan chun an là an-diugh. Tha sinn a’ faireachdainn gu bheil e iomchaidh geama iomain a chluich mar dhòigh air cuimhneachadh air na gillean sin, oir ‘s e iomain an spòrs a bh’ aca mus do dh’fhàg iad an dachaigh airson sabaid air ar son. Bu mhath leinn taing mhòr a thoirt seachad do Cheann Loch Seile airson an oidhirp a tha iad a’ dèanamh a thighinn a-null agus cho tui
gseach ‘s a tha iad mu cho cudromach sa tha na tachartasann cuimhneachaidh seo dhuinn.

Thuirt Niall MacRath , aon de stiùirichean Cheann Loch Seile: “Tha sgioba iomain Cheann Loch Sheile toilichte pàirt a ghabhail ann an tachartasan cuimhneachaidh sgrios na h-Iolaire. Chan e a-mhàin gun do dh’fhàg am bàta an Caol air an oidhche uabhasach ud, ach thug na thachair buaidh cho mòr air gillean òga nan Eilean, aig an robh cliù fad is farsaing airson tàlant a thaobh spòrs. Tha an tachartas seo na chuimhneachan air cho cugallach ‘s a tha beatha mhic an duine agus cho fortanach ‘s a tha sinn gu bheil cothrom againn cluiche ar geama ann an saorsa. Chan urrainn dhuinn ach tomhais dè an ìre a bhiodh iomain air ruighinn sna h-Eileanan mura b’ e a’ Chiad Chogadh. Tha sinn a’ coimhead air adhairt ri geama càirdeil leis na gillean a tha a-nise air an spòrs ath-bheòthachadh ann an Leòdhas.”  

Thug an t-eòlaiche iomain, an Dtr Uisdean MacIllinnein, iomradh air na ceangalan eachdraidheil a tha aig bun stèidh an tachartais sa. “Dh’atharraich na thachair leis an Iolaire na h-Eileanan Siar, agus gu h-àraidh Eilean Leòdhais, gu siorraidh. An dèidh sgrios a’ Chogaidh Mhòir `s ann aig sealbh a tha brath dè bh’air inntinn na chaidh air bòrd anns a’ Chaol. Faothachadh a bhith a’ dol dhachaigh, tha mi cinnteach, agus faireachdainnean, misneachd agus togail na bliadhn’ ùire, a dh’aindeoin àmhghairean nan ceithir bliadhna roimhe sin. Cuimhne ‘s dòcha air geamaichean camanachd ro bhliadhnaichean a’ chogaidh – an caisean-uchd is eile, rannan Callainn. `S beag a bha a dh’fhios aca dè bha a’ tighinn orra, fiùs sa gheàrr-ùine, gun tighinn air na bliadhnaichean doirbh a bha a’ dol a dh’fhuasgladh an dèidh faighinn dhachaigh. Bhiodh cleachdaidhean na Callainn air an aire a measg ghnothaichean eile, agus leis sin tha e air leth freagarrach gum bi balaich taobh Siar Rois agus seòid an Eilein ag ùrachadh na Callainn mar chuimhneachan air na thachair. A h-uile là a chì is nach fhaic.”

Bha seo aig Cathraiche Buidheann Obrach na h-Iolaire, an comhairlaiche Tormod Dòmhnallach ri ràdh: ” Tha a’ buidheann obrach air leth toilichte taic a thoirt dhan gheama seo mar phàirt de thachartsan cuimhneachaidh sgrios na h-Iolaire.  B’ e iomain an spòrs a bha aig mòran san eilean mus do dh’fhalbh iad dhan Chogadh, rud nach eil fhios aig mòran. Tha sinn taingeil is toilichte gu bheil Camanachd Leòdhais agus ar cairdean aig Ceann Loch Seile a’ cur a’ gheama iomchaidh seo air adhart air a’ chiad là den Fhaoileach.”   

Toisichidh an geama aig leth uair an dèidh uair feasgair air a’ chiad latha den Fhaoileach aig Pairce Cheann a’ Bhàigh.

 

 

Images are reproduced with the kind permission of Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan and the Iolaire Working Group.

Referee Henry MacInnes will oversee a 2 minute silence before the match starts.

For more information contact Donald Lamont on 07342032118

 

Tributes paid as Will Church sets sail for pastures new

May 20th, 2018 No comments

WillTrophy

 

Camanachd Leòdhais paid a fond farewell to one of its undoubted legends after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Beauly.  Will Church was not able to sign off from his shinty career with a 40th career goal from 68 games, but he did have the benefit of seeing that the future of the club is bright, as young Alexander Gordon’s goal helped secure a point at Shawbost, and several other youngsters played an important part.

 

Having moved to Lewis at the beginning of the 2010s for work, Will came to the sport of shinty  fairly late, being picked up thanks to a taster session at the HebCelt in 2011 where his ability to gave a ball a good smack was evident straightaway, and he would make up for lost time by going on to have a seismic impact for a developing Lewis shinty team lacking a true goal threat in its early years.

 

After a few substitute appearances in our first league season, he chose the greatest moment to score his first goals for the club – a brace against Uist which brought home the trophy which the club had set out to capture when it was reformed in late 2006. The photo at the top of the page is one of the iconic pics of an incredible year.

 

will v cabers

 

His 2012 season saw him begin to find his way in his new sport, and a hand injury against Strathglass brought about the famous ice hockey gauntlets which were to become his calling cards as his unorthodox but effective playing style caused North Three defenders nightmare. He soon found his feet and would go on to be the top scorer in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

 

Marriage and family commitments meant that Will took a step back at the end of the 2016 season, but still made an occasional goal scoring appearance in 2017. However, he has now made what is surely his last appearance in the Dubh is Gorm, as he and his family are making the bold move to Sweden where they go with the club’s very best wishes ringing in their ears. Thanks for the memories Will. Gur math thèid leibh anns an t-Suain!

 

Will Church with 2018 Club Captain Peter Gomez, Donald Lamont

Will Church with 2018 Club Captain Peter Gomez, Donald Lamont

 

Donald Lamont made the following impassioned speech at a special function after the Beauly game that was held to mark Will’s contribution to the sport of the Gael in Lewis and Harris.

 

Today marked game number 68 for Will – finishing on an incredible total of 39 goals. It is hard to believe that was his last game in a Lewis shirt as he and his family set off on a new adventure in Sweden at the end of the month, although I still haven’t lost all hope of seeing Finn wear the famous Number 10 shirt in a few years time.

 

“It is great to see so many of our junior players here, who are stepping up to the plate and thriving in our squad at such a young age, I am particularly pleased they are here because although they played very little with Will – the man I am about to describe is what they should be aspiring to when they wear the famous Dubh is Gorm – above all else Will is a role model who epitomises the values of this club.

“Will is one of the best team mates I have ever had the pleasure of playing with. He knew what to say when things weren’t going well and he was more pleased than anyone if you succeeded. Throughout the years as a club when we have struggled on the park it is characters like Will that have brought us through, kept us going, encouraged us and made us do ridiculous circuit sessions in the dead of winter when every other sane shinty player is having a well earned rest. But that is the drive we need and we must ensure we follow Will’s example.

“Everyone will have their own favourite Church moment or goal: Winning the 2011 Mod Cup with a 2 goal salvo ensuring one of the greatest return journeys in the history of sporting away fixtures. Glè mhath were the boys! A last minute equaliser versus Strathglass at Cannich when all seemed lost. A jaw dropping individual goal at the Bught in a 3 nil defeat of Inverness. When we needed some magic to happen Will always provided it. Our famous 1-0 win at Castle Leod in 2015 – who scored? Will.When we beat Kilmallie for the first time who got the first goal that day? Will.

“Off the field Will is a devoted family man which has meant we haven’t seen as much of him lately but Jinxy made this comment which I think is a fitting way to end this tribute. “An intelligent guy with a sharp wit. Loves a good rum and is even more of straight shooter with a few drinks in him.”

“As a club we are going to miss Will hugely and we, Camanachd Leòdhais, wish him all the best for his new life in Sweden. We hope you stay in touch and keep following the fortunes of the club online.”

Will Gomez

3-3 Home Draw v Strathspey, Beauly visit on 19th May

May 18th, 2018 No comments

The first home game of the season played against old sparring partners Strathspey was a game that was affected by the strong West Side wind, and saw us race ahead 3-0 thanks to a goal by Donald Lamont and a brace by David Cleary but then Strathspey level it at 3-3 but for us then to hold on. It was an exciting match and one that showed the renewed resilience of our side this season.

For the statistically minded, it was also the first time the club has taken at least a point from the homecoming fixture since entering the leagues.

Also thanks to finding some scoring form this year,  here is the goalscorers chart in the Race for the Drams.

David Cleary 2

Paul Duke 2

Donald Lamont 2

Crisdean MacRae 1

Peter Gomez 1

Up this Saturday 19th is a home game against Beauly. We have already played Beauly in the Sutherland Cup, succumbing to a 5-0 defeat at Braeview Park.  This will be a challenging fixture but one that will hopefully see manager John Macaskill continue to blood our young squad.

Leòdhas V Beauly, Sgoil Shiaboist
Saturday 19 May
Sponsored by

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Dr Alasdair Barden Trophy

May 17th, 2017 No comments

drbarden

It’s a long way from Nairobi to Back, and a long way from a few curious folk on a wet Tong pitch on a New Year to a fully operational and competitive senior shinty side.

Dr Alasdair Patrick Barden was born in the former British Colony in 1963 just weeks after independence. he was the Dux at Knox Academy in Haddington, and whilst studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh he became steadily more involved in Gaelic Language and culture. He married local girl Donna Campbell in 1993 on St Kilda (the first wedding since 1926 before the evacuation.) and became a much loved and respected GP in Stornoway, whilst building a house in Col Uarach.

It seemed that the good Doctor had a penchant for reviving old traditions, and reading about the old New Year “Iomain Challainn” tradition of playing shinty on the New Year, Alasdair and Donna rounded up some enthusiasts and curious volunteers and re-established the tradition on January 2nd 1995. The score has been lost in the mists of time, but this was THE moment that shinty returned home.

Dr Barden would go on to round up enthusiasts such as Boyd MacKenzie, Kenny Morrison and Neil Ferguson who had made their home on the island, and with their help would establish a range of clubs and competitions all under the banner of Comunn Camanachd Leòdhais. Training was held in the Tong Hall, and there were teams in Tong, Sandwick, Stornoway and Back all competing. There was the Dozen Cup and the once jewel in the crown of Hebridean Shinty The Lord of the Isles Trophy, which it is hoped to revive one day if it can be found in Uist. Many youngsters would gain their first experience of their native sport under the tutelage of this Gaelic learner from East Lothian, and this passionate and dedicated man left a legacy for shinty in the Western Isles which continues to this day.

Sadly, Alasdair was killed in a tragic accident at the age of 34 in 1998. He left behind Donna and his young sons Dòmhnall and Tearlach. This was a great blow to the wider community, including the budding shinty community. Donna would continue to support the sport in the coming years, but it was left to the likes of Boyd MacKenzie to soldier on and keep the shinty flame burning for the next 7 or 8 years before the present Comann Camanachd Leòdhais was constituted.

Dr Barden’s contribution to Gaelic is marked by the Dr Alasdair Patrick Barden Memorial Salver at the Royal National Mòd for a song from Sutherland or Skye, and his sons presented the HebCelt Cup in 2015 to mark 20 years since their father’s revival of the sport and it was a touching moment to see two young Gaels mark their father’s legacy in this way.

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However, until now the club has not had any permanent memorial to Dr Barden’s immeasurable contribution. To mark Alasdair’s revival of shinty in Lewis, the club is delighted to introduce the Dr Alasdair Barden Trophy as part of the Dr Barden Youth Festival. This will be held for the first time on the 24th of June 2017. Please note change of date from 20th May

Open to all youth players from P2 upwards. Players from P6 and upwards can compete for the Dr Barden Trophy in teams allocated on the day. P5 and under players will take part in skills training and mini games. Registration from 10.30am. Competition starts at 11.00m. Awards Ceremony at 1.00pm. Soup and sandwiches, teas, coffees and home baking. A silver collection will be held with proceeds being split between the Samaritans and the Club.

We hope that you come along and pay tribute, and see the newest generation of Leòdhasach shinty stars start their journey.

Dr Alasdair Patrick Barden, BSc, MB ChB

Born: 28 December, 1963, at Nairobi, Kenya Died: 13 June 1998, at Coll, Isle of Lewis

Clach air a Chàrn.

Deich Bliadhna

December 5th, 2016 No comments

Chaidh Camanachd Leòdhais ath-stèidheachadh às ùr Diardaoin, an t-seachdamh là den Dubhlachd 2006.

Chaidh a’ chiad choinneamh a chumail anns an t-seòmar-teagaisg Ghàidhlig anns an t-seann phrìomh thogalach aig Sgoil MhicNeacail. (a-nis mu làr).

Chaidh bùn-stèidh aontachadh agus chaidh ainmean a chur ris le Eòghan Stiùbhart agus Micheal Dòmhnallach.

An lathair bha an dithis sin, Conor Dòmhnallach, Seumas Friseal, Daniel “Gaga” Gallagher, Eòghainn MacAoidh, Sean MacLeòid, Alasdair “Fro” MacLeòid agus feadhainn eile. 

Is iomadh euchd agus oidhirp a thachair on latha eachdraidheil a bha sin agus tha sinn moiteil as gach cluicheadair a chosg an dubh is gorm san àm sin. ‘S ann mar seo a nì sinn e sna h-Innse Gall.

Camanachd Leòdhais was re-constituted on Thursday the 7th of December 2006. The inaugural meeting was held in the Gaelic classroom in the old main building of the Nicolson Institute. (Now demolished). The constitution of the club was agreed and signed by Eòghan Stewart and Micheal Macdonald. In attendance were the two signatories, Conor Macdonald, Jamie Fraser, Daniel “Gaga” Gallagher, Ewan MacKay, Sean MacLeod, Alexander”Fro” MacLeod and others. (If you were in attendance, please remind us and your name will be added.)

In the ten years since that date, Camanachd Leòdhais have made history and will continue to make history in the years to come. Whilst we as a club have only small moments of glory relative to those of more established clubs, we are very proud of how far we have come as a club in that time. To be the first side from the Western Isles to compete in Camanachd Association competition, first at Cup level and then on the regular and more intense league basis, and to play the first fixtures in the islands themselves, have been achievements in themselves, acheivements of which we are intensely proud. To now have a vibrant youth section, to field 15 players at least every week, and to regularly pick up points and to cause our opponents to respect us are the real and concrete week to week satisfactiosn that we feel as Camanachd Leòdhais players, officials and supporters.

We look forward to welcoming you to Shawbost and the Isles of Lewis and Harris for the next ten years, and many more decades to come. This is how we do it in the Western Isles. Dubh is Gorm.

logocamanachdleodhais

 

#CL10 #DUBHISGORM

 

 

Meeting John Cummings | Diablo

June 16th, 2016 No comments

Bobby_Thomson_1948

The first in a series of informal essays with Iain “Diablo” Sinclair about shinty and sport in general.

Meeting John Cummings

Thanks to the fact that Camanachd Leòdhais was away to Aberdeen University last week for a North Division Two Shinty match I had a chance meeting with John Cummings, a native of Brooklyn, New York on the Ullapool/Stornoway ferry, The Loch Seaforth. John was on holiday in Scotland with family and friends and was returning to Ullapool after a trip to the Isle of Lewis.

I had been discussing with Will and Andrew the fact that I had a famous sporting relative who very few people in Scotland knew about. The reason that he wasn’t well known was because the sport he played is not widely played or followed here, namely Baseball. I said that however any time I had met US citizens or had been in the US myself, people knew him well.

John had shown an interest in our camans and we showed him a shinty ball too. I decided to go and have a chat with him to see if he knew my relative.

I went over and introduced myself. We discussed shinty and his interest in it.He had Scottish roots as his name suggested. And he was obviously a sports fan. I said, “ Do you know that I have a famous sporting US relative?” John and his party smiled and asked who it was.

I said, “He was nick-named The Staten Island Scot and he was my Granny Murray cousin’s son.”

John smiled and said, ”Yea, Bobby Thomson the baseball player who hit  THE  famous home run known as the “Shot Heard around the World.”But you know what Iain? He was playing against MY team!”

He then went onto describe the day of this momentous sporting moment. John was  a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and in 1951 he was in school the day of play off for the much coveted National League pennant. John said that word went round his school that The Brooklyn Dodgers were 4 to 2 up on The New York Giants. When the bell went for close of day he ran six blocks home as fast as he could to see the end of the play-off. It was the first major sporting event  televised coast to coast in the US and John caught the end of the play-off. But with the last ball Thomson hit a walk-home run and a looming defeat for the Giants turned into a 5-4 victory. John as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan said he was inconsolable!

The announcer excitedly repeated, “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”

What a day that must have been for The Giants, as you can see on the internet from the televised coverage of the celebrations in the stadium.

We shook hands and said how good we had met each other in such unlikely circumstances. His first hand recollections of Bobby’s achievement made me feel proud. It was a delight to meet him and reminisce about a great event in my family’s  sporting history.

John went on his way and we went to our shinty match. Safe home John and your folks! It was a sublime moment that I’ll never forget. As Andrew said after, “It’s moments like those that make everything we do with the shinty worthwhile.” Too right Andrew mate!

As a postscript I was telling my mother this story. She reminded me that she and my father John MacIntyre Sinclair had gone on their honeymoon to New York in 1964 and met their US relatives and Bobby. Bobby was a big sporting celebrity but my mother said he was a very modest man who didn’t let the fame go to his head. She also said my Granny Murray was very close to Bobby’s family. She said that Granny Murray had pushed Bobby’s pram as they went down to the Broomielaw Quay at the River Clyde, Glasgow as they prepared to board the liner that would take them to their new life in  Staten Island, New York City. She was distraught at their leaving but always kept in touch as their new lives in the US unfolded.

It made me very proud that Bobby was obviously such a sporting hero and gentleman, sad that that we never met. So I’ll treasure this fantastic sporting memory and give it to my sons Paddy and Ronan who love sport so much especially The Shinty. Just makes me wonder what Bobby would’ve been like with a caman in his hand!

  • Diablo

Season Six

March 3rd, 2016 No comments

It will be exactly five years this Saturday that we started out our big adventure as a league shinty club with a brave 5-1 defeat against Beauly.

Lewis Camanachd Shinty Beauly

Micheal and Gaga against Beauly – First Ever League Game 2011

What follows is a synopsis of our progress in the leagues over the last five years, as you can see there has been steady progress made, with a steady increment of goals and points with every season.

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The Squad are addressed by John “Spod” MacLeod at Shawbost before the first ever home game Vs Lochbroom

2011 was obviously an experiment from which many of the enemies of island shinty expected nothing less than total humiliation for us (some whispers were even heard that we wouldn’t score a goal the whole season).  In that regard, scoring a goal a game and gaining a point vs Strathglass in Cannich and defeating Ardnamurchan in Lewis was considered a success by player-manager Paul Duke. Those who were in Beauly on the first day of the season will have it live long in the memory; Stompy’s first minute goal was like a gift from Heaven.

Top 3 League Goalscorers – Calum Stamper 4, Stuart Campbell/Scott Murray 3, Donald Lamont 2

2011 Final Position 10th/10 W1, D1, L16, GS18, GA101, PTS 3 (North Division Three)

 

2012 First Game against Kilmallie - Ben Nevis in the background

2012 First Game against Kilmallie – Ben Nevis in the background

2012 saw us pick up a first ever win on the mainland at the Bught Park, as well as  completing the double over Inverness in Shawbost. Draws were achieved in an epic at Freuchie against new boys Strathspey, and yet again at Cannich. Sadly, Strathglass became the first team to fail to travel to Lewis and points were granted as well. It gives nobody at the club pleasure to receive points from teams who fail to travel, and whilst there have never been more than two occasions per season where this has happened, it is never a happy event.  The increase in goals came about thanks to Scott Murray who finished top-scorer as well as Will Church emerging as a goalscorer.  The great decrease in goals conceded was another marker of the side’s growing maturity as Paul Duke stepped down from his managerial role.

Top 3 League Goalscorers – Scott Murray 7, Stuart Campbell 4, Will Church 3

2012 Final Standing 8th/10 W3 D2 L13 GS26 GA69 PTS 8 (North Division Three)

 

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2013 Diablo agus na Balaich at Caberfeidh

2013 was Iain “Diablo” Sinclair’s first season in charge and the season was marked by an increase in goals thanks to Duncan MacIntyre and Will Church racking up high totals. What was marked was the number of games drawn or lost by only one goal. Draws were gained at Cannich yet again as well as Lochcarron and Cabers.  The goals against column was badly affected by two heavy defeats to Lochaber, but it was otherwise another year of improvement at the back. However, Inverness gained revenge for their double defeat the season before, taking Lewis’ scalp at Shawbost and possibly aggrieved to not avoid bottom spot on goal difference thanks to our last day draw with them at the Bught.

Top 3 League Goalscorers – Will Church 10, Duncan MacIntyre 8, All other scorers 1 each

2013 Final Standing 9th/10 W3 D4 L11 GS37 GA62 PTS 10 (North Division Three)

 

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2014 Squad against Caberfeidh

2014 saw the North Division Three butchered down to six teams and a split, proposed by Strathspey put in  place with the top three and the bottom three playing off. This caused no end of problems, with three teams (Lochbroom, Strathspey, Lewis) finishing on equal points and almost equal goal difference and goals scored as well! (Kilmallie were one point behind and only due to giving a walkover to Cabers). Lewis slipped into the top-three based upon some formula which Astie had put in place. Whilst we benefited from the league set-up, it was not the best solution for shinty at the lower levels. Over and above that it took six weeks to finish the six fixtures left, the problems continued after the split as the bottom half were essentially dead rubbers, which Lochbroom failed to fulfil (a sorry end for our neighbouring club, marking their last competitive action to date) and in the top half where Strathspey’s own split required them to visit Shawbost yet again after a successful cup visit and an unfortunate walkover earlier in the season. The Grantown side sadly failed to travel yet again and may have been aggrieved that this handed the initiative to their island rivals. Whether or not this meant that Lewis were worthy of second place in the league was a moot point. We showed up well in the truncated league, defeating Inverness twice, overcoming champions Cabers (delaying their league title celebrations), and beating Kilmallie for the first time, as well as being the better team in both drawn games against Lochbroom.

Top 3 League Goalscorers – Will Church 5, Duncan MacIntyre/Paul Duke 4, Donald/Ally Lamont 2

2014 Final Standing 2nd/6 W6 D2 L6 GS29 GA30 PTS 14 (North Division Three)

 

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2015 – Final game in old Woody’s Strips and first game in Aberdeen

2015 was the final year of Diablo’s reign and it was a year of challenge with the club now amalgamated into North Division Two. For the most part the club competed well, continued to progress and equalled its points total from 2014,   There were wins at Boleskine, Cabers and Inverness as well as home wins against Inverness and Strathspey with two walkovers from Kilmallie and Lochaber reflecting the two from Strathspey the year before. There were no draws. In a more challenging division it was no surprise that the goals against increased, although some of the scorelines were disappointing.

Top 3 League Goalscorers – Will Church/Donald Lamont 5, Duncan MacIntyre 4, Peter Gomez 3

2015 Final Standing 8th/10  W7 D0 L11 GS35 GA69 GD-34 PTS 14 (North Division Two)

 

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2016 – Squad Photo before Lochcarron Friendly

2016 sees the club move forward under the tutelage of Duncan MacIntyre.  Improvement will be measured in terms of turning defeats into draws and draws into wins.  Tighter defence and a better return up front will be key to this. What is safe to say is that entering Season Six the club are no longer opponents to be taken lightly and shinty in Lewis and Harris is no longer a novelty at Home or Away. #DubhIsGorm

2016 Final Standing ?/10  W? D? L? GS? GA? GD? PTS ? (North Division Two)