English Shinty Association Tour of Hebrides

July 29th, 2017 No comments

Fàilte air Comann Camanachd Shasainn
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The Club has some very special guests who have travelled a long way to play shinty this Monday.

The English Shinty Association’s annual tour of Scotland brings them to Bayhead on Monday night at 7pm for a challenge match. This will be the first ever meeting of the clubs, but is also in the grand tradition of previous touring sides, SCOTS in 2009 and Northern California in 2011, and St Andrews University in 2014.

They make the trip to Lewis as part of their 2017 summer tour. Having already played a warm up game in Lymm, North West England on Thursday against the North Shinty Club, they then travelled on to Kingussie to play a host of legends from their 90s team and current first team players in a 11-1 defeat. Their tour continues Saturday as they take to the field to battle Fort William after the 2017 Sutherland Cup final. On the Sunday ESA travel up to Inverness for the annual 6 aside tournament. The minibus full of players will then travel to Lewis, Uist, Skye and GMA for their remaining fixtures of the 2017 tour.

This has been the 3rd ESA tour since they established the administrative body for Shinty in England in 2013. In 2016 a Camborne School of Mines University team from Cornwall fulfilled the 2016 tour meaning since 2013 their has been an annual tour of Scotland by English opposition. ESA regularly travel upto 2000 miles each for their tour and countless more for sixes tournaments as well a entering men’s and women’s sides in the Bullough Cup and Marine Harvest Challenge Cup.

There a couple of ESA links with Lewis, Matt Mossop of Cornwall and Graham Love of London visited in 2013, Matt refereed the HebCelt and Graham played for Uist. Also Joseph MacInnes of Uist, who played for Lewis last season is now at Uni in England and is playing for ESA.

In England, the ESA is the driving force and organiser of much of the shinty competition that has been springing up again soith of the border since the mid 2000s. There are three main clubs in England, the venerable London Camanachd (who now have regular opposition for the first time in 100 years!), Cornwall Shinty Club founded in the late 2000s, and Oxford Shinty Club setup in recent years. There are also various other teams, including the North, who compete. There are two league structures in England. The South West Shinty League with a comprehensive fixture list of home and away fixtures. Originally based in Cornwall, it has expanded so that the 2017-2018 season will see 7 teams from Bristol to Falmouth battle it out. ESA also host the East and West Tri-series and the annual English Shinty Festival for Mixed and Ladies teams.

London, Cornwall and Oxford host their own tournaments throughout the year. The next tournament in England is the London Shinty Festival on 7th October followed by the Lownederperan Festival in Newquay, Cornwall over 4th-5th November. Both tournaments accept clubs from North and South of the border.

Hopefully, we can one day return the favour and take the long road south. Find out more at englishshinty.com

Camanachd Leòdhais v English Shinty Association

Bayhead, Stornoway, 7pm Monday 31st July

 

5 in a row in tenth anniversary HebCelt!

July 27th, 2017 No comments

IMG_6098IMG_6097The lads built on last Saturday’s draw against Strathspey by overcoming a very competitive Uist side in the tenth anniversary fixture.

The game returned to Bayhead after a temporary move to the astro last year and this gave Uist an extra fillip as talisman Keith Macdonald was able to play on grass after missing out last year.

Uist started strongly but goals from Dougie Shaw and David Cleary gave us the halftime advantage of 2-0. There was a great crowd and they were treated to an entertaining second half. Uist came into the game strongly especially after Ally Lamont had to leave injured at halftime.

However, Dougie nicked a goal against the run of play and then Dukey made it 4-0 with a rasper. However, Uist managed to make it ominously tight in the final ten minutes, ex Lewis player James MacRae scoring, Keith putting one just over, then ex Scotland U21 and James’ brother Crisdean grabbing another Uist goal to make the final score 4-2.

The cup was presented to captain Peter Gomez – thanks to Henry MacInnes for refereeing, also naming Crisdean MacRae as Man of the Match, and of course to the Hebridean Celtic Festival for their continued support over a decade.

The support of Caroline MacLennan and her team has been vital in giving this incredible platform for showcasing Hebridean Shinty and we thank them for their hospitality and wish them many more succesful years in partnership.

Great photos by Colin Cameron Photography.

 

HebCelt and Motiv8 Summer Camp

July 16th, 2017 No comments

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The middle of July is always a busy time for the club, and we’re happy to say the first team got things of to a good start securing their first point on the park this season with a thrilling 1-1 draw against Strathspey, Craig MacLeod with his first goal since scoring against California!

The Hebridean Celtic Festival Cup is this Saturday 22nd July and we look forward to welcoming Uist to Bayhead for the 11th final as we mark ten years since the 2007 match between Lewis and Heb All Stars. Thanks to the Hebcelt for their continued support of this fixture, a great advert for shinty in the Western Isles and great to be back on Bayhead again.

Our annual Motiv8 shinty camp is also running this week, Monday to Friday  @ Smith Avenue astro (11am to 2pm each day). Lots of spaces left! Parents should sign their children up by phoning the sports centre or going to the reception. The full cost must be paid to the sports centre, coaches will not be taking money on any of the days.  The camp is for 8-14 year olds and for locals, tourists and club regulars. Please share with anyone who may be interested.

The Craig Morrison Sixes are later than usual this month and will be held to coincide with the visit of the English Shinty Association. We look forward to welcoming Na Sasannaich, who will join California, The SCOTS and St Andrews Uni as touring sides to Lewis.

Vice Captain’s team win inaugural Dr Barden Trophy

June 28th, 2017 No comments

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Saturday saw the Lewis Camanachd Under 14s participate in what is hoped to be an annual match on Shawbost pitch. A 9 a side game was played between teams selected, in the traditional Lewis style, by Captain Harrison and Vice Captain Macdonald.

The game finished 6-0 to the Vice captains team, although the scoreline did not reflect the flow of the game. Kieran Macdonald scored two well worked goals very late in the first half to give his Vice Captain team a 2-0 lead at half time. 19429857_1392714434139846_6896861690141620880_n

Harrison’s team however had a number of chances in the first half and early in the second half with only some great goalkeeping from Owen Mackenzie and misfortune denied them a goal. An unfortunate injury to Stewart Macritchie (who fought well for the captains team all game- earning him Man of the Match) disrupted the momentum of the game for the Captains team in the second half. 19510583_1392714327473190_616673977896428250_n

Kieran Macdonald went on to score a further 3 goals to take his personal total to 5 for the day (at this point Kieran took a turn in goals and made a wonderful save to deny Dylan Murray). Callum Macritchie who won the battle of the midfield for the Vice captain team finished the scoring with a long range effort which evaded Conor Kearney in goals. The game finished 6-0 and a great day of shinty was had by all on the Shawbost field. It certainly won’t be long, on the evidence of this game, before Kieran, Robert, Daniel and company will be playing the sport they love on the same pitch for the Senior team.
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Many thanks to Donald Lamont for refereeing the game, Jo Mitchell and the parents for organising the day (Including all the fantastic food) and Iain Sinclair for coaching the youngsters. Lets hope Lewis Camanachd have many more successful youth days in the future.
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Far North Sixes 2017 – Report

June 3rd, 2017 No comments

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A veritable squadron of Leòdhasaich took to the Minch on Saturday 3 June to attend the Far North Sixes, run by Kinlochbervie. We had three teams in the Under 14 section – a very promising number adn they did themselves proud. Glengarry A won the tournament but all our sides showed up well, scoring goals and winning games.

Camanachd Leòdhais Blues came out best of our squads, with four wins, and two defeats, coming third behind KLB Juniors on goal difference alone. CL Blacks edge out Glengarry B for fifth place by virtue of scoring one goal more, whilst CL Yellows matched the Blacks’ scoring and defensive record but were unlucky to only yield 1 draw.


A cracking day, thank you to all the parents and coaches for their support, and congratulations to Kinlochbervie on another successful tournament on their tenth anniversary. A revived Lochbroom saw off Lochcarron to win the senior section, which also featured KLB, Caithness and Strathglass Ladies.

Back home in Lewis, the first team were happy to finally have the first home game of the season, although the 11-1 score to a strong visiting Lochaber side after only one game in ten weeks was probably not the result we were looking for. The result was however put into perspective with the minute silence before the game which was held for Eilidh MacLeod of Barra and the victims of the Manchester Bombing, and Duncan Rodger of Kilmallie Shinty Club, who both passed away at a young age recently. Our thoughts go to their family and friends

Kinlochbervie Camanachd – Celebrating Ten Years

June 2nd, 2017 1 comment

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As we celebrate our own ten year anniversary, it’s a good time to pay tribute to a club we’ve had a long friendship with who are also marking ten years of driving shinty forward on the edge of the world – Kinlochbervie Camanachd.

As part of Highland 2007 “The Highland Promise”, Kinlochbervie High School pupils voted to spend some of their funding allocation on learning shinty. The inaugural training session took place in June 2007 with coaches Heather MacNeil, PE and parent Duncan Clark. The sessions were open to pupils from P5 to S6 and run on a weekly basis with an average of 30 pupils attending (a very large proportion of the school roll).


Over ten years this club has kept on developing, with players graduating and some of them playing for other teams in the North (including the late lamented Lochbroom) as well as the abortive Naver Athletic team who made one short foray into the cups. They have travelled all across the country to school tournaments, they were regular attendees at our much missed Mid-Minch Medal and won it all three times it was run in 2008, 2009 and 2010.and even took part in the 2011 Camanachd Association Development league against Uist and Strathspey, finishing third.

However their biggest event has always been the Far North Sixes, held in Scourie and running sections for adults and under 14s.

Camanachd Leòdhais first attended the Far North Sixes in 2010, taking two teams, and won it! It was a very important morale boost forr a club who up until that point had only experienced big defeats in the cups. With league entry, the next couple of years were taken up with getting the senior team settled in the leagues, but we sent a youth team in 2013, before sending a senior and youth side in 2014. We sent some fringe players in 2015 and 2016 bolstered by a couple of experienced players to help them gain experience.

Three Camanachd Leòdhais players have won the player of the Tournament award – Scott Murray in 2010, Al Reed in 2015 and Steven Morrison in 2016.

The Far North Sixes has always been an excellent event, and with the event marking ten years, and Duncan Clark bowing out as head coach, we can only pay tribute to himself, Paula, Heather and all the others involved with KLB and wish them every success in the future. We are sending over three under 14 squads, with Camanachd Leòdhais Yellows, Blues and Blacks all looking to gain experience in what will hopefully be a great day weatherwise as it has been in the past.

Gu math fada beò iomain ann an Dùthaich MhicAoidh!

Shinty Shop Robertson Cup Sixes 2017

May 19th, 2017 No comments

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Report by Mr Lamont.

The two Nicolson Institute teams that were away at the Shinty Shop Robertson Cup 6s at Glenurquhart’s Blairbeg did themselves proud yesterday. Although no games were won it was a great experience for them and a chance to see the standards they must strive for. They have all come on a lot in a short time and will no doubt continue to improve.

Goalkeeper Ciaran Murray was awarded Nicolson player of the tournament, for a string of fine saves, good hitting and showing a maturity and high level of game understanding. Kieran Macdonald was awarded for Nicolson goal of the tournament, and although not many goals were scored, it was truly an absolute beauty. Kieran took a Callum Macritchie pass out of the air with his caman and didn’t hesitate in arrowing the ball into the top corner.

Speaking about the tournament, event organiser Allan MacLeod said “The turn out for today’s competition was fantastic, especially seeing the Nicolson Institute travelling from Stornoway to take part which is a massive commitment. We are very appreciative of the continued support of shintyshop.com as we look to celebrate 20 years of this competition in 2018”

Glenurquhart went on to win the tournament having beat a strong Lochaber in the semifinals and then Portree in the final 2-0.

Dr Alasdair Barden Trophy

May 17th, 2017 No comments

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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.

Marking ten years since first ever Cup match

May 7th, 2017 No comments

A few quick shinty notes.

Our Home Season opener versus Caberfeidh was postponed and will be rearranged for a future date.

We are on the road again next weekend for a Strathdearn Cup match versus Lochaber. Then home shinty returns in earnest with Lovat making their first trip to Shawbost, followed by Boleskine then Lochaber.

It is worthy of note that Saturday marked 10 years to the day since the club played the first ever competitive fixture by a Western Isles club in Camanachd Association Competition. We went down 6-0 to Glasgow Mid-Argyll at Yoker in the Sutherland but it was an important and historic day, not to be forgotten by those who made the four day trip!

Lewis v GMA Shinty

First Cup Game v GMA

BBC Island Blogging reported on the match – also captured Dukey’s infamous penalty 😉

 

 

April update

April 24th, 2017 No comments

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There was a great deal of heartbreak in April with the first team falling short to last minute defeat against Inverness in the league (2-1 goal by Dougie Shaw) and then the next week in extra-time in the cup (Gomez and Will grabbing our goals). Sadly the cup hoo-doo remains in place. This was preceded by a 5-0 defeat away to Strathspey.

Lochcarron away was called off due to Battery Park being unplayable and with no other fixture scheduled, our next game is our first home game of the season against Caberfeidh on 6th May. This will be an appropriate time in our 10th Anniversary season for our youth players to be playing for the inaugural Dr Barden trophy. More info to follow. Thanks also to Katie Drain, Camanachd Association Development Officer for visiting last week. Much appreciated.

Best of luck to our players involved in exams in the coming month, but remember the benefits that playing shinty can have in terms of helping you relax and stay in balance during this time. See this article for further details.

Thanks to Iain Cochrane for the photos from Inverness.