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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

 

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
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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.

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

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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