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Craig Morrison Shield 2020 – The Show Must Go On

November 1st, 2020 No comments

Normally in October we host the Craig Morrison sixes in tribute to Craig, who played for the us in the early years of the club before his untimely passing in 2009.

With the global pandemic preventing us from inviting teams to the island and hosting the competition, we instead put on a larger sized intra-club match for the Craig Morrison Shield.

After an excellent game played in rather windy conditions, the score finished 2-2; Stuart ‘Tyson’ Campbell & Paul Duke and Scott MacLeod & Donald Lamont respectively filling up the scoresheet. A big thanks to Henry MacInnes for refereeing.

Whilst the weather held up relatively well for most of the game, by the time the full-time whistle was blown the wind & rain had intensified & one of the goals had fallen over! At that point it was decided to forego the penalty shootout & both teams shared the spoils.

It was an excellent day of shinty played in great spirits. The inclement weather didn’t manage to put a dampener on the occasion & both the energy & passion on show was a fitting tribute to our dearly missed friend. We look forward to safer times when we can welcome the shinty world back to Lewis.

Remember the AGM is on Monday 9th November at 7pm on-line. Contact Donald Lamont for more information.

Lewis win the Far North Sixes – 10 Years On

June 5th, 2020 No comments
Scott Murray Conor Macdonald Shinty Lewis

Conor and Scott at Broom Bar 2010

Today marks ten years since an important day in Camanachd Leòdhais history.

It marks ten years since Conor Macdonald lifted the Far North Sixes trophy in Scourie on a glorious sunny Sutherland day in June.

The Far North Sixes was a tournament the club were looking forward to debuting in, as it was a felt it might be a more suitable level of competition for Camanachd Leòdhais. Battered and bruised by some horrific cup maulings, it really felt for that small tight knit group of players that had gone through the four seasons prior that coming up against mainland opposition was like swimming the Minch in a suit of armour.  All the hard effort, training twice a week only to take a smashing away from home, like the 18-0 scoreline against Skye in Portree a month before, was really starting to take its toll. The long term sustainability of shinty in Lewis & Harris felt at stake.

There was significant risks however, Kinlochbervie had a cracking team of u18s who were playing regularly at youth level all across the Highlands, and even down in Oban and the St Andrew’s Sixes. Well-coached and motivated, they would travel almost anywhere for a game, and indeed had won the Mid-Minch Medal Youth Tournament in Stornoway comfortably the three times it was held, the most recent earlier that month.

The Farr Camanachd first team as well had some solid units as well, including Andrew Henderson, who would sign for Lewis for a season the next year. It was going to be an intriguing day

There was also the added complication of Calum ‘Stompy’ Stamper sleeping in and missing the Ferry, but also having the strips in his car. There was a little bit of classic intrigue, as Eòghan and Diablo, assisted by John Nally had put the senior players, Scott Murray, Daniel ‘Gaga’ Gallagher and Conor Macdonald (who captained) into the ‘B’ Team, decked out in Alba strips, and the ‘A’ consisting of Eòghan, Duncan Edwards and the majority of the youngsters wearing Nicolson Institute yellow.

It would prove to be a rip-roaring day.

Lewis v Lewis 2010

Lewis v Lewis 2010

Here’s the Stornoway Gazette report from the 8/6/2010

It was a great day for shinty but in particular shinty in Lewis and Harris as Conor Macdonald of Camanachd Leòdhais hoisted aloft the Kinlochbervie Fishselling Company Cup at the Far North Sixes in Scourie last Saturday.

With nearby Suilven cloaked dramatically in mist, the trip north from Ullapool was sun soaked until reaching Scourie where a thick harr lay over the park.  However, as the day progressed this layer burned off and eventually the scene was set for the sun to shine on na Leòdhasaich’s finest hour since the Hebcelt Cup in 2008. This trip to Duthaich MhicAoidh was to be a true day of glory, a raid on the North West Highlands of a type not seen Domhnall Cam MacAulay’s day.

The club were able to send two teams to their debut in the competition which has been running for three years. Nicolson Institute coaches John Nally and Iain Sinclair combined with Eòghan Stewart to manage the teams.

Lewis “A” got things off to a start and considering they were the weaker team they faced up to a the host Kinlochbervie who only a long range looping shot from Kyle Clark could beat young Euan Gilmour in goals in the final minute.  The addition of Stewart, who sat in at fullback and marshalled KLB’s mercurial striker Oliver Feliz robustly but fairly, helped but this was a great start by a team which consisted almost entirely of less experienced and younger players and apart from Stewart and Duncan Edwards had been beaten convincingly by KLB in Stornoway last month.

The Lewis “B’ team then made their debut in the competition against their “A” team and both teams played in a good competitive spirit but James “Tich” Morrison swept in a couple of nice goals to ensure the “B” team got off to a flying start although Callum Blane almost sneaked one past Conor MacDonald in the A team goals when it took a wicked deflection of Macdonald’s shin.

James “Jambo” Morrison and James “Tich” Morrison lined up in attack and “Jambo” was a real nuisance as Lewis “B” then took on the Farr “B” team, several of whom were wearing kilts in a hark back to traditions of days gone by.  Farr “B” were perhaps the weakest team in the tournament but they were hearty and stuffy and it took two moments of magic from “Tich” Morrison to unlock their defence. His two goals were worthy of winning any game.  The first one saw him turn one way then the other and drive it past the keeper from 20 yards and the second was a well struck ball from a well weighted pass by Connor Chalmers, on as sub for Jambo, that tore in to the net.

The “A” team were then unfortunate to suffer almost exactly the same fate as they did against KLB in their game against Farr “A”, where a long looping shot with 30 seconds left on the clock killed of the spirited youngsters.  Farr “A” were a good tough outfit and it was probably the “A” team’s best performance of the whole tournament. Ryan MacCallum worked away well in midfield as did several of the other youngsters, Blane, Ally, Toby and the slightly older Duncan Edwards.  

Both Lewis teams stood aside and drank in the feast of shinty that enfolded in front of them, and were careful to analyse their opponents strengths and weaknesses.  With KLB having won all their previous 3 games, including a furious game with their local rivals Farr “A”, the scene was set for what was practically a final with the hosts.

Both teams took a couple of minutes to settle but then Lewis started to dominate with Scott Murray standing predominate.  The full centre dealt well with the athletic Clark and Dodi and hopefully he can take this from into next months HebCelt fixture against Uist.

At the back Paddy Sinclair and Daniel “Gaga” Gallagher kept Feliz quiet and the “Gaga” cleared the ball of the line in the only moment of real danger for na Leòdhasaich.

KLB as a team have a very strong connection with Fort William Shinty Club so it was all the sweeter for young “Tich”, who grew up in Inverlochy supporting their local rivals Kilmallie, to slam home the winner after dispossessing the KLB defenders.  The roar from Eòghan Stewart on the sidelines was deafening and the support throughout the day from the  “A” and “B” teams for each other was fantastic. As the referee Graham Cormack blew the whistle KLB were distraught and Lewis celebrated as they realised that they only needed to not lose by more than one goal against Farr “A” to secure the title.

Farr “A” gave the “B”s probably their toughest encounter of the whole day although with Murray again on top form the outcome of Lewis losing was never on the menu although Conor MacDonald was called into action more frequently than in the three previous games.  In the end, “Tich” could not add to his top scoring tally of 5 goals (a tally which now makes him the club’s all-time top scorer on his debut for the seniors!) and the game was an entertaining 0-0 draw which secured the trophy. Lewis celebrated as if they had beaten Kingussie 10-0 to lift the Camanachd Cup itself.

The final game of the tournament was a hearty game for the “A” team against Farr “B”. Eòghan Stewart moved to full centre with Duncan Edward in goal and the hard-working Toby Smith on from the start. Despite almost constant pressure, the kilted men (and lady) from Bettyhill somehow kept a clean sheet. A highly entertaining 0-0 draw brought down the curtain upon a fantastic day.

All that was left was the presentation of the trophies. In the Junior competition Farr were able to overcome KLB after a playoff but it was a delighted Conor Macdonald who had the honour of being the first Lewis captain since Paul Duke in 2008 to lift a trophy for competition.

Scott Murray was a deserved player of the tournament, bossing the midfield imperiously and was unlucky not to get his own name on the scoresheet. Murray showed the form that he has always been capable of and hopefully this is a great sign for the future with the two James Morrisons, Paddy Sinclair and Ryan MacCallum all looking like senior material already.

Eòghan Stewart thanked the organisers, in particular Heather MacNeil, but the whole community of the North West were very welcoming and hopefully Lewis can host a similar tournament in the near future. It was a day for making new friends and creating competitive rivalries which are the lifeblood of sport.

We also did a previous look back in 2014 which can be read here.

The legacy of the win is really crucial to the next steps of the Camanachd Leòdhais story. The boost in confidence it gave the club, coupled with the success of the inaugural Craig’s Sixes a month later certainly reinvigorated the enthusiasm around the club and the next step was league entry. Scott Murray indeed showed that he could run a game, a feat he did many times with aplomb as Lewis entered the leagues. More importantly though, a significant number of youth players involved in both teams that day went on to play key roles in the Dubh is Gorm, including Paddy Sinclair, Michael MacLeod, Al Reed, and Connor Chalmers. One player who never kicked on to the senior team was goal-scoring hero James ‘Tich’ Morrison, although he did provide great memories later that summer with a complete mugging of Uist Camanachd’s defence in the HebCelt Cup.

The Far North Sixes was always a great day out at the pitch in Scourie, impeccable run by Heather MacNeil and Pauline MacLeod and their committee at KLB. The weather almost always scorching, except for one particular year. It provided a lot of good memories with Al Reed and Steven Morrison picking up player of the Tournament in 2015 and 2016 respectively, as well as a development opportunity for young Leòdhasachs. The final running of the tournament in 2017 saw us send three u14 teams and it was greatly enjoyed by all.

Sadly the once thriving Far North shinty scene has withered away to virtually nothing. Kinlochbervie’s stalwarts finally decided to take a step back a few years ago, Lochbroom, Ullapool’s senior team and our one time landlords have been defunct as a league unit since 2015 (other than a 2016 appearance at the Far North Sixes), the Farr High School team in Bettyhill  is long gone (and the Naver Athletic Club that entered cup competition for one season is even longer gone), and the shinty club in Caithness, despite a couple of forays in the cups, has never kicked on to becoming a league club. A big loss for the Camanachd Association to have everything North of Garve on the mainland be a shinty desert again, but perhaps one day there will be a return to Minch Cups, Mid-Minch medals and Far North Sixes. It was a great time for the Sport of the Gael in the Far North, and when some sort of normality returns one might hope to see at least some type of revival.

Whatever the significance of the event historically, it was also just a great day for all involved, the drive back to Ullapool through stunning scenery and a quick catch up in the late lamented Broom Bar before catching the ferry home. A day that had all the best things that shinty can offer. Good play, good friends and good weather.

Results

Lewis A v Lewis B 0-2, v KLB 0-1, v Farr A 0-1, v Farr B 0-0

Eòghan Stewart, Toby Smith, Duncan Edwards, Al Reed, Callum Blane, Euan Gilmour, Michael MacLeod

Lewis B v Lewis A 2-0, v Farr B 2-0, v KLB 1-0, v Farr A 0-0

Conor Macdonald, Scott Murray, James ‘Tich’ Morrison, Connor Chalmers, Paddy Sinclair, James ‘Jambo’ Morrison, Daniel ‘Gaga’ Gallagher

 

Strathglass win 2019 Craig Morrison Stornoway Sixes

October 20th, 2019 No comments

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On a gusty but sunny Saturday, Lewis shinty paid tribute to the memory of the late Craig Morrison with an entertaining spectacle of sixes shinty on the astroturf at Smith Avenue on the 19th of October.

The Craig Morrison Shield was claimed by the young Strathglass Shinty Club six player-managed by former Lewis stalwart Eoghan Stewart. They overcame Lewis B in an entertaining final 1-0 with the National League experience of young duo Penri Jones and Colin Birnie key to the win for the Cannich side. Their only hiccup during the day was a reveraal of the same scoreline in the group stage against the same opposition, with Scott MacLeod scoring.

The other visiting team were sixes specialists Stromeferry No Ferry United, whose title defence suffered a blow with the injury to Keith “Trumisgarry” Macdonald in the group stage, and then they were defeated on penalties by Lewis A after a scoreless semi-final. However in a highscoring game, Dougie “Dan” MacKenzie of Lochcarron put on an exceptional show for the crowd with a wonder goal and also a golden goal straight from a shy in the third place playoff v Lewis A. Our very own manager, John, who also played in goals for Lewis B, had stepped in to fill the Strome goals in this game also grabbed a goal straight from a by-hit!

Both visiting teams really added to a great day and their input was much appreciated. Thanks to both Strathglass and Stromeferry for their efforts in coming over, as well as attending our awards dinner in the evening as well. It was a great opportunity for many of our young and new players to gain experience as well, and Young Player of the Year and Captain’s Player of the Year Callum MacRitchie showed up well with two goals.

The shield was presented as always by Graham Morrison, Craig’s father. It would have been an occasion that Craig would have savoured as a passionate shinty man who was taken far too soon in 2009. May his memory remain cherished for as long as shinty is played in these islands.

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Group Stage

Lewis A 1 (Paul Duke) v Lewis B 1 (Callum MacRitchie)

Strathglass 3 (Eddie Noble, Colin Birnie, Jordan Zblewski) v Stromeferry No Ferry United  0

Lewis B 1 (Scott MacLeod) v Strathglass 0

Stromeferry No Ferry United 2 (Keith Macdonald, Dougie Mackenzie) v Lewis A 2 (Stewart Macritchie, Dylan Murray)

Lewis B 1 (Callum MacRitchie) v Stromeferry No Ferry United 0

Lewis A 0 v Strathglass 2 (Eddie Noble 2)

Standings Lewis B 1st, Strathglass 2nd, Lewis A 3rd, Stromeferry No Ferry United 4th

Semi Finals

Lewis B 0 V Stromeferry No Ferry United 0 (4-3 on Pens)

Lewis A 0 V Strathglass 4 (Penri Jones, Jordan Zblewski, Colin Birnie 2)

Final

Lewis B 0 V Strathglass 1 (Penri Jones)

 



October update – LHSC Awards Double, Shinty-Hurling, Craig’s Sixes

October 16th, 2019 No comments

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The club was thrilled to be double winners at the Lewis and Harris Sports Council Awards on October 8th 2019 in the Comhairle Chambers. The Club was named Club of the Year, the first time the club has acheived that illustrious award, and the Young Person’s Coach of the Year was awarded jointly to Andrew MacAskill and Scott MacLeod. Scott and Donald Lamont were there to accept the awards. A great tribute to all involved with the club for their efforts in another long and challenging season.

Previous success at the Awards has been seen by Paul Duke, Over 18 Sportsperson of the Year in 2014 and Al Reed for the Young Person’s Coach of the Year in 2016.

Iomain Cholmcille Representative Honours

The club was also privileged to have two players involved in the recent Iomain Cholmcille Shinty-Hurling for Gaelic speakers held this year on the 12th of October in Glasgow as part of the Royal National Mòd. Stuart “Tyson” Campbell and Pàdraig Sinclair both gained call ups for the game against Fir Uladh from Ireland, and they were unlucky to be on the losing side of a tight match 13-12. Camanachd Leòdhais’ Sean MacLeod was co-manager again, and assistant manager Andrew MacAskill was also in attendance keeping a watchful eye on proceedings and assisting with keeping the social media updated.

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Craig Morrison Stornoway Sixes

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the untimely passing of Craig Morrison. The Sixes are held annually as the club’s tribute to Craig and his continuing legacy at the club. This year’s Sixes competition takes place on Saturday 19th October from 1pm and we would welcome teams with an interest in taking part to contact Donald Lamont via the club Facebook page. The Sixes will be followed by our annual Awards Dinner that evening, which all are welcome to attend.

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

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

 

Kinlochbervie Camanachd – Celebrating Ten Years

June 2nd, 2017 1 comment

bervie logo

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!

Craig Morrison Stornoway Sixes – Simply the Best!

July 17th, 2016 No comments

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Last Wednesday saw a great night in memory of two Morrisons who are greatly missed by all the shinty community in Lewis.

The Craig Morrison Stornoway Sixes had their second midweek running after last year’s successful trial and it once again proved an excellent addition to HebCelt week.

For the first time there was a youth competition, with three teams, the Bocan Boys, the Tolsta Terrors and the Juniors. It was won by the Tolsta Terrors with Seumas Mac a’ Ghobhainn winning the local young player of the tournament prize and Calum Murray of Glasgow Gaels winning the overall player of the tournament.

The awards were presented by Murdo Morrison, father of the late Diane Morrison. Diane passed away suddenly in 2012 , and in her memory a collection as made from all the players which raised over £150 for the British Heart Foundation, for whom the family have tirelessly fundraised since her untimely passing. The club will now make hold this collection at the event every year.

The senior tournament saw a three team double round robin, with both teams playing each other twice. There were Al’s Pals (captained by Al Reed), Simply the Best (Michael MacLeod) and Fiorentina Turner (Peter Gomez).

Simply the Best 2 (Donald 2) – 0 Fiorentina Turner

Simply the Best 2 (Donald 2) – 2 Al’s Pals (Will 2)

Al’s Pals 2 (Ally 2) – 0 Fiorentina Turner

Fiorentina Turner 0 – Simply the Best 1 (Conal)

Al’s Pals 3 (Ally 2, Will) – Simply the Best 1 (Donald)

Fiorentina Turner 1 (Lisa) – Al’s Pals 0

The results meant that Simply the Best and Al’s Pals were tied on points, so a penalty shootout was held. Donald’s penalty snuck past Eoghan so the title went to Michael’s team. He received the shield from Craig’s father Graham and mother Kareen and other members of the family who were in attendance.

Rory MacDiarmid was named young player of the tournament, but all the youngsters who took part in the adult competition, including Steven Morrison, Robert Kearney, Lisa Mason, the Murray brothers and Rory’s own brother Conal all looked promising for the future.

Ally Lamont edged his brother and Steven Morrison for player of the tournament thanks to some incredible strikes which threatened to burst the net.

Kareen said afterwards that Craig would have loved the event. He was a great, enthusiastic personality and his loss in 2009 was a terrible blow to all his family and friends. We look forward to playing tribute to him for many years to come.