Saturday 28th January 2024 saw a group of Camanachd Leodhais players grace Peterson Park in Yoker, Glasgow for Glasgow University Shinty Club’s Jack Asher Sixes. Playing as the Irn Bru Crew in our away strips, Daniel Harrison put together a competitive squad of exiles and home based players looking to test themselves against players from all across Scotland and beyond. The lads were joined by Eilidh MacKenzie of Glasgow Uni and Strathglass, as well as welcoming back Gavin Macleod, brother of Scott and Michael.
On a beautiful January day 32 teams were competing in pools of 8 to clinch this prestigious trophy which is played in memory of Glasgow University stalwart and shinty referee Jack Asher who passed away in 2015. Peterson Park of course was the first place that the Dubh is Gorm ever played a competitive senior game, losing a Sutherland Cup match 6-0 to Glasgow Mid Argyll reserves all the way back in May 2007. However, the Irn Bru Crew quickly got that old ghost off their back with a comprehensive 6-0 win over Edinburgh University. (Conor Macdonald, who was goalkeeper that day was back in goals as well!)
The Leodhasachs almost scuppered their chances early on with only a 1-0 win over Stirling University 2s (the hour wait between games perhaps not helping), before resuming normal service with a 3-0 win over the beautifully named Caman Friedrich Gauss.
However, there would be a slight reality check as our lads and lass faced up against Bute firsts. Bute had an even better season than us last year, and many of their team will be playing National Division shinty next year so a 3-0 in favour of the Brandanes was the result. The first meeting of the two island clubs as well!
There was another tight game, this time with Strathclyde 2s which ended as a no-score draw before a 2-0 win over Cornwall which saw Ryan Gunn score his first Lewis goal straight from a shy. The group stage was rounded out with a 2-1 win over Dundee Uni 1s, which was a winner takes second place shootout.
This left the Irn Bru Crew in a well deserved second place and into the quarter finals. Unfortunately, the ghosts of Peterson Park were on the side of the GMA Piglets, who with a bunch of promising U17s in their ranks knocked out the valiant orange and blue squad. The competition was eventually one by Millie MacRae’s Croc Squad which boasted Beauly players and Will Cowie, who defeated Col-Glen in the final.
The day was excellently organised and it was ex-Camanachd Leodhais youth camp attendee Rory McDiarmaid, who has strong links to Lewis, who as Ceann-suidhe of Glasgow University Shinty Club thanked everyone for coming. “We hope you all enjoyed the day as much as we did, and welcome any highlights, thoughts and reflections you may want to share. In the spirit of Jack Asher, we hope everyone had a fantastic day at Peterson Park, and in his spirit, can encourage more people to get involved with shinty at all levels.”
Squad – Ryan Gunn, Daniel Harrison (manager), Conor Macdonald, Ronan Sinclair, Seumas, Dylan Murray, Scott MacLeod, Gavin MacLeod, Eilidh MacKenzie