Lochbroom Camanachd 6 Camanachd Leodhais 0
It has been two seasons since Lewis Camanachd have competed with Lochbroom Camanachd for the Minch Cup.Saturday’s challenge match saw Lochbroom retain the cup in a bruising encounter at Inverlael. The Leodhasaich always enjoy a trip to Inverlael which the Braoinich have allowed Lewis to use as their home pitch over the years. With Lewis now entering North Division Three for the first time the trip over the Minch for a “home” match will hopefully become a thing of the past. West Side F.C. have kindly given permission for Lewis Camanachd to upgrade and use the training pitch at Loch Barvas as their home pitch for the coming season.
The game at Inverlael got off to a frantic pace with Lochbroom keen to get their season started with a win. They pressed hard on the Lewis defence but despite a number of early attacks could not find the net. It appeared as if Lewis would settle and come more into the game at this point. However an unfortunate injury to Paddy Sinclair, the Lewis right wing back forced defensive changes on the Leodhasaich. His challenge had prevented a possible goal but Lewis took a while to adjust with Michael Macleod taking Paddy Sinclair’s position.
Steven Bellshaw opened the scoring for Lochbroom after 21mins and Neil Fraser scored from close range to make it 2-0 after 25mins. The Leodasaich settled but a bad hand injury impeded Lewis full centre and captain Scott Murray and prevented Lewis making significant inroads on the Lochbroom defence. Steven Bellshaw scored twice before halftime to send the Leodhasaich in at halftime feeling under siege.
Lewis manager and half centre Paul Duke’s halftime team talk settle the players and Lewis resumed the second half determined to fight hard despite injuries.
The second half saw Lewis moving the ball about more effectively but Lochbroom showed why they are among the favourites to gain promotion to a higher division with some fine solo runs. Still Lewis stood up to the pressure and youth players such as Michael Macleod and James “Titch” Morrison gave admirable displays in defence.
Lorn Hughes scored 18mins. into the second half and young Angus Urqhuart scored five minutes from time. Lewis’s Calum “Stompie” Stamper had a chance to score but his shot went wide and Lewis youth players Euan Gilmour and Ewen Maclean were thwarted by some good Loch Broom defending as the final whistle blew.
The Minch Cup was presented to Lochbroom who wished Lewis well for their first season in North Division Three. It is a huge challenge for the Leodasaich but one which everyone is looking forward to. Well done to the 9 youth players who all took part in Saturday’s game. Camanachd Lewis now look forward to their first ever League fixture away to Beauly on March 5th. The squad will be strengthened by experienced seniors such as Eoghan Stewart and Donald Lamont and we await the game with anticipation. Taing dhan taic a fhuair sinn bho a h-uile duine is gu h-araid luchd riaghlaidh Sgoil MhicNeacail.