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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 12th October 2017 > Kinlochshiel crowned Marine Harvest Premiership champs

Kinlochshiel crowned Marine Harvest Premiership champs

KINLOCHSHIEL are Marine Harvest Premiership champions for the first time, Glengarry won Marine Harvest North Division 2 and the Inveraray second team secured the Marine Harvest South Division 2 title following the shinty action on Saturday October 7.

Marine Harvest Premiership

Oban Camanachd 0

Kinlochshiel 3

Kinlochshiel won the Marine Harvest Premiership title for the first time, getting the point they needed by beating Oban Camanachd 3-0 at Mossfield.

A Saturday morning pitch inspection confirmed the game would go ahead and two busloads of supporters left Kyle for this much-anticipated encounter.

Oban Camanachd manager Iain Hay was on holiday so Chris Eccleston and Fraser Inglis looked after the side. Gary McKerracher was free of his one-match ban, whilst Garry Lord was also back in the fold after completing his four-game ban following his sending off in the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup semi-final defeat to Lovat eight weeks earlier. Matt Rippon started on the bench with the injured Scott McKillop the main Oban absentee.

Kinlochshiel were at full strength, with even the injured Gordie MacDonald, who made a second half appearance, taking a place on a packed bench.

The first half was a nervy affair and whilst Kinlochshiel probably just edged it, Oban Camanachd were very much in the game. But the Kinlochshiel defence were strong with Scott Kennedy also playing his part, saving well from Daniel Cameron.

Kinlochshiel manager Johnston Gill had strong words for his troops at the break and there is no doubt they went up a gear in the second half.

Jordan Fraser got the party started on 48 minutes when he finished off a superb flowing move which began with a Scott Kennedy goal-hit which the excellent Finlay MacRae played left to John MacRae. Jordan Fraser lost his marker and ran onto MacRae’s low cross, stretching to control the ball before sweeping it past Gavin Stobbart from point-blank range.

The goal relieved any Kinlochshiel tension, whilst Oban Camanachd’s heads seemed to go down.

The visitors were stretching the Oban Camanachd defence and they tightened the screw on 69 minutes when Jordan Fraser got his and Kinlochshiel’s second goal. Finlay MacRae did well to retain possession in midfield and Donald Nixon played the ball up the right channel. Oliver MacRae and Jordan Fraser kept the ball moving, feeding it to John MacRae, this time out in the right corner. Keith MacRae touched John MacRae’s cross to Oliver MacRae who found Jordan Fraser on the left. Fraser steadied himself before thundering a back-hand effort across the keeper and into the net. Keith MacRae stayed out in front in the scoring charts when he made it 3-0 on 76 minutes. Again the move started with a Scott Kennedy goal-hit. Oliver MacRae flicked the ball to Finlay MacRae, who charged down the left wing, exchanging passes with Jordan Fraser. MacRae sent the ball across the ‘D’ to

Keith MacRae who was lurking at the back post. MacRae got just enough power in the shot to send it bobbling across Gavin Stobbart, beating the keeper at his right post.

So Kinlochshiel become only the second team outwith Kingussie and Newtonmore to win shinty’s top flight, matching Fort William’s 2006 success.

Kinlochshiel veteran keeper Scott Kennedy was presented with the Marine Harvest Premiership trophy by John Angus Gillies from sponsors Marine Harvest with Camanachd Association President Jim Barr also in attendance.

The Kirkton side were Artemis Macaulay Cup winners last season but this triumph eclipses that achievement. The side suffered a mid-season blip which saw them exit the cup competitions, but they have shown great consistency in the league with their only Marine Harvest Premiership reverse this season coming at Glenurquhart.

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