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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 14th December 2017 > Kenny Wotherspoon on Oban Celtic

Kenny Wotherspoon on Oban Celtic

WHEN Oban Celtic won Marine Harvest South Division 1 at the end of the 2016 shinty season, they took the decision to make the step up to the Marine Harvest National Division.

This not only provided a greater test on the field of play against tougher opposition but also presented the logistical challenge of playing shinty at a national rather than regional level.

Despite starting the season as many people’s tip for relegation, Oban Celtic manager Kenny Wotherspoon had other ideas.

‘The boys showed during the 2016 shinty season the potential was there,’ he said, taking time away from his plumbing and heating business to reflect on last season’s campaign.

‘Our aim was to be still playing National Division shinty in 2018. Many said we would do well to stay up as some South 1 teams had struggled in the past when making the step up. It was always going to be a challenge, especially being a one-team club, but we did it with a bit to spare and gave a few teams a fright along the way.’

It’s fair to say Oban Celtic took time to settle into their new surroundings, starting the season with four league defeats. Wotherspoon remembers the opening day defeat against Fort William at Mossfield well.

‘The Fort William team at that time included Daniel Stewart and Niall MacPhee and we lost 2-1 to a late goal. It was so frustrating to come away from that match with nothing – a huge disappointment.

‘We created chances against champions Skye at Ganavan but they were too strong and whilst we also lost to Fort William again and Caberfeidh, who we led twice, these three teams would go on to battle it out at the top of the table.’

In-between times there was a Gregor Cameron Glasgow Celtic Society Cup defeat to Bute in a tie which went all the way to a penalty shoot-out. ‘We made hard work of that one. A number of Bute cup ties have gone to penalties over the last few years and you have to admire the role played by Bute keeper Kevin Queen. He is fantastic in the shoot-outs and was the difference once again.’

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