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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 23rd March 2017 > Champions suffer first league defeat in two years

Champions suffer first league defeat in two years

Oban Camanachd take the honours in action-packed thriller at Mossfield

THE WET weather played havoc with the shinty schedule but Oban Camanachd grabbed the headlines with a win over champions Newtonmore last Saturday.

Marine Harvest Premiership

Oban Camanachd 2

Newtonmore 1

Oban Camanachd took the honours in the Marine Harvest Premiership match of the day beating reigning champions Newtonmore 2-1 at Mossfield.

Scott McKillop hadn’t recovered in time from a shin problem so he missed out for the home side.

Newtonmore’s Paul MacArthur was also sidelined, with a hamstring problem, so David MacLean started at wing centre.

Oban Camanachd made the breakthrough on 18 minutes when Andrew MacCuish collected possession on the edge of the centre circle and beat two players on a 30-yard run forward before his shot went low into the net, taking a bounce on the way.

Lorne Dickie made it 2-0 on 27 minutes when his low effort from the left of the ‘D’ beat keeper Owen Fraser.

The Oban Camanachd midfield of Daniel MacCuish, Lorne Dickie and Aidan MacIntyre was providing plenty ball for their forwards and Malcolm Clark, who again played really well, twice went close to adding to the home side’s tally.

Newtonmore came back into the game before the break but were unable to reduce the deficit until 68 minutes. Oban Camanachd claimed for a free-hit following a challenge but referee Lachie Wood opted for a throw-up which the visitors won. Glen MacKintosh won possession and made just enough space to beat keeper Gavin Stobbart on his left side to make it 2-1.

Kingussie captain Ryan Borthwick breaks the deadlock with the opening goal against Glenurquhart at The Dell last Saturday.
Photo: Neil Paterson

A terrific 30-yard strike from Matt Rippon was heading for the top corner of the net but ’More keeper Owen Fraser made a brilliant save, stretching to tip the ball over the bar with his caman.

Newtonmore defender Andy MacKintosh was shown a straight red card by referee Lachie Wood following a tussle with Daniel MacVicar in which he grabbed his visor and the home side saw out the closing stages to take the points. MacKintosh only returned from a ban a week earlier as a substitute against Glenurquhart and now faces another spell on the sidelines.

Newtonmore went through the whole of last season only dropping two points – both in draws with Kyles Athletic. In comparison, they have now already dropped three points in their first three league matches this year so it will be interesting to see how they respond. Next up for them is the opening round of their MacTavish Cup defence when they travel to An Aird to play Fort William.

Oban Camanachd have a bye in the opening round of the Gregor Cameron Consultancy Glasgow Celtic Society Cup so they will host Kyles Athletic in the league at Mossfield this Saturday.

Boss Iain Hay knows they will need to be at their best to take anything from the game.

Speaking after the win over Newtonmore, Hay said: ‘We are creating chances which is encouraging so more goals will come. The forwards are showing good movement and that’s good to see.

‘We have also stood up to some physically demanding games over recent weeks and we’ve shown good battling qualities and I’m pleased to see these areas of our game improve.’

Hay also hopes to have a couple of injured players back soon. He added: ‘Scott MacKillop has a hospital appointment this week and we hope to have him back before too long. David Lafferty was also at the game today as a spectator and he is working his way back from injury.’

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