London Camanachd

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London
Londonshinty.png
Full name London Camanachd Club
Gaelic name Comann Camanachd Lunnainn
Nickname The Londoners, The Exiles, The International Brigade
Founded 1894/1992/2004
Ground Greenford G.A.A., London
Manager Graham Love
League English competitions, 6s tournaments in Scotland
2007 First Round Bullough Cup
Home colours
Away colours

London Camanachd is a shinty club in England. They have historically been attached to the South District. They went into abeyance in 1992 but were reconstituted in 2005. They played the first officially recognised Shinty match outside Scotland in 80 years on Saturday 22 July 2006 against the Highlanders. London now hold the English title which is played for every year in Bristol. This was most recently claimed following a 14-1 victory over Cornwall Shinty Club in March 2014.

History[edit]

The club was formed in 1894, being an amalgamation of London Northern Counties and London Scots. The club toured Scotland in 1909.[1] The club entered for the Camanachd Cup in 1896 and scratched to Glasgow Cowal as they could not afford the trip to Glasgow. In earlier times play was held at Wimbledon Common, Parliament Hill, Kodak Grounds (Harrow) and also at Stamford Bridge, the current ground of Chelsea F.C.[2]. Between 1873 and 1915 regular play was held on Good Friday and Boxing Day at Wimbledon. Of all the London clubs only London Camanachd continued until the 1920s and 1930s. The club lost many players in the Great War and this is commemorated by a war memorial in Crown Court Church in Covent Garden London. .

London Camanachd War Memorial

After a long period in abeyance it was re-formed in 1982 by Hugh O'Kane and Sean Reid, before folding again in 1992. Between 1982 and 1992 play was held at Northolt. The only trophy won was the Skeabost Horn in 1985. Semi finals of both the Balliemore and Bullough Cups were reached in 1984-85. Nine matches were played that year, more than in any other, and the Shinty Year Book Trophy was awarded for endeavour. As in its early years the club had the same difficulties in raising a team and finding money to travel to Scotland, local competitions were organised for such as Mr Macleod's Cup 1882, Inverness Association Cup (a silver-mounted ram's head) 1901, The Dewar Shield 1908, Young Cup 1913, London Challenge Cup donated by the chief, Mr R.T.S. Macpherson, in 1986. The club won this trophy for four years until 1990 when Fr. Murphy's G.A.A. won it. In 1991, Brian Boru, having entered every year, won it. The club's furthest advance in the Camanachd Cup was in 1984 when it lost to Skye in the quarter final. In 1989 the club donated the London Shield for the national juvenile play-off. Kilmory, Glasgow Highland and Scottish university teams have made the long trip to win the London Cup. There was some youth coaching done at Chipping Campden School in the 1970s and 1980s.

In October 2004 a group of passionate individuals, originally from both sides of the border, decided to reform the club with both a women's and men's teams. They competed in the Bullough Cup, recording their first competitive win since abeyance against Aberdour.

In 2007, the club won the Inverness 6s Rosedene Shield against Boleskine Camanachd. In 2008, the club entered both the Sutherland cup and the Bullough cup but in 2009 the team was not entered into competition.

London entered the Bullough Cup in 2010 but did not fulfil their fixture. As of March 2011, there is an ongoing attempt to reinvigorate shinty in London.[3] The advent of the Cornwall Shinty Club in 2012 may well provide some much needed competition in England.[4] the only other shinty club within the confines of England was Northallerton Camanachd, which played regularly in the 1970s as a sixes team.

2012 Revival and spread of Shinty in England[edit]

Although London is the traditional home for shinty in England, thanks to Highland exiles, and latterly Scottish university graduates basing themselves in the English Capital, local oral history in Cornwall records the game being played amongst schoolchildren.[2]

The revival of the London Club has sparked interest in Cornwall, and Cornwall were finally able to offer London some 'local' opposition in March 2012. London's success grew and the English Capital's side hosted a successful tournament in September 2011 featuring the hosts, Cornwall and the SCOTS Camanachd.[3]

London have also played a composite rules game against Sean Treacy's GAA and Croydon Camogie Club and hope to continue fostering links with local opposition.[4] London Camanachd were also the unlikely stars of a sitcom pilot in December 2012.[5]

The influence of the SCOTS and the tradition of England being run by Scottish university graduates has seen a resurrection of shinty in Northallerton as well under the name Northallerton Shinty Club.[6]

London amalgamated with Northallerton and Cornwall as the "English Shinty Association" in order to enter the Bullough Cup in 2013, and were knocked out by Tayforth Camanachd in the First Round.

External links[edit]

References[edit]