Kinlochshiel

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Kinlochshiel
Kinlochshiel.PNG
Full name Kinlochshiel Shinty Club
Gaelic name Comann Camanachd Cheann Loch Seile
Nickname Shiel
Founded 1958
Ground Kirkton, Balmacara
Manager Johnston Gill
League Premier Division
2016 4th
Reserve Manager Willie "DoonceMoth" MacRae
League North Division One
2016 7th
Home colours
Away colours

Kinlochshiel Shinty Club is a shinty club based in Balmacara, near Kyle of Lochalsh, Lochalsh, Scotland. The club has two sides, a senior team which competes in the Premier Division and a reserve team in North Division One. Kinlochsiel also has an under 14's team and an under 17's team, who in the 2014 season got to the semi-final of the National cup. 'Shiel won their first ever senior national trophy when they won the MacAulay Cup in September 2016.

Shinty at Kirkton (geograph 1899505)

History[edit]

The club was the result of an amalgamation of three clubs Kintail, Lochalsh and Glenshiel, who first joined forces in 1958.[1] These teams competed for the Conchra Cup[2] alongside Lochcarron

The club won its first trophy in the form of the Sutherland Cup in 1962 and the Strathdearn in 1975. Whilst the club have been successful over the years, a troublesome patch in the 1990s led to Kinlochshiel dropping down to the lowest division in the North and working their way back up the leagues and re-establishing a reserve team. This has reaped long term benefits and the club are now considered one of the best teams outside the top flight. The club boasts international players Finlay MacRae and Keith MacRae in their ranks.

In 2006, the club was joined by the wider shinty community in mourning for Johnny "Ach" Macrae, referee co-ordinator for the Camanachd Association and former North Player of the Year who died at the age of 50. His funeral was attended by over 3000 people.

The Modern Era 2006[edit]

Kinlochshiel in the 2009 Balliemore Final

2007 was a very successful year for the club as they won North Division Three and the Balliemore Cup. The club won the Balliemore Cup on 1 September 2007 against Glenurquhart in a rearranged match at Newtonmore after the first game was rained out on 17 August 2007 in Oban. The first team also missed out on promotion to the Premier Division, coming second in North Division One. In 2009, the club reached the Balliemore Cup Final for the fifth time, losing 5–1 to Strathglass. Again, the club reached the Balliemore Final in 2010 and defeated Lochaber Camanachd on penalties after a late comeback which so them go 4–3 down in injury-time then force extra-time with the last hit of the ball. The final save in the penalty shoot out gained internet notoriety as it was accidentally saved by keeper Graham Kennedy with his head - technically a foul which should have resulted in a retake – and also an unwise decision to make regarding personal safety.[3][4]

Co-manager Keith Loades stepped down in December 2010, leaving Johnston Gill in sole charge of the team for 2011.[5] Gill then guided the team to North Division 1 success in stunning form.[6]

The club intends in the medium term to move from its traditional home at Kirkton to a new field at Reraig, which the club purchased in 2010.[7]

After the successful 2011 season, which saw Shiel become the only team to ever win the league with a 100% record, the 2012 season has seen them reach the Camanachd Cup semi-final, which they lost to Inveraray, and consolidate strongly in the Premiership with wins against Kingussie, Newtonmore and Kyles.[8]

The club have consolidated their position within the Premiership since 2012, but they did not vanquish relegation worries in 2013 until the last few weeks of the season. Relegation was also a worry towards the end of the season, and it took until Lochaber Camanachd's very last game to cement Shiel's position in the Premiership for the following 2015 season. As the start of the season draws ever closer, the 1st Team will remain under Colin "Beaver" Fraser, whilst the second's will also stay under Willie "DoonceMoth" MacRae.

Work started on the new pitch at Reraig, Balmacara in September 2014. The project, which is hoped to be ready for playing towards the end of the 2015 season, has been funded by sportscotland and Highland Council, as well as very generous donations from the late John Clamp and Leslie Rush. It was initially made possible by the generosity of Mrs Katherine Grant, whose late husband was president of the club for many years. The next development phase will be a multi-purpose building with changing rooms, training/meeting room, kitchen and spectator facilities.

Kinlochshiel also has a bright future ahead, with young stars such as Nathan Whear, Jonnie MacAskill and Fergus Dobson. The Boys from Kyle, Glenelg and Dornie respectively, are all regular starters in Shiel's second team and are looking forward to a promising season ahead under the wing of Willie "DoonceMoth" MacRae.

2016 saw the club push for the top of the Premiership, aided by the signing from Beauly of Scotland international Conor Cormack. The club were too easily defeated in the Camanachd Cup semi-final in August 2016 by Newtonmore but the club made history in September 2016 when they defeated Inveraray 5-3 in the MacAulay Cup final. This was their first senior national trophy. The game was broadcast live on BBC Two.

Clash of the Ash[edit]

The club is the only team specifically referred to in the Runrig song, Clash of the Ash, in the line;

"Tell me who’s gonna mark the Kinlochshiel Bear He’s hard as nails, quick as a flash He comes down from the caves For the clash of the ash"

– Clash of the Ash, C&R MacDonald, 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "A managerial meltdown, footballers going (Lady) Gaga and a painful save". The Guardian. 9 Sep 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Shinty keeper saves. BBC Alba. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Shinty: Keith Loades' workload ends term at Kinlochshiel". The Scotsman. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  6. ^ Innes, Gary (23 August 2011). "Newtonmore pipped at the post". BBC Sport. 
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ "Shinty: Record-breaking Kinlochshiel out to make another piece of history". The Herald. Glasgow. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 

External links[edit]