Oban Camanachd

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Oban
Badge of Oban
Full name Oban Camanachd Club
Gaelic name Comann Camanachd an Obain
Nickname The Camancheroes
Founded 1889
Ground Mossfield Park, Oban
Manager Iain Hay (Haybo)
League Premier Division
2016 3rd
Reserve Manager Gareth Evans
League South Division One
2016 3rd
Home colours
Away colours

Oban Camanachd is one of the oldest Camanachd clubs playing in the Shinty leagues of Scotland. Oban compete in the Premier Division. They have a reserve team called Lochside Rovers who play in South Division One.

History[edit]

Established in Oban, Argyll in 1889, the club has always enjoyed competition against its great local rival, Oban Celtic.

Past successes included winning the Camanachd Cup (Scottish Cup) in 1933 – Oban Camanachd 3, Newtonmore 2, at Keppoch, Lochaber, after drawn game, 1–1, at Corpach, Fort William. This was followed my regaining the cup in 1938 – Oban Camanachd 4, Inverness 2. at Oban.

The Macauley Cup is always a competition close to the club members and supporters hearts as the final is played in Oban every year. The club has had a steady amount of success in this competition winning the cup and keeping it home in Oban a total of 5 times, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1993 and 1995

The Celtic Society Cup is where Oban Camanachd have enjoyed the most success. It is the oldest competition in the sport, first being played for in 1879. It is one of the five trophies considered to be part of the Grand Slam in the sport of shinty. The most recent success being in 2005 beating cup holders Inverary 2–1 in the semi final at Ballachullish. Meeting Bute in the final Oban Camanachd ran out 7–4 winners. The Club other successes in the competition were in 1889, 1900, 1904, 1911, 1937, 1938, 1947, 1973, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997.

The Club have enjoyed regular success in the regional and national leagues and cups. Possibly the best Camanachd team was the 1970–80's team with quality players such internationalists Bobby Galbraith, Dougie Macintyre, Neil MacDougal and Chukie Clark, and were widely expected to lift the Camanachd Cup but succumbed to a rampant Kyles Athletic on four occasions. Chukie Clark also has the unique distinction of being attacked and bitten by a dog during a game at Strachur. This Camanachd side failed to live up to their true potential and the club went through a lean patch until Chukie Clark restructured the second team, Lochside Rovers, producing quality players for the senior team like Nonnie MacInnes, Ally MacInnes, Andrew Inglis and Damian Laird.

Oban Camanachd have won the Camanachd Cup on several occasions, most recently with victory over Kingussie in the 1996 final. Nonnie Macinnes was Captain on the day, but the game was most notable for the performance of Gordon MacIntyre who had made a miraculous recovery from the loss of an eye that year to score the winning goal.

The club is proactive in trying to maintain shinty as the main sport in Oban. In 2008 the club made attempts to alter the structure of youth shinty to allow their youths to compete against 'North' teams. This was turned down at the Camanachd Association AGM but in late October 2008, secretary Daniel MacIntyre made his fears known to the press, stating that "If we get Camanachd Association support, in the next three to five years we could potentially grow into a club with three senior teams. If we don’t, in the next three to five years we will be a one-team club".[1]

In 2009, Lochside Rovers won South Division One, defeating several first teams. Their reserve status meant that they cannot be promoted to the Premier Division, where Oban Camanachd firsts play. This caused confusion regarding the ramifications for promotion and relegation to and from the Premier League, Glasgow Mid-Argyll were awarded the South's place in the Premier Division.

In 2010, the club president Nigel Evans slammed Argyll and Bute Council for their "unacceptable" increases in facility hire.[2] The club again started to hit the headlines in late 2010 as relegation to South Division One loomed, meaning a double relegation as Lochside Rovers would need to be relegated to South Division Two. Daniel Macintyre slammed the level of play in this league, painting a bleak picture for his own club.[3]

Salvation from relegation came on the last day of the 2010 season when a 2–1 win over Bute saw the island team relegated instead.[4]

Again in 2011, Oban were involved in the relegation battle and yet again the status of Lochside Rovers, despite another successful season which included the Bullough Cup, was unsure due to the implications of the first team's relegation. This was confirmed on 19 November 2011 when the club won their last game against Kilmallie but not by the required number of goals to overhaul Inveraray.[5] Oban had been ever presents in the Premier Division since its creation.[5]

The club bounced back to the Premier at the first attempt in 2012. They also were runners-up in the MacAulay Cup.[6] The club's stay in the Premier League was shortlived and their 9th placed finish in 2013 resulted in them competing in National Division One in 2014. They again bounced back at the first opportunity and finished an admirable sixth in the Premier in 2015 alongside a Celtic Society Cup Final appearance where they lost a tight game to Kyles Athletic.

The club reached the Camanachd Cup final in 2016 but were defeated by Newtonmore.

References[edit]

External links[edit]