cottages.com MacTavish Cup - Final
Glenurquhart 0 Newtonmore 3
Newtonmore lifted the cottages.com MacTavish Cup after beating Glenurquhart 3-0 in the final at the Bught Park, Inverness on Saturday 15 June 2019.
Glenurquhart co-managers Eddie Tembo and Stuart MacKintosh, in their first season in charge, had a full squad to choose from for this 4pm throw up. Michael Brady continued in defence after making his return from injury in the league win over Beauly a week earlier.
Newtonmore boss Paul John MacKintosh, in his seventh season at the helm, had pre-match concerns around injuries to Andy MacKintosh and Rory Kennedy. Kennedy started whilst MacKintosh was given a place on the bench. Injury ruled out David MacLean but Conor Jones started at wing centre.
There was a minutes silence ahead of throw up as the shinty community remembered Ken Thomson, former President of the Camanachd Association, who passed away the previous day. Whilst his club association was mainly with Aberdeen University and Strathglass, Ken Thomson made a major contribution to the game of shinty as Camanachd Association President between 1990 and 1994, coinciding with the Camanachd Association’s Centenary Year in 1993.
The heavy rain earlier in the afternoon made for a slippery surface as referee Lachie Wood got this all-north final underway.
Underdogs Glenurquhart, who play in a league below, started well and Connor Golabek saw an early shot turned away for a corner by ‘More keeper Kenny Ross.
Glen goalie Stuart MacKintosh then showed his worth as he saved low to deny Glen MacKintosh.
The Glen went back on the attack and Conner Golabek’s shot from the left rose just over before Ewan Brady forced a flying Kenny Ross save, with the keeper turning the ball away for a corner.
Newtonmore had to make an early change when the tail-end of Steven Macdonald’s swing caught the unfortunate Conor Jones in the face and he was withdrawn to receive stitches with Jamie Robinson taking over.
The final was feisty at times with Glen’s John Barr and ‘More’s Glen MacKintosh both spoken to by referee Lachie Wood following an early exchange.
Glenurquhart’s Connor Golabek had pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring problem on 29 minutes before continuing.
‘More skipper Evan Menzies had a chance after Jamie Robinson found him at the edge of the D with a pass from the left. However the ball didn’t sit the effort went wide of goal.
The Glen were growing In confidence and Ewan Brady shot wide following a Glen free-hit before Oliver Black saw a strike saved with his foot by his right post by Kenny Ross.
Connor Golabek was eventually forced off on 37 minutes with James MacPherson taking over and ‘More keeper Kenny Ross was again called into action as he swept the ball away after Ewan Brady held off a challenge before shooting.
Newtonmore went back on the attack and Owen Fraser’s corner from right dropped for Evan Menzies at the back post but shot went narrowly wide.
As the first half moved into stoppage time, Iain Robinson found Michael Russell but his forceful shot went into side netting to keeper Stuart MacKintosh’s right and the sides went into the interval scoreless.
Glen’s John Barr was booked for foul on Evan Menzies as he cut across goal after the restart. Michael Russell found Evan Menzies in space from the resultant free-hit but his backhand effort went over.
Evan Menzies went close again seconds later as he ran onto a great ball forward from Jamie Robinson but Michael Brady scrambled the ball away to safety.
Kenny Ross got his body behind an Andrew Corrigan shot from the left before play switched to the other end and Glen’s Lachie Smith was booked for a heavy challenge on Iain Robinson who had cut in towards the D from the ‘More right.
Glenurquhart reintroduced Connor Golabek for James MacPherson on 57 minutes.
Just a minute later, Glen MacKintosh picked out Jamie Robinson on the left and his cross found Evan Menzies in a central position. Menzies drove the ball home but his effort was disallowed for offside.
Newtonmore took the lead on 63 minutes. Steven Macdonald powered forward from the left but the Glen defence forced the ball away for corner. Michael Russell’s corner from the left was knocked down by Evan Menzies into the path of Iain Robinson who crashed the ball into the roof to the net to make it 1-0.
Glenurquhart responded immediately and Neale Reid’s shot flashed across goal.
Play was swinging from end-to-end and Evan Menzies hammered the ball goalwards from the right of D but Stuart MacKintosh saved well.
Glen’s Michael Brady needed treatment before being booked a couple of minutes later following a tussle with Iain Robinson. Brady was then withdrawn for Cameron Bremner as contest moved into the final 15 minutes.
There was more work for referee Lachie Wood as he yellow-carded Glenurquhart’s Ally MacKintosh for a rash swing on Glen MacKintosh.
‘More’s Craig Ritchie was next to require treatment and he was eventually helped off with Andy MacKintosh making a surprise appearance in his place. At the same time. Glenurquhart took Michael Fraser on for Connor Golabek who finally succumbed to injury.
Kenny Ross was quickly off line to thwart Oliver Black at the edge of the D before ‘More’s Owen Fraser was withdrawn in favour of Drew MacDonald.
Newtonmore pulled away during the final 5 minutes of the final. The ‘More forwards all combined as Michael Russell and Glen MacKintosh liked up before Iain Robinson slipped Evan Menzies through on goal and he slotted the ball low past advancing keeper Stuart MacKintosh from the edge of the D to make it 2-0 with 85 minutes gone.
Newtonmore sealed the win in stoppage time. Iain Robinson turned a Michael Russell corner from the right to Glen MacKintosh. MacKintosh’s shot was saved with feet by Stuart MacKintosh but Evan Menzies was quickly in to stroke the rebound home.
Newtonmore’s Iain Robinson was named man of the match for a sprightly performance, particularly in the second half.
Newtonmore captain Evan Menzies came forward to accept the MacTavish Cup, presented by Luke Smith from sponsors cottages.com.
Speaking straight after the final whistle, Newtonmore manager Paul John MacKintosh said: “We’re absolutely delighted. We knew it would be a hard game and that Glenurquhart would come at us in the first half. They’re very physical and very strong but we had total belief that if we kept playing shinty and kept moving the ball about that we would get goals so I’m over the moon for the boys and that’s four-in-a-row for us in the MacTavish.”