The Donella Crawford 6’s is a key fixture for school teams in the shinty calendar each year. Providing a platform for high school girls to come together and take part in some competition, while remembering Donella, who was a huge advocate of the girl’s game. Ardnamurchan High School, once again, offered to host the event which saw 12 high school teams sign up.
For 2018 we welcomed 3 new teams to the competition and it was great to see Lochgilphead, Woodmill and Culloden there on the day, we hope they will continue to be champions for girls shinty and attended future school festivals.
The ‘Beast from the East’ from the previous week had caused a few teams to cancel their entries in the week leading up to the event but it was still great to see all 12 teams participating. Squads were split into 2 groups, fixtures were handed out and we got underway, only a few minutes late, which wasn’t too bad.
In the group stages each team played each other once allowing for the top 2 teams from each league to progress to the semi-finals. Portree HS and Plockton HS both finished their respective groups unbeaten with newcomers Culloden Academy coming second to Portree and Ardnamurchan A just pipping Lochaber A on goal difference to take the last semi-final spot.
The semi-finals were played in unison, 4 minutes each way. The Plockton V Culloden game was an extremely tight end to end battle with the score remaining 0-0 through the game, meaning extra time and the ‘golden goal’ rule coming in to play. Culloden found that goal 4 minutes into extra time following some nice passing play on the left wing and a goal mouth scramble to put the ball in past the Plockton keeper. On the other park a dominant Portree HS team managed to put 2 goals past Ardnamurchan, who came very close to scoring on a number of occasions but just couldn’t manage to find the back of the net.
The final showcased some fantastic shinty played by both teams. Portree, having beaten Culloden in the group stages had a number of early chances at goal, being stopped only by some wonderful saves from the Culloden goalie. The second half is where Portree’s experienced showed, scoring just after the restart and then again with only a few seconds left in the game, with cheers coming from the Portree High School support on the final whistle. Culloden can be proud of their efforts, in their first tournament they did extremely well and came away with the days silver medals.
Donella Crawford’s cousin, Alistair McMillan was on hand to conduct presentations and hand over the medals and the trophy to the winning Portree captain, Emma Gordon. Alistair also took the time to comment, as did many of the coaches, on the rising standard of girl’s shinty and how it continues to improve each year.
The Camanachd Association would like to thank Alistair for agreeing to conduct the presentations on the day as well as Jake Green Hanna Dougan for taking the time out their day to referee the event, Colm O’Rua and Ardnamurchan High School for hosting and the ladies who were providing tea, coffee and some excellent cake to players and supporters, it was very much appreciated.