Today marks 15 days until the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final, therefore we are once again going to look back at another final that took place at An Aird. Disclaimer, if you are a Newtonmore fan, stop reading now.
Before throw-up, the 1997 Camanachd Cup Final seemed as though it were to be an ordinary affair. All-time record holders Newtonmore were in the final, as were the 1996 runners up Kingussie. A Badenoch derby in the final for the 5th time in 14 years, again rather ordinary. All those who remember the match however, will recall that there was nothing ordinary about this final whatsoever.
The highest scoring Camanachd Cup Final ever was contested between Newtonmore and Furnace in 1909 – Newtonmore running out 11-3 winners. However, on this windy day in June at An Aird that record was threatened. I would love to give full details about how each of the goals happened that day, however, if I tried, I would miss the 2019 Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final as it finished Kingussie 12-1 Newtonmore. By 30 minutes in Ronald Ross’ hat-trick was supplemented by Ally Borthwick’s free hit and it was 4-0 to Kingussie. Thain added two well taken goals before the break to heap the misery on Newtonmore. 6-0 at half time and the game was over, all Newtonmore could hope was that it did not get any more embarrassing.
You need a bit of luck and a lot of skill to win a Camanachd Cup Final and despite a spirited performance from a young ‘More side, they had neither on the day. A seventh soon came from Ally Dallas who mis-hit a shot that “looked to be going miles over the bar when it suddenly dropped like a stone behind the bemused Newtonmore keeper”. Shinty’s greatest player touched in his 4th and Kingussie’s 8th before some small relief came for Newtonmore. Sean Latimer scored what would be Newtonmore’s only goal that day, a 40-yard strike that gained applause from the entire crowd. Thain got his hat-trick soon after and Borthwick made it double figures with a fierce effort. In the dying embers of the game substitute Dave Thompson signed off his 25-year career by equalling the 11 goals scored by Newtonmore in 1909. After adding to Newtonmore heartache with his 5th of the match Ronald Ross claimed the Albert Smith Memorial Medal, given to the man of the match.
Kingussie 12-1 Newtonmore was how it ended, little congratulations can be given to Newtonmore in terms of their play on the day, however, what can be said is that the sportsmanship and respect they showed in the face of humiliating defeat was admirable. Frustration was evident but it did not boil over into anger and for that they must be commended.
Newtonmore have, in part, washed away the horror of 1997, winning the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup 4 times since the turn of the decade, with another final to come on September 14th. A 5th in 10 years would represent a turning of the tide between the Badenoch sides, not dissimilar to the one we saw 22 years ago.
If you want to beat the queues for another unmissable Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final, click here.