THE biggest game of the year for Women’s shinty will return to TV screens this weekend showing the latest clash of what has become one of the sport’s most well-known rivalries
This season’s Mowi Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final sees the fiercely competitive and evenly matched, Skye attempt to lift the cup against defending champions Badenoch at the Dell in Kingussie on Saturday.
Last season the pair shared the major honours – Badenoch lifting the cup, but Skye taking revenge in the league.
This year has appeared to be no different with the sides on course for a league play- off, having each won a game a piece of their respective National Division matches against each other, as well as a clean sweep against every other team.
Skye captain Ilana Paterson will be hoping the pain of last year’s cup final defeat at Badenoch’s hands can ignite the islanders competitive fire and win back the cup they lifted in 2017. She has said,
"I think there’s definitely a mix of emotions with nerves and excitement but I’m feeling confident with the team. We’ve been all been working hard in the weeks leading up to the final."
However, Badenoch captain Zoe Reid, who scored a brace in her team’s 4-1 victory last season, is hoping her team can make it two in a row in front of a home crowd at the Dell. She commented,
"We’re feeling confident as we’ve worked really hard individually and collectively as a team to ensure we’re at our fittest and at the top of our game. We know we can’t underestimate Skye and we will be going into the game with a positive mindset."
Although the match is a repeat of last year’s encounter, this weekend will see the match broadcast live for only the second time in the cup's history, with last year making it's debut on TV screens across the country.
BBC ALBA will be showing the clash amid a star showing of women’s sports on the Gaelic channel.
The two top scorers of the National Division will undoubtedly provide the showcase entertainment for the match.
Skye’s Lorna MacRae — who has netted 44 goals this season — will be hoping to out score Badenoch's Kirsty Deans who has grabbed 41 for her side, you will be able to see full interviews from the pair later today.
Four of the biggest names in Scottish women’s sport, curling’s Eve Muirhead, football’s Nicola Doherty, Rugby’s Rachel McLachlan and shinty’s Deans, gathered in front of The Forth Rail Bridge, to celebrate BBC ALBA further strengthening its coverage last week.The Valerie Fraser match throws up at 4.05pm at the Dell in Kingussie and will be screened live on BBC Alba.
The Gaelic channel has had a strong year of women’s sport including its extensive and distinct coverage of Scotland at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Anne Lundon, a regular face on Reporting Scotland, Eòrpa and Landward, anchored the coverage live from France, a pinnacle of the journey BBC ALBA has shared with Scottish women’s football over the past decade.
Iseabail Mactaggart, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at MG ALBA, which operates BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC said:
'Our commitment continues for season 19/20 with BBC Alba being the ‘home of Scottish women’s sport’.
Writen by Annie Butterworth