Saturday 3rd September saw Badenoch Ladies and Skye Ladies once again do battle in the MOWI WCA Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final.

Going into the game both teams were in good form with Badenoch unbeaten and Skye only losing one game all season – at the hands of their opponents on the day. 2019 saw Skye win the Valerie Fraser and Badenoch win the league but Badenoch duo Zoe Reid and Rhona McIntyre were keen to “do the double this year” in their pre-match interview.

Des McNulty got the game started at The Eilan and despite some early pressure from Badenoch the first nine minutes went by with no significant saves from Sarah Jane Ferguson in the Skye net. In the 10th minute however, Kirsty Deans found the ball on the edge of the D from a corner and hit a calm backhand beyond the keeper. 3 minutes later and Ferguson made a fantastic save with her foot  from Jeanette McGregor who fired across her from a tight angle.

In the 22nd minute we saw the best of Ferguson again as Deans broke free from her marker and hit a whippet of a backhand strike which the Skye stopper knocked behind for a corner. 7 minutes later and Skye capitalised on one of their few chances at that stage, Holly MacLean rocketing beyond McGregor in the Badenoch net to make it 1-1. The lead didn’t last long however, as in the 32nd minute Kirsty Deans picked up a loose ball and drove it towards the Skye net, it appeared to take a bobble as it approached the keeper and left Ferguson all at sea. Skye’s response though was instant. Elizabeth McGregor made a good save but Caitlin MacLean followed up on the rebound and pushed it beyond her for the equaliser. Both sides battled away for the remainder of the half but McNulty brought it to a close at honours even.

Not long into the second half there was a bit of confusion as Kirsty Deans struck a good shot which hit off the stanchion and rebounded out – Ferguson in the Skye net kept playing but both Kirsty and Laura MacKay were adamant that it was a goal and McNulty heeded the advice of the latter and it was Badenoch 3-2 Skye – a Kirsty Deans hat-trick. In the 58th minute Skye levelled the scores up again with a sneaky finish at the keepers near post from Holly MacLean. Once again however, Kirsty Deans ran on to a through ball from the centre and slipped it beyond Ferguson – 3-4!

As the game entered the final third – Kirsty Deans broke onto the ball again, and bagged her 5th of the game, giving Badenoch a 2 goal lead for the first time in the game. Zoe Reid struck at the death to make it Badenoch 6-3 Skye and the final portion of the game ebbed away without any major event. Sarah Jane Ferguson was given the woman of the match award after a staunch performance in goal for the islanders. McNulty drew the game to a close and Badenoch Ladies were crowned MOWI WCA Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Champions for the third time in their history.

Congratulations to all involved.