Saturday 26th August saw the Strathdearn return to Smith Park, the home of Boleskine for the 2nd time in succession. The conditions at Farr were biblical, with rain thundering down all throughout the day, however, the pitch held up very well despite the heavens best efforts and the game was able to take place. Kinlochshiel, who had knocked out holders Newtonmore in the Semi-Finals, would meet 2019 winners Fort William with both sides in the upper echelons of Mowi North Division 1.

Some games are end to end, some are one way traffic, but this was neither. Instead, each team seemed to take it in turns to have 15-20 minutes of concerted pressure before being on the backfoot once again. While chances were exchanged in this opening period, it took until the 37th minute for the first goal to be scored. It was Fort William who notched through a pretty simple free hit which Padraig McNeil played down the outside to Robert MacMillan who took a touch before firing across Calum MacMillan to make it 1-0. Ultimately, looking back on the goal Kinlochshiel will no doubt been disappointed to concede from set piece but ultimately it was well worked by Fort and was enough for them to go into the break with their noses in front.

Shiel came out stronger again in the second period and would bite back in the 70th minute, again from a free-hit, this time Paul MacRae floated a ball over the top of the Fort defence from the right wing leaving Scotland U17 International Rory Slaughter clean through on goal for an easy finish. As the rain thundered down there was the feeling that conditions could lead to a mistake in the final 20 minutes that would see someone crowned champions, however, credit to both sides who kept their concentration levels high and continued to battle the ball away, with a special mention to Fort keeper Mark Fraser who made a number of solid saves.

As the game went to Extra-Time it was Fort William who would get the decisive winner, again from a set piece, this time a corner, the ball was spun in, skipped by a Shiel back and popped up off Jack Kearney who calmly volleyed past the onrushing Calum MacMillan who took his opportunity to shush the sizable travelling support. There is no official Man of the Match but the Half-Swing Shinty Podcast gave Fraser the honour regardless as he kept his side in the lead again in the final 15 minutes of extra-time. For Shiel, there will be disappointment having managed to knock out the favourites Newtonmore that they weren’t able to get over the line but they have a number of promising players coming through in a young squad that will no doubt be playing these kinds of occasions again. Fort William captain Struan Stephen had the honour of receiving the Strathdearn Cup from Camanachd Association Vice Chieftain, Richard Gall.