The MacBean Cup for S1/2 secondary school pupils took place on Monday (16th May) at An Aird in Fort William. A brilliant response saw 12 schools entering from across Scotland, some of which were involved in the competition for the first time.

The schools were split into two groups of six for the first round of the competition with the top two teams from each group then progressing through to the semi-finals. In group one Kingussie went through their first 5 games impressively undefeated. They were joined by Inverness Royal Academy who bested Charleston on goal difference to claim second spot.

In group two it was a very tight affair at the top with four teams coming close to progressing. It was however, Lochaber and Portree who made the final cut, both teams remaining undefeated in the group stages.

The final 4 teams were then added on paper to the trophy and the semi-finals were drawn by two Bishopbriggs players who had entered the event for the first time in their history.

Portree were the first team ‘out the hat’ and would go on to play Inverness Royal Academy in the first semi-final, pitch 2 would feature Kingussie (2019 winners) and Lochaber.

Portree went on to overcome Inverness Royal Academy by one goal to nil in the first semi-final, although Portree had the majority of the possession and emerged victorious the young IRA side competed throughout and defensively played very well.

In the second semi-final Kingussie had a first minute chance saved impressively by the Lochaber keeper which gave the Lochaber side momentum with them going on to score a number of powerful goals and ending Kingussie’s unbeaten run.

The final was an exciting game with Portree and Lochaber drawing 0-0 in their group game it was clear there wasn’t much between the sides. A fantastic battle between both sides full centres was impressive to watch and a couple of excellent saves early on by the Portree keeper kept their side in it. A very even game throughout needed a goal and that’s what happened inside the final two minutes where a Lochaber forward found himself in a yard of space and sent a low, powerful drive past the Portree keeper to secure their victory.

Congratulations to Lochaber High School who got to take the MacBean Cup back to their school for 2022, and commiserations too Portree High School who gave a fantastic account of themselves and should be very proud of their runners up medals.

Thanks go to all players/teachers/coaches for attending as well as to Fort William Shinty Club for the use of their fantastic ground and for setting up the days pitches and also to James Munro who once again volunteered his time to officiate the days games.