Beauly take on Skye in a MOWI National Division title decider this Saturday at Braeview. We caught up with Andrew Morrison ahead of the big game…

Andrew, a big game against Skye this weekend, essentially a title decider – how is the confidence going into the match?
Confidence is at an all time high in the Beauly camp – having come away with the Balliemore cup win (beating Skye in the process) the boys are flying. If anything – the squad’s training intensity has only increased since the cup final.

A draw will see both Beauly and Skye promoted to the MOWI National Division – do you think that will be on either team’s mind going into the game?
Absolutely not, I think both teams are hunting for the number 1 spot. Beauly have already been to Skye this season, and I would have said were unlucky to leave with only a draw. Every game against each other is hard fought so I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Both Beauly and Skye still to play Inveraray after Saturday do you think it’s a case of whoever wins this weekend wins the league or can ‘Aray put a spanner in the works? 

I think Inverary are a solid team and have always given Beauly an extremely physical game. I think this season is the first time, I personally, have ever beat them away from home. With Skye’s final game of the season being in Inverary it’s anyone’s guess what the result is going to be.

You’ll be quite familiar with Skye now after the past couple of years – what do you like about them as a team?
Skye have a powerful, clean hitting defence with a mobile forward line. A tricky team to play against as they enjoy changing it up – which is something they have done through all age groups.
Off the pitch they are a good group of lads too – recently the squad that came down for last year’s Jack Asher 6’s had a great party in Glasgow with the Strathclyde Alumni Team and Glen Urquhart boys that made the trip too.

Winning the 2022 Ferguson Transport & Shipping Balliemore Cup must’ve been an amazing feeling – as I understand you flew back from Croatia just for the game – what was that like?

Tough to say the least – I wouldn’t recommend that week of training to anyone before a final! Seeing how well the squad were playing, I made sure my flights got me back for the Saturday. That was even before the final was moved– very lucky planning in the end.

Having been injured during the Covid season I didn’t get to play Skye when they beat us at Fort William the previous year. I think this was something that spurred the boys on even more during the entire season to win everything we could, and the league is no different.

I must give David Macpherson of Inveraray a shout out here, as every training session in the Strathclyde gym was preempted by a 30 minute shinty chat and catch up. As the business end of the Balliemore approached, it was extra fuel to the fire for those sessions. I bet he’s kicking himself for them now!

You stay in Glasgow but travel to games every week –  how are you coping with the commitment levels to do such long journeys?

The trips can be quite long – around a 400 mile round trip for home games. Me and my brother Calum try to take the driving in turns depending what night out is on once we get back down the road! We have also been chased many times to sign up for teams down south, however, Beauly will always be our home team.

Being in the National there are teams all over Scotland, and next year the Premiership will be the same. Beauly players travel all over to make it back for training sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday. They also have long trips to some of the games – I think I simply match the commitment of my teammates.

Finally, assuming Beauly get over the line either this week or next, how much are you looking forward to playing MOWI Premiership action and which trip are you looking forward to most?

Beauly are ready to go to the Premiership and compete at the higher level. We have taken the Camanachd cup winners to the final hit of the ball this season, and Lovat to a 3-3 draw last season. The team has only developed and gotten stronger since then. There is a talented youth squad coming through that will support Beauly if they go to the premier, making the move up the leagues sustainable. It has been a long time coming for the club who have been called ‘the sleeping giants’ since I moved to Glasgow about 7 years ago.

Having beaten us on penalties whilst I was injured, a hard game to watch was against Kyles. A lot of my friends from Glasgow play for Kyles so beating them would give us some bragging rights.

Want to hear from Skye Camanachd ahead of the game? Tune in to the Half-Swing Podcast which goes live on Thursday night at 8:30pm and will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more…