Ahead of the senior final on 8th June, Newtonmore and Skye took to the Eilan to showcase the best of youth shinty in the North. In stark contrast to the weather of 2023 it was a decidedly cold and wet day with plenty heavy showers in the afternoon when Newtonmore and Skye were set to do battle for the MacTavish Juvenile Cup.

As the teams were piped out onto the field it was Archie MacKenzie who led Newtonmore as Captain and last year’s player of the match Seonaidh-Alex MacLeod who led the Skye team to the field.

Jamie MacPherson threw the ball up for the start of the match and it took both teams a few minutes to settle into the game and get used to the conditions as players battled the rain. The game swayed from end to end for the first 10 minutes and play was commanded by both sides midfield lines but it was on the 11th minute that Newtonmore marksman Joe Coyle managed to find a break with his brother James Coyle picking up the ball following a long clearance from the captain Archie MacKenzie, Coyle managed to slip the ball through to his brother who touched the ball right then cut back inside to the left, and leaving his marker behind him send a rifling shot into the top left hand corner of the net with Skye keeper Archie Buchan not standing a chance.

The game raged back and forth for the rest of the first half with both sides creating chances and the Skye Captain Seonaidh-Alex mustering his players to keep their heads up.

The teams emerged for the second half and began exchanging chances, it was Newtonmore who once again struck first in the 51st minute, winning a corner on the right, the ball was struck high over the Skye D where the alert Joe Coyle picked it up, dodging back towards the half way line showing some close control he then cut back towards the goal and even with two players closing him down unleashed his second thunderous strike of the day, this time reaching the right hand corner of the next, the ball bounced out of the goal via the back metal stantion as quickly as it went in, confusing the Skye defence but goal judge Stevie MacLachlan had his flag up for a goal and the Newtonmore players were able to celebrate.

Skye were not down and out yet though and immediately mounted pressure on Newtonmore’s defence. This paid off quickly and just 8 minutes later they had a goal back through Ali Stewart. With Newtonmore not able to clear the ball cleanly Iain MacInnes skipped past his marker and drilled the ball from the right towards the goal. A good save with his feet by keeper Camy Mitchell the ball bounced away from the goal but with Ali Stewart by far the quickest to react it was just a tap in required to pull a goal back for the islanders.
It wasn’t to be for the Skye side though, even with added pressure the Newtonmore defence held firm with some resilient play particularly from Arran Ford. Strong clearing from Ford and great hold up play by the forward line ensured Newtonmore held onto their lead and were crowned cottages.com MacTavish Juvenile Winners for 2024.

Newtonmore’s Captain Archie MacKenzie collected the trophy on behalf of his team mates and lofted it high in the air much to the delight of the gathered home support, family and coaches. The Sandy MacKay Player of the Match Medal went deservedly to Newtonmore’s Joe Coyle for his fantastic performance and well taken goals.


With thanks to Neil G Paterson for the photo.