Oban Camanachd win the 2023 MacQuisten Cup

Glasgow Mid Argyll and Oban Camanachd contested the 2023 MacQuisten Cup final on Saturday the 24th of June. Oban progressed to the final having got the better of Kilmory 6-1 in the quarter finals before beating Bute 5-1 to reach the final of South shinty’s under 17s showcase.  GMA edged Aberdour 2-0 in the quarter finals before defeating Dunoon 5-1 to cement their place in the final.

The teams were piped out onto the field led by their captains Calum Macmillan and Arran Byrne. Referee Craig Scott from Taynuilt got the game under way. Oban edged the early exchanges with Matthew Sloss flashing a shot past the post in the opening minute and following it up by hitting the side netting after 3 minutes. The shot on target came after 8 minutes when Scott Craig in the GMA goal saved with his feet from a Sloss effort. Craig was called into action again on 10 minutes where he made a terrific save with his body and scrambling it away after an effort from Innes Mackay.

Milo Menzies and Logan Black had a good battle in the middle of the park with Zac Menzies doing well to contain the dangerous Sloss to half chances. The Oban defence staying solid and not allowing the Glasgow forwards any time in attack snuffing out the danger in a physical opening half. The ref halted play on 20 minutes to allow the players a water break on a muggy day at Peterson Park.

After the restart Oban continued to edge their opponents with Logan Black driving forward from the centre of the park before putting the shot just past the left-hand post on 26 minutes. On 36 minutes it was Saul Watson’s turn to try break Glasgow’s resolve where he fired past the left-hand post from the right-hand side.

Eventually, the pressure paid off for Oban with Scott Campbell collecting from his own half before floating an effort on target from 45 yards. Despite Scott Craig dealing with the initial effort, Kyle MacFarlane latched onto the rebound putting the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the D. A minute later referee Craig Scott blew for half time.

After half time Mid Argyll managed to have their best spell of the game doing a better job at holding the ball up front but failing to create any clear-cut chances.

On 45 minutes Sloss did well to win the ball from a GMA defender before creating a yard of space and unleashing a tremendous effort from 25 yards finding the top right-hand corner of the net giving the keeper no chance.

On 46 straight from the restart Alexander Macdonald did well to play the ball on to Sloss who turned and fired in from 30 yards into the roof of the net. This was Sloss’s last action of the game as he was replaced by Aidan Lawrie with the afternoons senior game in mind.

On 55 minutes Iain Mitchell of Mid Argyll picked up an injury giving both teams a chance to make substitutions. GMA moved Alasdair MacDougall in goal and moving Scott Craig into the centre line.

On 70 minutes Oban were awarded a penalty after a couple of players ended up on the ground and Kyle MacFarlane stepped up to score his second of the game hitting a cleanly struck penalty to the keepers left hand side.

Glasgow ended the game strongly but were unable to break down a stubborn Oban defence with Rhys Walker doing well to save from a nice Ruairidh MacSween strike with his feet. Oban saw out the remaining few minutes before referee Craig Scott brought an end to proceedings.

Archie Robertson presented medals to both teams and the officials before Calum Macmillan lifted the trophy for the Oban Camanachd side.

Glasgow Mid Argyll Euan MacSween said “Congratulations to Oban Camanachd on a well fought final. We competed well in the first half against a strong Oban side. The Glasgow Mid Argyll side done themselves proud today. All the best to Oban Camanachd for the future. The future looks strong in Glasgow.”

Oban Camanachd manager Stephen Sloss said “It was a tough game. Glasgow very good, they held out our forward line well. Once we got the goals at the start of the second half it settled us down. The pitch was great and credit to GMA they thought hard right to the very end.”

The Camanachd Association would like to thank the Celtic Society for hosting this final before the senior cup final. Glasgow Mid Argyll and Oban Camanachd for creating a very entertaining final. Craig Scott, Ross Brown and David Mitchell for officiating and also Violet Mair and Eimear McCarthy for running the lines and all the volunteers who made everything go so smoothly during the day. Finally to Aidan Woods Photography for allowing us to use his pictures from Saturday.