ALVANCE Balliemore Cup Glory for Skye Camanachd

Saturday 3rd October saw Skye and Beauly come together in the ALVANCE Balliemore Cup Final at An Aird. Beauly had just seen off Bute 7-0 the week previous and Skye had been lying in wait after defeating Inveraray 3-2 earlier in the season. Both teams, and indeed the Association, had cause to be fearing the worst given the weather forecast however, the pitch was in supreme condition and credit must go to Fort William Shinty Club for that. The match started quite frantically although with neither side really having any sustained pressure – the first goal really opened up the game though and it went the way of Beauly; a Conor Ross free-hit allowed Ross Forbes to wriggle away from his marker and fire in at Ryan Morrison’s near post. Some of the Beauly fans had brought a drum to the match and if it was loud before they scored what followed surely shook the surrounding Ben’s to their core.

The ecstasy for Beauly was relatively short lived however as James Pringle picked up a well hit ball from Ross Gordon beat his man and slotted it through Mackay Murray’s legs to even the score-line. That was strong play from Pringle but for him the best came shortly after – Beauly were unable to properly clear their lines and the ball broke to Pringle 40 yards from goal, he hit a high looping shot that sailed in over Murray’s head to send the west coast faithful into raptures.

The second-half was a tightly contested affair in which Beauly seemed to have the majority of the pressure but without really creating anything clear-cut. Skye on the other hand weren’t seeing much of the ball but when they were in the final third they looked dangerous, firing just wide of Murray’s left hand post on two occasions. Time wore on and the rain began to fall heavily, Beauly were left with no choice but to push on and try and find the equaliser they so desperately needed. As is so often the way, this left them vulnerable at the back – a quick and deep corner was then squared to Sam MacPhee who drilled a shot that skidded on the wet surface and into the keeper’s bottom right hand corner – with mere minutes left on the clock this all but confirmed Skye’s victory on the day.

Referee Alex MacVicar brought an end to proceedings much to the delight of the strong travelling support who flocked to the field to celebrate as Skye Captain Jordan Murchison received the trophy from Jane MacDonald of ALVANCE Aluminium.