Saturday 10th June 2023 saw the Corrie Construction Mackay Cup Final take place at Bught Park, Inverness as the curtain raiser and the first of three Shinty Finals that day.  The final was contested between Rockfield Primary School and Tomnacross Primary School.

Both schools had  come through the group stages of this competition having played, and beaten schools from up and down the country and it was fantastic to be able to welcome all the players, coaches and 200+ crowd of supporters to Bught Park for the occasion.

The game, officiated by Donald MacLeod, started with Tomnacross, quickest off the mark with a goal inside the first 3 minutes, a break in play allowed Dougal Strang a yard of space and he fired the ball into the back of the net to give the Kiltarlity school the lead. Less than 5 minutes later Tomnacross found more space, courtesy of some nice play by Tyler Cain in midfield opening up the attack, it was Strang again who got the goal with a nice strike past the Rockfield keeper.

Rockfield didn’t let their heads go down and started gaining possession in the midfield line which allowed their forwards the opportunity to get one back. It wasn’t until 20 minutes into the first half that their goal came, a clean shot by one of the Rockfield forwards was judged to have been kicked by the Tomnacross keeper. Daniel Duffy kept his cool and sailed the resulting penalty into the back of the net to half the deficit.

Tomnacross just seemed more determined from the restart and it only took them 2 minutes to gain a goal back and restore their 2 goal lead on the 22nd minute of the game. A nice touch and finish by Archie Bell this time after some tireless work from the Tyler Cain in the midfield to continue to offer his forwards opportunities to score.

The rest of the first half was very even with both teams putting some nice passages of play together but no more scoring. The squads I’m sure were glad to hear the half time whistle, take on some water and regroup, given that temperatures were now up around the 20 degree mark it was tiring work for these young players.

The second half again started off very evenly with Tyler Cain shining for the Tomnacross team and Daniel Duffy for the Rockfield squad. Some positional changes after the second half water break saw Tomnacross have perhaps their best chances of the game with long range hitting from Strang who was now playing in defence, Cain now had the opportunity to push forward and rounded off his strong performance with a very well taken goal from long range that sailed past the Rockfield keeper giving the Tomnacross side a 4-1 lead going into the final 8 minutes.

Rockfield however, never gave up and continued to push forward, always looking dangerous on the attack. This never give up attitude was rewarded when, with 4 minutes to play after some impressive passing Fraser Pollock manged to push the ball through the crowd of Tomnacross defenders and find the back of the net, making the score 4-2.

The final whistle came minutes later to draw a close to a fantastic display of shinty from both school teams in very hot conditions. We were delighted to have Catherine-Anne MacGregor and her family there to present the Anne Cameron player of the match quaich to Tyler Cain from Tomnacross for his determined performance.

Alan Ewing from Corrie Construction was on hand to conduct the presentations to both sets of players and coaches and  was able to hand over the Corrie Construction MacKay Cup to Tomnacross Captain Matthew Ogston for 2023.

Thanks went to both sets of players, coaches and parents for their support before during and after the event. To referee Donald MacLeod and his team of officials and to the sponsors Corrie Construction for their continued support of this event.

Picture by Neil G Paterson