UHI Cup Finals Day 2022

This is the second time the UHI Cup Event has been played  (the last one was contested in 2019 due to COVID) and was set up as a result of a partnership which has been formed between the CA and the University of the Highlands and Islands Sports Department.

All current HNC sports students have been taken through their shinty foundation coaching course, delivered to them by their local CA Development Officer and to follow in from this and allow the students to gain more knowledge about the game of shinty and see the game in action students then attended UHI Cup events over two days.

12 teams of primary school aged players from across the North of Scotland have now come together twice, once for a provisional round robin which decided which squads would go on to compete for the UHI Cup on finals day and which would play for the UHI Salver. Most teams were allocated a newly qualified UHI coach, their role was to get to know the players, take the group for warm ups and cool downs and importantly work with and be mentored by the existing club/school coach or teacher.

All 12 teams came together last Thursday (28th April) at Bught Park, Inverness, for the finals day, and what a fantastic day of shinty it was. The sun was out from the get go and teams arrived in plenty time to warm up and get started on time. The teams were split into two groups of 6 and each played a round robin of games in their respective pool before the top two teams in each met for a final.

In the Cup competition Muirtown started strongly winning their first four games and only chalking up one loss,  whereas Newtonmore dropped points against their Badenoch rivals in their first game but quickly put that defeat behind them and managed a consecutive wins against all others in the Cup Group matches setting an exciting final with Muirtown.

In the Salver competition games were all won and lost on very close margins, Ardnamurchan were the first team who secured a final place, going through the entire group stage undefeated and they were joined by Glengarry who only dropped points against the Ardnamurchan side.

Both finals were closely contested affairs with the players showing fantastic effort and resilience after already having played 5 games on a hot day to put in skillfull performances. In the Cup event, Newtonmore just had the edge on Muirtown with some well taken goals, running out 3-1 winners. In the Salver competition Ardnamurchan’s day remained undefeated and they triumphed over Glengarry 2-0 showing great determination throughout the day.

It was only fitting that the UHI Students were on hand to present the awards to all of the finalist teams.

Our thanks go to the UHI Students and Sports Department (Jenna Gray), Iain Cochrane for taking photos,  to Jim Barr, Robert ‘Bobo’ Morrison, Mya Carmichael, Ali Tuckwood and  Tina Marshall for officiating the games over the course of the two days. To Maria Macleod for being a jack of all trades and helping with everything, to Rosanna and her helpers for running the tea stall on both days, to GlenUrquhart SC for agreeing to host the first round at such short notice, setting up the pitches and generally being amazing. And lastly to all the players, clubs and teachers for entering the event and making both days ones to remember.

In addition a huge thank you goes to to Graham MacGregor Joinery who kindly agreed to sponsor this event.