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Shinty: Glasgow Mid Argyll claim first major trophy in 42 years with Celtic Society Cup success

Glasgow Mid Argyll won the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup.
Glasgow Mid Argyll won the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup.

Wester Ross cousins John Don Mackenzie and Johnny MacAskill made history as they helped Glasgow Mid Argyll to win their first major trophy in 42 years.

Skipper Mackenzie stepped up to collect the Scottish Sea Farms Celtic Society Cup after a shock 1-0 win over holders Kyles Athletic on Mid Argyll’s impressively upgraded Peterson Park, Yoker.

John Don joined Mid Argyll from Kinlochshiel in 2015 and has been there ever since, apart from a year back helping the Balmacara lads win the Macaulay Cup.

MacAskill was with Shiel last season and won the Camanachd Cup and MacTavish Cup before rejoining the city side – and now, uniquely, he has a full set of all major medals, a feat that may take a considerable time to equal.

GMA captain John Don Mackenzie and manager Alan Macrae with the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup.

“I’m immensely proud to be the captain when this club ended such a long wait for silverware,” said John Don.

“This is the first thing most of our players have ever won and it’s terrific for them and for Mid Argyll because it’s important that this inspires the lads to feel they can win other trophies and that this is the start of something really positive.

“I’m getting married next month and it’s not carved in stone yet whether I return north to work next season.

“We’ll see what happens. This is the first time we’ve beaten Kyles in the recent era and now our target is to do it again when we meet in the Camanachd Cup quarter final in a couple of weeks’ time.

“Credit to Allan MacRae for getting us organised in his first season as manager. He worked on getting the basics right and the lads responded.”

MacRae led Lovat to MacTavish Cup glory in 2014 and 2016 and is now almost certainly the first manager to win both the North and South trophies.

“My lads put in a terrific shift. We stood our ground and fought hard, standing up well to Kyles’ second half pressure,” said MacRae.

“It’s a huge boost for shinty in Glasgow and has set an example to the younger players coming through.

“Hopefully we can now kick on and ensure we retain our Premiership place.”

Home keeper Jonathan Oates had made a couple of superb early stops before Mid Argyll’s 19th minute breakthrough, John MacNulty turning smartly to fire an angled drive inside John Whyte’s far post.

Lacklustre Kyles dominated second half possession without looking particularly dangerous in Roddy Macdonald’s absence.

Ryan Harrison, superb in the Mid Argyll defence, deservedly won the man of the match award and said: “As a Glasgow boy, it’s a wonderful occasion. Now we’ve got to show this wasn’t a one-off.”

Lovat will meet Kingussie in the Macaulay Cup’s North semi-final next month after Lovat’s livewires edged through 3-2 over Kinlochshiel in a Reraig Park thriller.

Lovat’s Fraser Heath (front) puts his team in front in the first half of extra time against Kinlochshiel.

Fraser Heath gave the visitors an interval lead  but Jordan Fraser levelled for Shiel in 79 minutes to take the tie to extra time.  Heath struck again in 104 minutes only for Donald Nixon to make it 2-2 in 110 minutes.  Marc MacLachlan was the Lovat hero with the winner two minutes from the end of extra time.

For the second week running, Roddy Young supplied the cutting edge as cup holders Kingussie beat Caberfeidh 4-1 at Strathpeffer. Craig Morrison fired Cabers ahead but Savio Genini equalised then Young slammed two goals in successive minutes just on the interval before completing his hat trick in 50 minutes.

Graeme MacMillan (Lovat) with Donald Nixon (Kinlochshiel).

Oban Camanachd made it five wins from ten Mowi Premiership matches when they accounted for Fort William 3-0 at Mossfield Park.

Connor Howe continued his scoring streak with the opener and Daniel MacVicar added a second before half time. Louis MacFarlane’s last minute strike sunk the battling visitors.

Inveraray’s 3-0 home win over Lochaber saw them leapfrog the Spean Bridge side into second spot in the National Division thanks to second half goals from Lewis MacNicol, Campbell Watt and Fraser Watt.

Bottom side Aberdour led through David MacDougall at home to Glen Urquhart but a James MacPherson double kept alive Glen’s faint promotion hopes.

Former international Shaun Nicholson hit six goals in Glengarry’s 13-2 North First Division home win over Caberfeidh colts.

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