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SHINTY SPOTLIGHT: 10 questions for Skye forward James Pringle

Skye's James Pringle in action against Beauly's Angus Renwick. Image: Neil Paterson
Skye's James Pringle in action against Beauly's Angus Renwick. Image: Neil Paterson

Skye sharp-shooter James Pringle steps into the Shinty Spotlight to fire back 10 answers to our questions this week.

Among the topics covered, the 23-year-old forward discusses the joy of lifting the Balliemore Cup following his final brace and relives the moment of his horror finger injury.

What is your earliest shinty memory?

It was in the MacKay Cup in 2008 when I was nine years old.

At the start of the season, I was playing up front, but I ended up in goals. We reached the final against Rockfield  and we won 5-4 at Mossfield.

It was a good game and I remember pulling off a couple of good saves, including one near the end where I touched it around the post.

It was a really hot day, but I recall my outfit – I wore team shorts, a horrible stripy yellow shirt from the 1980s and I wore trackies over my shorts, but the shorts were sticking out. It was a horrible look.

Who was senior debut against and what was the result?

My first-team debut was against Kinlochshiel. I actually had a tough run of games as my first three – against Shiel, Newtonmore and Shiel again.

I think we lost 3-1 in my first game and I might well have scored. I certainly scored in one of those first games.

I remember being young and I took a heavy touch past Paul Macrae and ended up head over heels not knowing what was going on. That was when I said to myself: ‘this is senior shinty now’. I learned pretty fast.

What is your best moment in shinty so far?

I’ve won cups at youth level, but my first senior trophy was the Balliemore Cup last year (in a 3-1 win against Beauly at Fort William).

It was an excellent game and I managed to get a couple of goals.

Lifting that senior trophy for the first time was a bit different. We’d won the national league before, but with this one I was a more within the core group of the squad, rather than being a bit-part player.

All the boys were buzzing afterwards and that’s what sticks out the most.

And the worst?

We lost a Camanachd Cup semi-final in 2017 against Newtonmore at the Bught – that was pretty gutting.

We were playing well and I grabbed an equaliser and we were turning the screw, pushing for the winner, but we got hit at the other end by a couple of Glen Mackintosh goals and we lost 3-1. That was typical of him in big games, but it was quality finishing from Glen.

What is the worst injury you have suffered?

I had quite a surreal injury, which came from a freak accident in a game against Glen Urquhart.

A stick got caught between my pinkie finger and ring finger and ripped it right downwards.

I was doing a one-handed swing was chasing after the ball and I played it back inside and I noticed a warm pressurised feeling on my finger.

I looked down and my pinkie was hanging off. I must have been in shock so I just picked up it. We wear white strips and there was blood everywhere.

James Pringle (right) celebrates a Skye goal.

I shouted the the bench that I would need to come off. Everyone on the park was telling me to go down.

My dad took me to hospital, firstly to Broadford to get it cleaned then straight to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

It turned out not to be as bad and it was miraculous that it led to nothing more than minor physio and they put a rod in for a while and that got removed.

I got lucky in that it wasn’t a long-term injury which I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. I’ve only got a wee indent on my knuckle and a scar. I got off quite lightly.

Who is the joker in the team?

There are quite a lot of funny guys, but the main one is goalkeeper Murphy Henderson.

We were saying in the changing room recently we wished we’d kept a note of all the things he says and put it on a screen one night.

He’s so funny and blurts out whatever he’s thinking. He’s an excellent boy, though.

What is your favourite away ground?

A place where I’ve fond memories of when I played under-17s shinty and have been there for a while is actually Lochcarron’s pitch.

It’s a lovely area and the surface was always fantastic.

It was a short drive from Skye and the food was always good afterwards.

Who is the rival player you would have loved in your team and why?

There are lots of contenders for this, but I’ll go for Callum MacDougall from Kilmallie.

I with him a few times at under-17 level and he came down to Edinburgh University and we played there.

He’s a fantastic all-round player, both quick and physical. He’s not scared to swing and is such a driving force in his team.

Off the pitch, he’s also a lovely guy and is good craic. He would fit right in.

What is the favourite goal scored by you or a team-mate?

A goal I scored in the Balliemore Cup final last year would be my favourite.

I had a chesty cold that day, which is probably when I decided to hit it from about 30 yards instead of running with it! It ended up in the roof of the net.

Describe the sport in three words?

Speed, intensity and community.