Last year’s runners-up Oban Camanachd were paired with record winners Newtonmore in this year’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup first and second round draws.
The draw was made at the Tulloch Homes’ Award winning development Drummond Hill in Inverness and in attendance were, Sandy Grant, Tulloch Homes Managing Director; Kieran Graham, Tulloch Homes Commercial Director and Derek Keir, Camanachd Association CEO.
Oban Camanachd manager Gareth Evans said of his side’s second round tie: “That’s a really tough tie but it is one the boys will be up for. Newtonmore are a powerful team and, on their day, can beat anyone.
“On the flip side, I’m sure they would have wanted an easier draw. It’s certainly the tie of the round.
Newtonmore co-manager Norman MacArthur added: “That’s as difficult a draw as you can get.
“Going to Mossfield is on par with going to Kingussie, Kyles or Kinlochshiel. We did quite well against them last year though, so we’ll look for more of the same.”
The Mowi Premiership sides enter the tournament at the second round stage and holders Kingussie open the defence of their trophy at home to Col Glen, Oban Celtic or Bute.
Kings boss Iain Borthwick said: “All you can ask for is a home tie. We haven’t faced any of these teams very often over recent years, so it will be something different whoever we play.”
Kinlochshiel manager Willie MacRae saw his side given an away tie at Strathglass or Beauly. He said: “We’ve now been drawn away in all three cup competitions this season so there’s not much luck going our way there.
“I recall us playing Strathglass the year we won the MacTavish, and we had some good games with Beauly last season. It’s an awkward tie whoever we face but we’ll watch that first round tie with interest.”
The pick of the first round ties is the derby between Kilmallie and Fort William at the Canal Parks.
Kilmallie assistant manager Martin Stewart said: “The draw has thrown up a lot of good games. From our point of view, its just another game for the boys to enjoy.
“There will be a big crowd at the Canal but it’s business us usual for us. We won’t treat it as anything different.”
At least two sides from out-with the top-flight will make the quarter-final stage as the winners from the Kilmallie and Fort William tie host Ardnamurchan or Inverness whilst Aberdour or Inveraray play Glasgow Mid Argyll or Kilmory.
Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup – Preliminary Round
Oban Celtic v Bute
(Ties scheduled for Saturday 30 March 2024)
Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup – First Round
Strathglass v Beauly
Kilmallie v Fort William
Ardnamurchan v Inverness
Col Glen v Oban Celtic / Bute
Aberdour v Inveraray
Glasgow Mid Argyll v Kilmory
(Ties scheduled for Saturday 27 April 2024)
Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup – Second Round
Strathglass / Beauly v Kinlochshiel
Lovat v Caberfeidh
Skye Camanachd v Glenurquhart
Kilmallie / Fort William v Ardnamurchan / Inverness
Kingussie v Col Glen / Oban Celtic / Bute
Lochaber v Kyles Athletic
Oban Camanachd v Newtonmore
Aberdour / Inveraray v Glasgow Mid Argyll / Kilmory
(Ties scheduled for Saturday 1 June 2024)
The 2024 Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup final takes place at An Aird, Fort William on Saturday 21 September.
Burton Morrison, Camanachd Association President said: “It gives the Association great pleasure to have conducted the first and second round draw of the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup this morning. The Camanachd Cup is shinty’s ‘blue riband’ event and the greatest honour in our sport.
“The last three finals since the pandemic have all been extremely competitive which demonstrates the desire of all teams to get their hands on this prestigious trophy.
“The final will be returning to Fort William for the first time since 2019 and we look forward to working with the club and the local community to make sure it is a success.”
Tulloch Homes managing director Sandy Grant added: “I’m sure, as always, we’re in for an exciting competition with Kingussie playing to defend their title for the second year in a row and we wish all the teams the very best of luck.”