Shinty: 'Ronaldo of the Glens' returns for Kingussie

By Gary InnesFort William shinty wing centre
Ronald Ross scored twice for Kingussie against Lovat

Lovat or hate it, he's back.

'Ronaldo of the Glens' Ronald Ross made his first appearance in a Kingussie shinty strip in over a year on Saturday and helped his team-mates punt Lovat out of the Camanachd Cup, who were previously unbeaten this season.

Ross added to his previous 1000+ goals with King's third after Thomas Borthwick and Lee Bain had the home team ahead by two goals early in the first half.

Personally, I was delighted to hear Ronald was back playing, but I may not be so happy the next time we meet Kingussie.

Elsewhere in the Camanachd Cup second round, Beauly, Newtonmore, Kinlochshiel and holders Kyles all progressed through to the last eight, while Lochaber and Glenurquhart finished 3-3.

However, the Spean club and supporters were enraged as the referee was rumoured to have played seven minutes injury time. Glen's Euan Brady scored with the last hit of the ball to set up this week's replay.

Fort William met Glasgow Mid Argyll at An Aird under beautiful sunshine and, before the supporters had their bums on seats, Fort's Daniel Stewart had the ball in the net after just 20 seconds.

It was myself next to find the net after great work from Fort youngster Jack Fraser to set me up. Duncan Rodger followed me onto the score sheet with a sensational top corner after dragging the ball out wide and unleashing an unstoppable shot.

GMA's Ryan Harrison pulled one back for the visitors moments before half-time to give the Glasgow-based club a lifeline heading into the break.

The next goal was crucial for both teams and, as the game raced from end-to-end, Fort's Daniel Stewart found himself alone at the back post and, with 10 minutes remaining, casually sealed Fort's quarter-final spot.

Shinty historian Hugh Dan MacLennan and Camanachd Association president Archie Robertson drew the quarter-final ties at Spean Bridge's famous Commando Monument at 12pm on Monday 3 June.

The quarter-final fixtures are as follows.

Newtonmore v Caberfeidh/GlenorchyLochaber/Glenurquhart v Fort WilliamKyles Athletic v BeaulyKingussie v Kinlochshiel

These fixtures will take place on Saturday 6 July.

Looking ahead to this weekend's action, in the Camanachd Cup, Lochaber travel to Drumnadrochit in search of a last eight spot, while Caberfeidh face Glenorchy for their chance of a Camanachd cup quarter-final spot.

With many clubs requesting a free week at the start of the season due to RockNess, only one Orion Group Premiership game takes place between champions Newtonmore and Inveraray.

In the Artemis MacAulay Cup, Kinlochshiel meet Lovat at Balmacara.

Fort William have a free week as they celebrate the 21st anniversary of their first-ever Camanachd Cup victory. For this one-off special occasion, they have managed to get all the original players from both squads to play against each other once more.

The 'Sunshine Final' as it was known was famously won by a single goal in the ninth second of the match from Derek 'Deek' Cameron at Old Anniesland, Glasgow.

Scotland boss Drew MacNeil was Fort's skipper that day and he took the cup up to Kilmonivaig Primary School to show us all the following week.

I remember it was a huge thing for the whole area and getting to lift it as a child that day was something I still remember very fondly.

Drew never got his hands on the trophy again until 13 years later, when I was lucky enough to be captain of the next winning squad. It's funny how some things work out.

Having looked back and watched the 1992 final on a few occasions, it's amazing no-one was arrested for some of the challenges that went in that day.

I know some of the older generation feel shinty has changed over the years, but I reckon if you were behind some of the tackles and swings that we're taking that day nowadays, you would be looking at a possible five-year stretch at Her Majesty's pleasure.

There is no question now, though, that the game will be played in the finest sporting manner with plenty of craic, carry-o, and probably a BBQ after the fixture, if there's not a few heart-stopping moments, of course.

The game takes place at An Aird, Fort William at 6.30pm.