Kingussie consigned to relegation play-off

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland
Oban Camanachd and Kingussie
Oban Camanachd consigned Kingussie to a relegation play-off

A sensational last 10 minutes at Mossfield Park converted one of shinty's great unthinkables into reality when Oban Camanachd came back from a goal down to consign Kingussie to a relegation play-off with a 2-1 scoreline.

Ironically, as Kingussie were coming to terms with the outcome, on the other side of the Highlands their great rivals Newtonmore were being presented with the Marine Harvest trophy for a sixth year in a row.

This followed a 4-1 defeat of Kyles in More's first home game since clinching the title.

Kingussie went into the game knowing that although defeat would seal their fate, victory would give them a strong chance of avoiding the nightmare scenario.

It all started well for the Badenoch side who went ahead midway through the first half through Ryan Borthwick. Maintaining this scoreline would have left Camanachd needing three points out of four from their final games against the top two for safety.

But with six minutes left, Camanachd were awarded a penalty where Lorn Dickie's hit came off the feet of keeper Craig Dawson before Malcolm Clark, ahead of his 21st birthday party, cracked in the rebound.

Then with just three minutes remaining Camanachd grabbed a sensational winner. Aidan MacIntyre swung from a kneeling position to find the net and Mossfield Park, where manager Ian Hay is the groundsman, erupted.

"That was two late goals once again which is a great tribute to our fitness," said Camanachd Vice President Gareth Evans. "We've scored a lot of late goals this season and here it was again.

"We've had worries about relegation for the last 10 years or so and have been down and back up again but I really hope that we can make progress from here and move onwards and win trophies."

Oban Camanachd and Kingussie
Oban Camanachd beat Kingussie 2-1

This now places Kingussie, winners of 23 league titles in the 24 seasons up to 2009, in a play-off against Kilmallie on a November date still to be confirmed.

Club legend and now Scotland manager Ronald Ross, who has scored over 1000 goals for Kingussie, had already pledged to do everything he could to make a comeback for the play-off should Kingussie find themselves in it.

At The Eilan, the clash between champions Newtonmore and runners up Kyles was merely symbolic.

More cruised to a 4-0 lead in an hour with first half goals from Norman Campbell and Connor Jones, and from Fraser MacKintosh and Paul MacArthur early in the second. Robbie MacLeod scored a late consolation for Kyles.

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