Camanachd Cup final: Oban Camanachd look to upset odds against Newtonmore

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Camanachd Cup final preview
Camanachd Cup final:
Venue: An Aird, Fort William Date: Saturday, 17 September Throw-up: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Scotland, online & BBC Radio Scotland 810MW

Remember Lovat! That should perhaps be the cry of Oban Camanachd in Fort William this weekend.

It's been 20 years since they won shinty's most sought after trophy, the Camanachd Cup.

To win it again they will need to beat the the most successful club in the competition's history - Newtonmore.

'The More' have won it 30 times - 10 times as often as Oban Camanachd. They are also top of the Marine Harvest Premiership, chasing a seventh successive title.

Oban are two points behind Newtonmore in the league but a Camanachd Cup win would be regarded as an upset.

''If we play to our potential we'll give Newtonmore a game," said the Oban club's manager Iain Hay.

"We're second in the league and I can't remember another time when we were so high up. We haven't played them yet so far this season so that adds a bit of spice to the game too.

"For Oban it's massive, we haven't won the trophy since since 1996, so there's a real buzz about the town. People I've never met before are coming up to me in the street telling me they're going to the game and there's flags and bunting up in the town, everyone's looking forward to it."

If the Oban side prevail on Saturday it would be against the odds but not as big a surprise as last year's final.

Newtonmore celebrate winning the 2013 Camanachd Cup final
Newtonmore last won the Camanachd Cup in 2013

A year ago the aforementioned Lovat beat heavily fancied Kyles Athletic to win the trophy for the first time since 1953.

"We'll give Oban maximum respect, Newtonmore's assistant manager Iain Mackintosh told BBC Scotland.

"We haven't played them this season, but we played them twice last season when they were flirting with relegation and despite their position we thought they were a very, very good side."

More captain Steven Macdonald adds: "The key for us is to keep it tight in defence. Oban have good attackers, so if we keep it tight and get the ball up to our forwards who are among the highest scorers in the league we'll stand in good stead."

While Newtonmore have the greater Camanchd Cup pedigree Oban are likely to have greater vocal support.

"Newtonmore is just a small village, Oban is probably 10 times the size so I'd imagine they'll have more fans at Fort William," said Mackintosh.

"But we're a community club so winning the Camanachd Cup would mean a lot to the whole village, everyone chips in in the day-to-day running of the club.

'"I've played in many cup finals myself and I've had the joy of winning and the hurt of defeat. If we win this weekend I'll be ecstatic."

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