Shinty stars’ title glory

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MILNGAVIE and Bearsden Junior Shinty Club has taken a national title for the third time in six years.

The team won the Scottish Hydro Electric National Under-14 Development Trophy at The Bught Park, Inverness.

This junior final was the curtain raiser to the senior Camanachd Cup Final on Saturday where a crowd of around 4,000 saw Newtonmore beat their near neighbours Kingussie 4-3 in extra time.

Milngavie and Bearsden booked their place in the tournament by winning the South of Scotland Development League, beating rivals Meadowburn from Bishopbriggs and Inveraray along the way.

They then played Ardnamurchan in the semi final in Oban, winning 3-2 in a closely fought game against a big, strong team.

The opposition in the final was Lochcarron who had won the northern equivalent. Traditionally, northern clubs have the edge, however Milngavie and Bearsden had beaten them earlier in the year in the Lochaber six a side tournament so travelled to Inverness in confident mood.

The game was played on a very big pitch and coaches Neil McLay and David Smith recognised this would impact on the players later in the game.

Shinty at this age group allows for rolling subs so the forward players of Scott Anderson, Dagan Smith, Leonie Traynor, Aidan McMahon and Calum McLay rotated throughout the game and kept a high pace up from start to finish constantly stretching the Lochcarron defence.

The first half was evenly balanced with the Milngavie and Bearsden centre line of Cameron Dyvor and Jack Berg doing a fantastic job against players who have featured for Lochcarron’s senior first team this season.

However things looked to have swung Lochcarron’s way when an injury Dyvor had been carrying saw his knee give out.

Captain Ewan McKechnie moved from full back to take over the centre role to give Dyvor a chance to recover.

Milngavie and Bearsden never looked back from there, with Dyvor recovering to anchor a defence of goalkeeper Andrew Gibson and wing backs Josh Brown and Luke Thornton who delivered a rock solid defence which couldn’t be breached.

Five minutes before half time a cross ball from Mclay found Anderson perfectly positioned to fire into the net. The second half saw the opposition tire and the work rate of the Milngavie and Bearsden defence and centre line provided the forwards with the ball possession they wanted.

Despite several excellent saves from the Lochcarron goalkeeper it was only a matter of time before goals from McLay and McMahon put Milngavie and Bearsden firmly in the driving seat and although there were late efforts from Leonie Traynor and Dagan Smith this completed a fine 3-0 victory

The team’s weekly indoor training sessions at Douglas Academy start back today (Friday) at 6.30pm.