VALERIE FRASER CAMANACHD CUP FINAL
Skye Ladies 2, Glasgow Mid Argyll 3 (H.T. 1-2)
Last weekend’s Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup Final proved a classic, as last year’s finalists Glasgow Mid Argyll edged newcomers Skye Ladies at Strachur.
Both sides went into the game with full squads, although GMA went in with the slight advantage, having recorded a comfortable defeat over Skye earlier this season. Skye, however, have had a great season in their first year in the National League and are currently sitting at second in the league behind GMA.
The city side were quickest out of the blocks, the strength and experience of their centre line — Kirsten Munro, Alana McGarrie and Kirsty Gray — making an immediate impact on the young Skye side and creating scoring chances. Skye’s defence was well organised and managed to weather the early onslaught before GMA’s Alana McGarrie made a superb solo run from midfield to fire a shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle and open the scoring.
GMA’s lead was to be short lived, however, with the islanders drawing level just two minutes later. A Lorna Macrae effort was saved by GMA keeper Steph Keenan, but she was unable to clear her lines quickly enough and Caitlin MacLean was able to close her down and tap the ball over the line.
From then on the game became very close, with both teams having chances to increase their lead. Lorna Macrae had an open shot in front of goals which she sent sailing over the bar, while GMA’s Joan Nicolson – who is orignally from Uig – thought she had put her side ahead again after slipping the ball past Skye keeper Sarah Corrigall only for the effort to be ruled offside.
Moments later however and Nicolson had her goal — giving GMA the lead going into the break. On the restart Skye made some changes, with wing centre Ilana Paterson going into goals while Corrigall went to full centre, joining Isabelle Law and Helen Lamond, and Emma Gordon moved from the centre line into Skye’s defence.
These changes would bolster Skye, but it was GMA who scored next when Nicolson turned her marker to hit a low drive into the bottom corner and make it 3-1. Skye kept fighting, however, and took control in the middle of the park, creating plenty of chances. Their hard work was rewarded with ten minutes remaining when from a corner Law dropped the ball onto the penalty spot for Macrae to hit on the bounce and into the net, making it 3-2 and setting up a nervy finish.
The remainder of play was all Skye, but the islanders couldn’t find a way past GMA keeper Keenan, who made two particularly fine saves to help the city side hold out and secure the victory. On a day when all the Skye girls could take enormous pride from their efforts, Sarah Corrigall was named player of the match for an excellent performance, both in goals and outfield.
Earlier in the day, meanwhile, the Marine Harvest Challenge Cup was won by Strathglass, who beat Lovat 6-4.