Sports Review of 2019

From shinty to swimming, from mountain biking to Muay Thai, we take a look back at some of the movers and shakers who made the sporting headlines in part one of our sports review of 2019.

Kinlochshiel in Lewis to remember the ‘Iolaire’ Kinlochshiel Shinty Club travelled to Lewis to take on Camanachd Leodhais for the first time at Bayhead, Stornoway. The match formed part of a series of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Iolaire disaster. Kinlochshiel ran out 4-0 winners, but the shinty action was secondary as both clubs remembered the 201 men returning from World War One who lost their lives when HMY Iolaire sank.

Sarah Attwood set a new course record of 33 minutes and 30 seconds at the Glenmore 10k. Photo credit: Willie Urquhart.

Glenmore 10k Hugh Campbell and Sarah Attwood set new course records at the Glenmore 10k in Skye. The Portree runner crossed the line in 33 minutes and 30 seconds – more than eight minutes ahead of his nearest challenger, Matt Deamer – to win the race and set a new record. Sarah Attwood finished in third place and set a new female course record of 42:43.

Ben Wear takes on the Strathpuffer course. Photo credit: Paul Campbell

More than 1,000 participants took part in the annual 24-hour off-road challenge, the Strathpuffer, near Contin. In the team section, Keith Ranicar (Roag), James Sutton (Bolevan), Ben Wear (Waternish), and Willie Threlfall (Sleat) took the fourth spot overall. In the individual race, Murdo Matheson from Strathcarron finished in 17th place, while Plockton man Alexander Tindall – who now lives on Skye – finished in 24th position out 123 individual entrants.

Skye Muay Thai Club runner Ali Simpson puts a youngster through his paces during the open day in January. Photo credit: Willie Urquhart.

Skye Muay Thai open day The Skye Muay Thai Club held an open day on Saturday 12th January to celebrate taking over the lease of the Skye Camanachd gym premises in Portree. More than 30 people attended the taster session. Ali Simpson, who runs the club, put the participants through their paces.

Dave Canning claimed the men’s winter series championship for 2018/19. Photo credit: Willie Urquhart.

Canning and Attwood claim winter championship Dave Canning and Sarah Attwood strode to top-six finishes in a wind- and rain-battered 10k run at Sconser. Dave Canning crossed the line in 43 minutes and 42 seconds to finish in fourth place, while Sarah Attwood took sixth place in 46:51. The results meant that Canning and Attwood claimed the respective men’s and women’s championships in the Skye and Lochalsh Running and Athletics Club’s winter series.

The Broadford team were crowned champions of the 2018/19 Isle of Skye Badminton League.

Broadford Badminton Champions
Broadford completed the season with a perfect record of eight wins from eight matches to clinch the 2018/19 Isle of Skye Badminton League. The winning Broadford team comprised Gordon McPhie, Douglas Strachan, Doreen MacPhee and Sarah Corrigall. Billy Chung, John MacKinnon, Nicholas Kelly and Charles Culbertson also helped the side through the season to win the league.

Taking flight: The Skye Ravens soared from 2-0 down to draw level against Lochaber, but the side who would become the eventual champions were too strong in the end.

Skye Hockey The Isle of Skye Hockey Club succumbed to a late flurry of goals in a 5-2 defeat to Lochaber in Portree in the winter league. The Ravens showed great character to come back from two-nil down to level the match at 2-2 thanks to goals from Tim Marjot and John Downie. However, Lochaber – who would go on to win the league – took maximum points with a late flurry of goals.

Inter-school swimming gala Close to 90 youngsters took part in the inter-school primary swimming gala at the Lochalsh Leisure Centre in Kyle. In the group for smaller schools, Plockton came out on top, while Auchtertyre prevailed in the ‘bigger’ schools’ category.

Lewis and Harris Women winning debut Lewis and Harris Women’s Football team marked their first-ever fixture in the newly-established Highlands and Islands Women’s Football League with a barnstorming 18-0 win over Nairn Ladies.

Press Pack triumph in the second walking football festival
The Press Pack claimed victory at the second Festival of Walking Football in Portree. The success marked the side’s second trophy in five months. The team – largely made up of past and present members of the local press – won all three of their matches to defend their title.

Rebecca Miller, Sarah Attwood and Clara Connell show off their medals after finishing second, first and fourth respectively in the women’s race.

Dunvegan 10k
A record field of 154 took part in the Dunvegan 10k on Skye. Caithness runner Kenny MacGruer enjoyed a brilliant debut by crossing the finish line in 37 minutes and 59 seconds to win the race. Sarah Attwood claimed fourth place overall and finished as the fastest lady with a run of 40:44. Sarah was joined in the women’s top four by fellow Skye runners Rebecca Miller (the ladies’ runner-up) and Clara Connell.

Fiona Grant earned a place on the podium as the second woman home in the Loch Ness Etape.

Skye ETAPE cyclist wins place on the podium in Loch Ness Skye cyclist Fiona Grant was the second woman home in the Loch Ness Etape cycling event, which saw a record field of 5,600 take to the roads near Inverness. Fiona completed the 66-mile course in three hours, four minutes and 21 seconds to earn a place on the podium.

Express deliver in bowls winter league
Express Delivery were the winners of this season’s Portree winter ‘fun’ bowls league. The games were contested from October 2018 through to March 2019 in the Fingal Centre at Portree High School. Express Delivery’s winning team was made up of John Ross, Gavin Campbell, Angus Beaton and John Angus Campbell.

Photo credit: Willie Urquhart.

Skye Sailing Club Open day
Seventy people threw on wet suits and took to the sea for the Skye Sailing Club’s annual ‘Push the Boat Out’ open day. The day was run in conjunction with the Royal Yacht Association as part of events nationwide aimed at anyone interested in getting into a boat and out on the water.

Skye Half Marathon Close to 700 participants completed the Skye Half Marathon course in warm summer sunshine, with Aberdeen AAC’s William MacKay claiming victory in one hour, 11 minutes and 37 seconds. Skye runner Hugh Campbell finished second in 1:12:14, while Sarah Attwood was the fastest local lady in 1:30:20.

Skye and Lochalsh Karate Club A total of 66 students attended the first grading of the Skye and Lochalsh freestyle karate and kickboxing clubs. Pupils were led by chief instructor Kash ‘The Flash’ Gill, four-times World Kickboxing champion.

Photo credit: Willie Urquhart.

Glamaig Hill Race Lochaber Athletic Club runner Finlay Wild strode across the finishing line in 46 minutes and 46 seconds to claim victory in Saturday’s Glamaig Hill Race on Skye for an eighth year in succession.

Photo credit: Willie Urquhart.

Portree High girls join Caley Katherine Dibble from Breakish and Jennifer Macleod from Raasay were selected to join up with the Inverness Caledonian Thistle Ladies development squad.

Graeme Finnie (left) came out on top to retain the Ginty Gordon Quaich.
Photo courtesy of Caroline MacRae.

Dornie memorial darts tournament A memorial darts tournament held in Dornie in December raised close to £1,000 for Maggie’s Centre in Inverness. Graeme Finnie came out on top from a field of 45 players to defend the Ginty Gordon Quaich – the competition was held in memory of local man Fraser ‘Ginty’ Gordon.