Injury marrs shinty return as Newtonmore defender requires surgery after blow to the head

Darrin Fowler, in action for Newtonmore against Kinlochshiel Pic Willie Urquhart

Newtonmore’s celebrations immediately turned to concerns after defender Darrin Fowler sustained a serious head injury at the end of Saturday’s premiership opening day win over Kinlochshiel at Rearaig.

Fowler appeared to be knocked out after taking a blow to the head in the closing seconds of the game.

The injury would require surgery in Aberdeen on Sunday morning, after the player was transfered from Raigmore in Inverness on Saturday evening.

An update on the player’s condition – which suggested he suffered a skull fracture – was shared on the Newtonmore Camanachd Facebook site on Sunday afternoon.

The update on the Newtonmore Camanachd Facebook site

Fowler had helped his team to a 3-1 victory over last year’s Camanachd and MacTavish Cup winners.

Iain Robinson got the opening goal after 13 minutes, rifling in at the back post after a corner from the impressive winger Drew MacDonald.

Newtonmore’s Rory Kennedy tracks Jordan Fraser of Kinlochshiel. Pic Willie Urquhart

Jordan Fraser swept home a Keith MacRae cross to level matters on 22 minutes, but Max Campbell restored the visitors’ lead in the 32nd minute, and veteran Fraser MacKintosh netted from long range just before half time to put Newtonmore – who were without Mike Russell and Craig Ritchie due to Covid – in command.

The lack of pre-season action looked as though it had taken its toll, and Shiel never found their rhythm in a fragmented second half interupted by injuries.

‘More attacker Iain Robinson suffered a dislocated shoulder, a back problem forced off Shiel striker John MacRae, while defender David Falconer’s afternoon was ended early by a hamstring problem.

Kinlochshiel manager Johnston Gill said: “We never reached half the level we did last season, and against a team like Newtonmore that isn’t enough.

“We can play better, and we will play better as we get more games under our belts, but it’s a disappointing start to lose at home.”

No way through – resolute defending prevents Keith MacRae from finding the net. Pic Willie Urquhart

Newtonmore co-manager Norman MacArthur was delighted at his team’s display – with Steven MacDonald and Rory Kennedy outstanding in defence.

He said: “We came over with no expectations – but the young boys who came in were fantastic. To get our season underway with a win at the Scottish champions is a great way to start.”

Archie MacRae is crowded out by the Newtonmore defenders Pic Willie Urquhart

ELSEWHERE ON SATURDAY, Mowi Premier League champions Kingussie got off to a flyer with Savio Genini scoring four in a 7-0 home rout of Caberfeidh.

Lovat and Oban Camanachd each recorded 3-0 away wins at Kilmallie and Glasgow Mid Argyll respectively, while Kyles Athletic recovered from two down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Fort William at An Aird.

In the National Division Skye Camanachd fell behind to a Daniel MacMillan strike after 71 minutes, but goals from Jordan Murchison on 78 and John Gillies on 82 minutes proved enoough to earn the islanders victory against Oban Celtic.

Euan MacCormick scored four as Beauly set the pace in the division by putting nine without reply past Aberdour.

Lochaber edged Strathglass by the odd goal in five at Cannich, while Inveraray and Glenurquhart shared the points after a 1-1 draw at the Winterton.