Friday, 24 July 2009

Shinty Cup Final to be televised


The Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup final taking place on Saturday, 1st August will be broadcast live on BBC ALBA.

This year’s cup final, which will see Fort William take on Lovat, will now be played at Bught Park, Inverness and not Cannich as initially scheduled. Saturday’s match will be broadcast live at 4pm on BBC ALBA.

Fort William, 2008 runners up have won the national Junior title four times, with Lovat winning back in 2000. Lovat’s highest accolade came in 1953 when they uniquely won every competition at both senior and junior levels. That feat has never been repeated and cannot now happen again due to competition changes. Fort William are expected to play Derek Cameron, the man who scored the fastest ever goal in a final, at 9.7 seconds into the match, as well as many other veterans from their 1992 Camanachd Cup winning team. Another key player will be former Scotland captain Victor Smith.

Sponsored by Aberdeen law firm Aberdein Considine, the Sutherland Cup which was donated by Sir William Sutherland, was first played for in 1923 as a competition designed for juniors or reserve teams and has long been held to be one of shinty’s top occasions for players and spectators alike

Newtonmore were the first team to win the competition and to date, the highest scoring final took place in 1991 when Kingussie defeated Inveraray 13-1 with shinty legend Ronald Ross scoring six goals on the day.

Half time features on BBC ALBA will include international star Gary Innes taking Cailean Collier through his paces in lesson four of his ‘Shinty Skills’. This week he will be demonstrating the skill of how to take the shinty shy or hit-in, the result of a ball being hit over the sidelines and a player having to toss the ball into the air like a tennis serve and hit it with the bas or head of the caman to resume play.

Hugh Dan MacLennan, sports broadcaster and former shinty player, will be commentating on Saturday’s match live for BBC ALBA.

Hugh Dan said: “It was always one of my own ambitions to play in a Sutherland Cup Final and I managed the semi final on three occasions at least when in University. Unfortunately I never got to the final stage, so the next best thing is to have the best seat in the house through the lenses of the BBC ALBA cameras.

“Sutherland Cup finals have always been attractive affairs and keenly contested. Clubs tend to have a mix of wily veterans and youthful exuberance and Fort William will be fielding a very strong side. Lovat though will not be pushovers and will come to Bught Park with their eye on an upset. It promises to be a fitting finale to the 2009 BBC ALBA shinty coverage with the cup finals which have been broadcast live for the first time ever, so far living up to our expectations and beyond. We have had just about everything and top quality entertainment.”

The Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup final will be on BBC ALBA on Saturday 1st August at 4pm and repeated at 10pm on Saturday and 4.30pm on Sunday 2nd August.

BBC ALBA is available on Sky channel 168 and on Freesat channel 110.