Alba Kings in their historic first Shinty International

28/7/2018 7pm Throw-up

Venue The Dell, Kingussie, Scotland.

Referee John Matheson

England Squad: Captain: Matt Mossop (Cornwall), Vice Captain: Simon Parsons (London), Goalkeeper: Amyas Varcoe (London), Angus Leigh (Devon), Calvin Cowie (London), Donald Sinclair (London), Dara Walsh (Oxford), Drustan Durman (Devon), George Mead (London), James Livingston (London), James P Crilly (London), Jamie Cranston (Cornwall), Jo Claridge (Oxford), Jo MacInnes (London), Jowan Dorrell (Cornwall), Malcolm Wink (London), Mike Dziennik (London), Neil Sutherland (Oxford), Robert Kearney (Oxford) and Ruairidh Howells (Oxford)

Alba Squad Captain Jack Friseal (Fort William), Goalkeeper: Eòghan Stiùbhart (Strathglass), Doneil MacLeòid (Inverness), Sean MacLeòid (Lewis) Crisdean MacRàth (Lewis), Pòl Duke (Lewis), Pàdraig Mac Na Ceardaich (Lewis), Iain Aonghas MacAonghais (Skye), Alasdair MacLaomainn (Lewis), Mark Friseal (Fort William), Pàdraig MacNèill (Fort William), Somhairle MacThòmais (Newtonmore), Ritchie Irvine (Newtonmore), Ruairidh MacDhòmhnaill (Glengarry), Aonghas MacAonghais (GMA), Connor Mac an t-Saoir (Inverness), Uisdean Seathach (Fort William), Lachlan Seathach (Fort William), Alex Dunnings (Taynuilt) and Coinneach Caimbeul (Tayforth)

England v Alba

International Shinty Match Report

To celebrate 125 years of the Camanchd Association, England faced The Gaelic speaking Alba team in the historic first shinty international between the two sides. Whilst the International Shinty-Hurling between Ireland and Scotland has been competed for many years the historic first England v Alba Shinty international marks an important moment in Shinty’s development, celebrating the growth of the sport abroad.

The Dell was a resplendent oasis amid the barren wastes of the driest summer for years as the piper played the squads onto the pitch. With 10 Scottish Clubs represented in the Alba team and high scoring wins not something the English are really known for, its fair to say the English backline were anticipating some pressure.

From the first throw, Alba’s speedy wingers put their more aged counterparts to the test, with Newtonmore’s MacThòmais, hurlting down the wing at breakneck pace and Mark Frazer looking dangerous. The English backs adapted well and for the most part the improvised English centreline did well to stem the tide, but there were only brief let-ups for the backs and the Scots went ahead 4 minutes in. A swiftly taken free that shot wide was as close as the Sassanachds came, as the Scots got into the swing of it - 6-0 half time score.

A reshuffle at the back saw Neil Sutherland drop into the backline with the London backs, Wink and Sinclair partnering effectively at full back and Dorrell covering ground at Buckshee, ushering in the best period of the match. For almost 30mins the game was on an even keel, though an English goal still seemed distinctly remote. A spectacular Varcoe header ended the deadlock as Alba buried the resultant penalty. But with an increasingly steady backline the centres held ground and the English forwards were in the action. In the 80th minute at 9-0 down, the English forced a series of corners and as the entire centre line pushed up they were rewarded. A neat corner along the bye-line, slipped behind the Scottish defence to bounce predictably off the Scottish Keeper as the English Captain slid in on his knees to tap-home a consolation goal. The decidedly generous interpretation ‘unconventional’ could be heard amid the keepers gaelic. With a couple more Scottish goals the presentations were made by the Camanchd Association President Keith Loades with the hosts generous to a ‘T’ as the Tennents was handed out. Congratulations to Jack Fraser (Alba) and Malcolm Wink (England) Isle of Harris Gin Men of Match, both were outstanding.

A massive thanks to The Alba Team, Kingussie Camanachd Club and the Camanachd Association for making such a memorable occasion possible. We very much look forward to hosting the Alba team for our historic first home fixture, in London on October 6th 2018.

Match Result:

Alba 11 (Mark Frazer x3, Lachlan Shaw x2, Jack Fraser x2, Iain Hunter x2, Paddy Sinclair, Sorley Thomson)

England 1 (Mossop)

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Jack Fraser ALBA Malcolm Wink England

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