SHINTY’S focus this past weekend was on the third-round ties in the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup. The match of the day took place at Strathpeffer, where home team Caberfeidh defeated fellow Premiership side Lochaber 7-4, with high-scoring contests becoming typical of recent meetings between the two sides.

Caberfeidh progress to the semi-final stage of shinty’s most iconic trophy and, for their manager Jodi Gorski, Saturday’s victory marks something of a milestone in the club’s recent history.

“The last time Caberfeidh made it through to a Camanachd Cup semi-final was back in 1963,” he said. “None of the lads who were playing yesterday have ever played on that stage before, except Kevin Bartlett who won it with Lovat back in 2015.

“So it’s certainly something for us all to look forward to, and having got this far we are definitely keen to go one step further.”

Relishing home advantage, Caberfeidh attacked from the outset and took an early lead when winger Robbie Brindle picked up a half-clearance some 20 yards out from goal, lost his marker and fired the ball high past Lochaber keeper Chris MacRae.

Lochaber quickly rallied and began to ask their own questions of the home defence. They eventually levelled in the 24th minute after their best player of the afternoon, Ben Delaney, fed the ball through to wing forward Findlay MacDonald who held his nerve to slip the ball past Iain MacColl from close range for the equaliser.

Lochaber though were living dangerously at this stage but although Caberfeidh had a number of attempts they were unable to find the target. That was until just after the half-hour mark when Scotland international Kevin Bartlett restored Caberfeidh’s lead after picking up a pass inside from winger Jamie MacKintosh and was fortunate to see his shot go in off the leg of MacRae.

The game then remained evenly poised until just before half-time when the home side appeared to take a firm grip of the game with two excellent goals scored in quick succession. The first from captain Craig Morrison was a powerful strike from out beyond the second D. The second, from full-centre Ali MacLennan, which flew into the roof of the net from an even greater distance, should have killed the tie.

After the break, Lochaber manager Michael Delaney attempted to refresh his forward line by bringing on Pat Toal and youngster Max Campbell. This paid off and by the hour mark, on the back of some Caberfeidh defensive slackness, close-range strikes from Ben Delaney and Toal had brought the score back to 4-3, with Gorski only too aware that the last time his side had thrown away a two-goal advantage – in the Premiership back in May – Lochaber had gone on to lift both points.

On this occasion however Caberfeidh had their own share of resilience, and in 67 minutes a Craig Morrison ball found Bartlett on the right and his shot from a tight angle past MacRae decisively turned the match in favour of the home side.

They then pressed home that advantage minutes later when Brindle bagged his second, snapping up a rebound from close range to make it 6-3. MacLennan then hit a further goal for Caberfeidh when he fired home a Jamie MacKintosh cutback.

Toal did score a goal for Lochaber in 86 minutes but there was no way at that late stage it was ever going to be more than a consolation effort.