A FOCUSED Skye side defeated Lochaber 6-1 at Fort William’s An Aird Park to win the Marine Harvest Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

The margin of Saturday’s victory however does somewhat of a disservice to Mike Delaney’s Lochaber squad who battled hard for the full 80 minutes but had no real answer to the pace and movement of the Skye frontline. Chief among their tormentors was half-forward Lorna Macrae. She scored five of her side’s goals in the course of the afternoon as well as picking up the trophy for player of the match to go along with the presentation of a silver mounted caman – received as captain of the winning side.

The Islanders’ successful afternoon started early when, in their first attack of the afternoon, a strike from distance from wing-centre Caitlin Maclean was kept out by Lochaber keeper Aeleen Campbell. However Lorna Macrae was first to the loose ball, knocking it home for the opener with only three minutes on the clock.

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Lochaber fought back but got no change out of an excellent Skye defence, though goalkeeper Sarah Jane Ferguson in particular did have to show her mettle to keep out a powerful strike from Lochaber’s Christy Macintyre that looked net-bound all the way.

The introduction at the end of the first quarter by Skye manager Robbie Gordon of the experienced Sarah Corrigall gave fresh impetus to the Skye attack, and they went further ahead when Macrae again hit the target in 17 minutes after good lead up play by Maclean.

Lochaber got a toehold back in the game shortly afterwards following a fine strike by Alison MacVicar but Skye bounced back quickly when Corrigall set up Macrae for her hat-trick which she completed with an angled drive. MacVicar again had the ball in the net for Lochaber before the break but this time, with Kirsty Delaney offside, the strike was ruled out.

The second half began with Skye manager Gordon again using his rolling subs, with Jenna Beaton reintroduced for Corrigall. This freshened up the Skye attack and the Islanders went further ahead with Macrae once more on target. Beaton hit number five for Skye and with danger-girl Kirsty Delaney – who’d clearly been carrying an injury all match – now on the sidelines, there was little Lochaber could do to stop Macrae notching up her side’s sixth and final goal of the game.

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Disappointing the result was for Lochaber – especially for players like Missy Cameron and Mairi Duncan, who worked hard all afternoon for little reward – they can take comfort from the fact they competed strongly right to the end.

For Skye, they have finally won the biggest prize in women’s shinty and there is the possibility they could add to that with a league title.

Earlier in day in the Marine Harvest Challenge Cup – the trophy reserved for lower division teams – Glengarry defeated a young Ardnamurchan side 7-1.

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Ardnamurchan actually started this match the livelier of the two sides. But with Garry keeper Siobhan West pulling off two good early stops, and experienced international defender Laura Mackay settling quickly, Glengarry got the upper hand, going ahead in 13 minutes when eventual player of the match Joanne Gillanders converted a controversial penalty.

The key to the game however came just before the break when Garry manager Ewan Cameron switched full-centre Leona Falconer up to full-forward and her pace saw her get three goals in five minutes off a tiring Ardnamurchan backline.

After the break Glengarry’s dominance continued with a brace from Elaine Cameron and a single from Emily Gordon while Ardnamurchan’s Annie Macdonald finally got her side on the scoresheet with a last-minute strike.