OBAN Camanachd’s 2-0 victory on Saturday over Kyles Athletic at Taynuilt in the final of the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup brings shinty’s oldest trophy back to the West Highland town for the first time since 2005.

First played for in 1879, the Cup, sponsored this year for the first time by Scottish Seafarms, is the premier trophy for senior clubs in shinty’s southern area. Although Oban Camanachd have won it on 18 previous occasions, this victory comes after a fallow period which was as concerning for team manager Ian Hay as it was for the side’s loyal supporters.

Hay said: “It’s about time we got our hands on some silverware. We have certainly been knocking at the door for the past two years but Kyles always seemed to have that little extra. This year, coming into the game I had a good feeling and perhaps too the older boys in the side are more used to these occasions. They were all up for it and played well. All I hope now is that this will give the club a wee boost and we can push on from here.”

If Oban were up for the challenge, it certainly didn’t seem as if holders Kyles were ever fully focused until late in the second half when, two goals behind and a man down after half-back Andrew King had been red-carded, they made a belated attempt to get back into the match. By then, it was much too late, and lacking the invention which is normally their trademark, Kyles could find no way past a resolute Oban defence in which teenage goalkeeper Cameron Sutherland and eventual man of the match Daniel Sloss were excellent.

The real damage was done early in the first half when the pacy Oban forwards put the Kyles defence under a period of sustained pressure and forced them to defend a series of corners. The breakthrough came in 11 minutes when one of these corners taken from the right by half forward David Lafferty was stopped in the air by Oban’s top scorer Andrew MacCuish, who then slickly knocked the ball past Kyles’ keeper John Whyte for the opener.

Oban maintained their presence in attack for the next period, restricting Kyles – who were badly missing injured striker Roddy Macdonald – to one solitary attack, which saw Scott MacDonald’s rushed attempt going wide.

Oban doubled their lead in 32 minutes when, with Kyles defender Cammy Keith and Oban‘s Daniel MacVicar deadlocked over the ball, MacCuish nipped in to play the ball wide to winger Aidan Macintyre. Macintyre, the sole survivor from Oban’s 2005 cup-winning side, then cut it back across the D where MacCuish was on hand to score from close range.

Kyles came a little more into the game just before the break but their only real effort, which came from centre Grant Irvine, was once again wide of the mark.

After the restart, with Oban seemingly less inclined to push forward, Kyles began to see a greater share of the play, particularly when manager James Perlich pushed veteran Irvine into an attacking role. Kyles managed to force a series of corners and Sutherland had to be on his toes to keep his goal intact.

Unfortunately for Kyles, just on 65 minutes defender Andrew King was dismissed for violent conduct after a clash with MacCuish – and his side’s chances of retaining the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup for the sixth time in a row left the field with him.