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Captain Keith MacRae delighted with contribution as Kinlochshiel lift Camanachd Cup for the first time

By Andrew Henderson

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Kinlochshiel captain Keith MacRae led the way with three goals as his side lifted the Camanachd Cup for the first time.

That it was historic was already a given considering that ’Shiel had never made it to the final of the competition before, but they went one step further to make sure their name would forever be etched into the record book.

For MacRae, it was a family affair as he had his brothers alongside him in the Kinlochshiel side helping him to a final that dreams are made of with three of his own personal moments of glory.

Hat tricks have been hard enough for him to come by, so to get one on the sport’s biggest stage, left MacRae over the moon.

“I can’t remember the last time I got a hat trick to be honest,” MacRae said.

“Obviously with Covid it has been a few years, so they don’t come that often for me. To get one in the Camanachd Cup final, I was delighted, I’ll take that every day of the week.

Club captain Keith MacRae lifts the Camanachd Cup for Kinlochshiel after scoring a hat trick in the final.
Club captain Keith MacRae lifts the Camanachd Cup for Kinlochshiel after scoring a hat trick in the final.

“The other guys did all the work – it seemed to be the way of it that I was just the one there to put them in the back of the net.

“Every one of them fell nicely. Sometimes I’ll miss quite a few chances, but I think I only got three last Saturday.

“I managed to take them all, so I was delighted.”

The Balmacara outfit did not have things all their own way, as opponents Lovat scored an equaliser on the brink of half-time that could have changed the course of the match – but that was where manager Johnston Gill and the senior players earned their keep.

“I think we played quite well in the first half, but they got the goal right at the end of that half which put us
into the training room with some heads down,” MacRae said.

“We thought we had done enough to be winning a bit more comfortably, we had the lion’s share of possession, so going in equal was a bit upsetting.

“Johnston just said to us to go and win the half.

“If we won that half, we would win the Camanachd Cup. A lot of the older boys had a word with the younger ones and told them to switch on. It was 45 minutes, and that’s it.”

Kinlochshiel were supported by a large number of fans who made the journey to Mossfield in Oban, and even now MacRae finds it difficult to believe what happened.

“It was amazing, it’s not really sunk in as yet,” he added.

“On the bus you could see all the kids waving and cheering you on, which was a bit strange, but it means a lot. I think it’s a big confidence booster for the whole club.”

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