Published: 16/11/2017 09:00 - Updated: 14/11/2017 10:59

Flooded fields sees last games called off

THE final two fixtures scheduled in shinty’s Marine Harvest north area leagues were called off due to waterlogged pitches last weekend.

The North Division One fixture involving Kinlochshiel and Beauly at Kirkton was a casualty of the weather, as was Kilmallie’s North Division Two encounter with Inverness at Canal Park.

With there being an agreement with the Camanachd Association to share the points in both cases in addition to a similar ruling being applied for the last three matches in South Division One which also did not go ahead, the 2017 season was officially brought to a close.

The 2018 campaign is set to start on Saturday, March 3.

With the season now officially over, many clubs will be considering their managerial and organisational structures for the 2018 season.

After both their managers intimated they would no longer be continuing in their positions, Lochaber are one such club looking at replacing Ally Ferguson and John Fraser.

Ferguson, after a successful battle against relegation from the Marine Harvest Premiership, has called time on his spell in the hot-seat at Spean Bridge, as has Fraser, who guided the club’s second team towards a runners-up spot in North Division Two.

Lochaber will be hoping to appoint successors at its annual general meeting on December 1.

The shinty community, meanwhile, will be saddened to hear of the death of former referee Brian Davies, who passed away after a long battle with illness on November 10.

Brian was a respected match official and a likeable character, whose commitment to the sport continued long after he retired as a referee.

Although never having played, the former football referee quickly adapted after being persuaded to become a shinty official in the 1980s by the late Willie MacDonald, whose club Ballachulish were temporarily playing their home matches in Kinlochleven where Brian lived.

In a long career, he officiated at two Camanachd Cup finals, Newtonmore’s 5-1 win over Oban Camanachd in Glasgow in 1986 and the 1993 final in at An Aird when Kingussie were 4-0 winners against Oban Camanachd.

After relinquishing his whistle, Brian travelled the country along with Willie Cameron for many years providing expert and jovial goal judge support for referee Graham Cameron.

A further death to sadden the shinty world was that of Douglas (Dougie) McLean, who died last Thursday aged 52 after a brave battle against cancer.

Dougie grew up in Cannich and played for his home club Strathglass then local rivals Glenurquhart in the 1980s.

Dougie also had a spell with Kincraig before moving to the Glasgow area for work reasons where he settled with his wife Carmel and two children.

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