Saturday, September 18, 2010
To-day Fort William won the Camanachd Cup for the 4th time in a row at Inverness. This is shinty we are talking about - this cup is the tops, the absolute tops in the sport. I'm telling you this, because a key player in the forward line of the Fort William team is John MacDonald, the husband of Michelle, our housekeeper.
John is the nicest, gentlest, softest sort of chap you could meet, unfailingly polite, always helpful. Except on a shinty pitch.
The game of shinty is older than the recorded history of Scotland. Christianity came after shinty and it is reputed that St Columba tried to pacify the players without success so he turned his attention to a lesser target, the Vikings.
Shinty is based roughly on hockey but with a lot of blood added. You can whack the opponents head, er sorry, ball, with either side of the stick. The hockey stick is kept below waist height but in shinty it was found that you can't do enough damage that way so they let you, indeed encourage you, to hit the ball in the air.
To start the game they throw the ball in the air and hit it. If the referee is English they throw him instead.
The game is absolutely splendid to watch, and we are very proud to know John. They have won it four years in a row, and it gets harder every year. Everyone, without exception are after Fort William. They don't win everything in the League, but they do go for this Cup, big time.
Well done, really good result. Could you do it a bit earlier than the last minute another time please lads?
Masses of information about Glencoe in our Home page
About Fort William
Hotels and B+Bs from Oban to Fort William
Walks around our Glencoe cottage beside the loch
Autumn short breaks in cottage, £200 off
Ben Nevis walking, a slog, but at least you can say you've done it