Shinty: Balliemore draw hands Bute an Oban away day

Bute Shinty Club’s 2013 fixture list took on a little more shape this week with the draws for more of the new season’s major cup competitions.

In the Balliemore Cup, which Bute have won on the last two occasions they’ve been eligible to enter, in 2004 and 2011, the islanders were drawn away to Oban Celtic in the first round on April 14, with a home tie against Strachur or Kilmory on May 25 awaiting the winners.

In the AJG Parcels Glasgow Celtic Society Cup, Bute’s first team were given a first round bye, and will play host to either Glasgow Mid Argyll or Kilmory in the second round.

The tie will be played at the Meadows on Saturday, April 20, and the winners will face either Taynuilt or Kyles Athletic in the semi-final.

Bute’s second team, meanwhile, were handed a long trip north to face Beauly in the first round of the Sutherland Cup on April 6, with the winners playing host to either Inverness or Lovat in round two three weeks later.

Finally, the Bullough Cup draw handed Bute’s second team a home tie against local rivals Col-Glen on May 18; the winners of that tie will be away to The Scots, the Army’s shinty side, on June 15.

The last pieces of the sport’s 2013 fixture list are due to fall into place this Friday, February 8, with publication of the full programme of league matches.

* Meanwhile, the Camanachd Association has announced the reintroduction of a National Division One and a reduction in the number of teams in the Orion Group Premiership following a review of the sport’s competitions structure.

Both divisions will comprise eight teams when the revised set-up is introduced at the start of the 2014 season.

The new Marine Harvest National Division One will comprise the bottom two teams in the Orion Group Premiership and the top three from North Division One and South Division One at the end of the 2013 season.

The principal reasons for the changes were to shorten the season for the Orion Group Premiership, which has often not finished until late November, and to introduce a stronger competition in the new Marine Harvest National Division One.

Speaking on the outcome of the review, Camanachd Association Competitions Director, Richard Gall, “I am confident that this is the right option to take forward for the 2014 season.

“I would like to thank the Competitions Review Committee and those who participated in the public consultation.”