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Pitchero Club

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Club History

A Brief History of the Club

Beauly Shinty Club sometimes known as Beauly Camanachd Club has been in existence as a fully constituted club since 1892 although there are references to the sport being played in the area some fifty years before that date. Just a year after Beauly’s formation the Camanachd Association, the sport’s governing body, was established and within a year Beauly became a member of the association.

The sport as we know it today was in its infancy but it attracted high calibre individuals with sound administrative experience, many of them from the Beauly locality. Prominent among them was Captain Archibald MacRa Chisholm of Glassburn near Struy who is credited with modernising the game and compiling the first set of printed rules for the sport and he became the first Chieftain of the association.

That local clubs Strathglass, Lovat Beauly, Caberfeidh, Inverness and Glenurquhart were at the forefront of the sport in these early days was further evidenced when Lord Lovat became the first President of the association in 1893 and followed Captain Chisholm as Chieftain, serving from 1898 to 1933.

Beauly’s contribution to the sport grew quickly and in 1897 the club convincingly won the Camanachd Cup, introduced a year earlier, with a 6-0 win over Spean Bridge side Brae Lochaber. A year later Beauly again won the competition with a 2-1 win over Inveraray in Inverness in a game where Beauly despite producing a below par performance confirmed their status as the pre-eminent team in the sport and in beating the “Southern“ champions became undisputed national champions.

Lord Lovat was later to pay tribute to Beauly’s fitness and credited the team with "introducing the passing game to northern shinty". Beauly’s next success came in 1899 when they won the MacTavish Cup, introduced a year earlier by Inverness seeds man Alexander MacTavish beating Inverness 7-3 in the final.

Beauly continued to play a leading role in the sport and in 1905 won the MacTavish Cup for the second time. Without doubt the club’s finest year came in 1913 when the team under the captaincy of Alasdair Paterson won both the MacTavish and Camanachd Cups, becoming the first club to secure both prestigious trophies in the same year.

The Great War of 1914-1918 saw the team suffer a heavy toll and Alasdair and his brother Donald both perished at the Battle of Festubert in 1915. The devastation and huge losses of the First World War proved to be very challenging for the club but by 1922 Beauly were once again in the vanguard of the sport. In that year they travelled to Oban to meet Kyles Athletic in the final of the Camanachd Cup but a below par performance saw them lose 6-3. Sadly that has proved to be the club’s last appearance in a Camanachd Cup final and in the years following the Kyles’ defeat success proved to be elusive.

In the wake of the Second World War the green shoots of recovery began to sprout and by the early fifties a vibrant young team was beginning to emerge. Over a seven year period they dominated the junior level of the sport winning the Sir William Sutherland and Strathdearn Cups four times. Shinty had returned in the forefront of village activities. The club flourished and slowly began to compete with great rivals Lovat who had enjoyed tremendous success at the top level in the post war era.

The next major honour for the club came in 1972 when the senior side team won the MacGillivray Senior League - shinty’s top league at the time - and in the same year the reserve side won the MacGillivray Junior League.

In 1986 the club relocated from its beloved Ferry Park which had become too susceptible to flooding to a new pitch in the heart of the village. The new venue was named Braeview Park and it came with a playing surface to match any in the sport. In 2005 a new clubhouse was added making Braeview one of the best equipped venues in shinty. The club has continued to enjoy success at all levels and recently formed a junior section named Beauly and Ord Junior Shinty club which offers children form both villages coaching and participation. The club celebrated its centenary in 1992 and plans are being drawn up to mark the 125th year anniversary of the formation of the club.

Where next?

Senior Honours Camanachd Cup 1896/97: Beauly 5 – Brae-Lochaber 0 1897/98: Beauly 2 – Inverary 1 1912/13: B