Oban Camanachd’s 3-0 victory over Kyles Athletic at Mossfield sees them through to the final of this year’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup in Fort William on September 14. There they will face a formidable foe in holders Newtonmore, who will be aiming to win shinty’s most iconic trophy for the fourth time in a row.

It is a challenge welcomed by Oban Camanachd manager Stephen Sloss. “Big games are coming at us thick and fast at this time of the season but these are what you play shinty for. We are now in the final of two national trophies. Next week we meet Kingussie in the final of the Macaulay Cup, and while we have won the Celtic Society Cup already, that is a south area trophy. We have to be looking at a victory on the national stage.

“I was happy with the win against Kyles, particularly with how our defence played, but we know we’ll have to play better in the weeks to come.”

Despite the post-match concerns, the Oban front line started this match in dominant fashion, pinning back the Kyles’ defence for the opening quarter. In that period, though, Oban showed neat interplay which created chances and forced the Kyles’ defence to concede a series of corners.

The nearest they came to a breakthrough was when a poorly controlled stop by keeper John Whyte caused confusion as it broke across the face of Kyles’ goal, before defender Neil MacVicar scrambled it away for a corner.

At that stage, Kyles’ manager Dunky Kerr strengthened his centre line, pulling the experienced Grant Irvine back to the middle and putting Robbie Macleod in at wing-centre. The result was that Kyles then began to see more of the ball up front and strikes from first Thomas Whyte and then Rupert Williamson came close. Oban still continued to press, but with the exception of a chance denied to youngster Daniel MacVicar by a superb intervention by Kyles’ half-back Andy King, they made little progress.

At the back, Oban were composed and when questions were asked of their teenage keeper Cammy Sutherland he had the answers to hand.

The opening minute of the second half started with Oban once again pushing forward – and this time they made the early pressure count when a corner taken by Scott MacMillan was pulled down by half-forward Daniel Cameron. The Scotland international controlled the ball and kept his composure to slip it past John Whyte for the opener. Kyles fought back immediately but as previously found Oban keeper Sutherland hard to beat while full-back Daniel Madej continued things tight at the edge of the D.

After coming close when a strike by Andrew MacCuish was somehow played on to the post by Whyte, Oban eventually doubled their lead in the 70th minute when a weak clearance by MacVicar from yet another corner again fell kindly for Cameron and he slipped the ball home from close range to make it 2-0 for Oban.

Kyles immediately switched former top scorer Roddy Macdonald from defence to attack, replacing him with substitute Calum Miller – and went for broke. Unfortunately though they did have chances, none, except one which Macdonald fired over, were clear-cut.

Having over-extended themselves , they lost a further goal in the 89th minute when a low shot from distance from MacCuish somehow found its way past Whyte into the net to make the final score 3-0.

A disappointing afternoon for Kyles certainly – but for Oban Camanachd greater challenges await.