ABERDOUR Shinty Club have had a tough start to National Division life but playing against the odds last weekend could set them on a path to improved results.

That’s the hope of head coach Lisa MacColl, who said her men’s firsts were “like watching a different team” when they travelled to Glenurquhart last Saturday.

Promoted in 2019 after winning the Mowi South Division One title – the first league trophy in the club’s history – ‘Dour played one match in what was due to be their debut season in the second tier before Coronavirus stopped sport in 2020.

Last year, they played in a new-look, one-off league set-up of three ‘senior’ leagues before the 2022 season campaign started earlier this month.

A 9-0 home loss to Beauly was far from the ideal start, and was followed on Saturday by a six-goal loss at Glenurquhart.

However, the scoreline doesn’t tell the full tale of ‘Dour’s trip to Drumnadrochit, for which they only had a squad of 13 available the day before the game.

That became 12 due to a positive COVID case on the morning of the match but, rather than not play and forfeit two points, the brave West Fifers took to the field against a team MacColl described as a “strong national league team”.

Despite losing two early goals, Aberdour were putting in a whole-hearted performance, but suffered a huge blow when an injury after 20 minutes saw them forced to play the rest of the match a player down, and with no substitutes available.

Down 3-0 at the break, the visitors kept their opponents out until the final 20 minutes, where they conceded a further three, but MacColl was proud of her team’s efforts.

“In the first game, we were up for it, but we didn’t show up,” she said.

“We just didn’t believe we could do it and it spread throughout the team.

“On Saturday, we were missing a few. We spoke with the guys and we decided to go with 13, then at the last minute, we had a COVID call-off.

“Rather than lose two points, and be in a more demoralising position, we decided to play the game. In terms of their work-rate, it was like watching a different team.

“They spent the game thinking that they were in it; they might not win it, but they were competing.”

Yesterday, Aberdour hosted Skye Camanachd at Silver Sands in a 2.30pm throw-up, while the seconds were due at Oban Celtic in South Division Two. The ladies, meanwhile, are unbeaten after two matches in the National Division.