ABERDOUR’S chances of winning South Division One are all but over after they lost 3-2 to Ballachulish at Silver Sands on Saturday.

Despite dominating for long periods, Lisa Norman’s side failed to capitalise on opportunities that came their way as strikes from Lewis Nicol and Kevin Latimer were not enough to secure the points to keep ‘Dour in the title hunt.

Defeat was a bitter blow for the hosts, who now need to win each of their final three matches and hope other results go their way to stand any chance but Norman told Press Sport that the club has “a lot to look forward to” after another year of progress.

After finishing fifth last term, they secured their first major cup triumph with victory in the South of Scotland Plate and she has urged her team to end the season on a high with a top-three finish.

She said, “The league was never a massive focus for us and although we still have an outside chance, if we finish in the top three then I will be happy with what the team have produced this year. Looking at how we’ve progressed, I can see a lot of positives in that now we can go goals down and come back, whereas we’d struggle to do that. If we can keep this team together for another year then the club has a lot to look forward to, especially with the seconds playing in the Bullough Plate final this weekend.

“It is the first time that a club from the south of Scotland has had two teams playing in both plate finals in the same season, so it will be a great occasion. On Saturday it was a shame for the guys as we stuck to our task and played shinty, but it just didn’t go our way. Just before half-time they got a really scrappy goal, and if we hadn’t conceded I think we would’ve come out with the advantage playing downhill and with the wind behind us.

“Maybe we should’ve scored more than the two goals we got and our guys were looking for the perfect goals. But it was just one of those days and overall I was pleased with the performance as we were the better team.” The club received a further boost recently when five of their youngsters spent a week training with some of country’s brightest prospects at a national development camp.

Finlay Williamson, Brian Toal, Tom Abbott, Finlay MacNee and Jack Mitchell were part of a group of more than 60 14-17-year-olds to be put through their paces by national development officer Ronald Ross, a former Kingussie and Scotland captain.

The players were nominated to take part by the club and received specialist training from the Camanachd Association coaches, based around fitness, conditioning and technique-focused drills.

Norman added, “It was a great week for them and is good that they can be recognised alongside their peers in their own age group in this way.” The first team are not in action this weekend due to the seconds’ Bullough Plate final against Glenorchy. The match will take place at Strachur with a 1pm throw-up.