ABERDOUR’S Camanachd Cup hopes are over for another year – despite not hitting a ball in anger on Saturday.

Lisa MacColl’s side had been due to travel to Kilmallie, near Fort William, for their first round tie but the Argyll hosts were awarded a walkover after the West Fifers were unable to raise a team.

‘Dour have been hit by the loss of a number of key players in recent weeks. For last week’s draw at Col Glen they travelled with only 12 players and were without John Martin Philips, Craig Girvan, Alex Mitchell and the injured Tom Abbott, as well as youngsters Jack Mitchell and Craig Grant, who were studying for exams.

With Aberdour’s seconds facing what MacColl described as their “biggest cup game” of the season – a Bullough Cup first round clash at Dunoon Camanachd – MacColl took the decision to not play and ensure the seconds had as strong a team as possible for their match.

She said: “We were four players short at Kyles Athletic and then eight short at Col Glen, so we’ve been pilfering from the second team. We picked up more injuries at Col Glen and the Scottish Cup was one competition too much for us. The second team had their biggest cup game and I didn’t want to rob them of players when they had a decent chance. We’ve also got the Balliemore Cup so I had to weigh up whether to play guys who are not quite ready to come back and would then be struggling.

“I’d rather guys rest for another week before coming back and not take guys up there for the sake of putting a side out.”

Aberdour’s decision to ensure a strong second team travelled to Dunoon was rewarded in style as they pulled off a fine 3-1 win to reach the quarter-finals.

The contest was only 10 minutes old when Girvan fired them ahead and just 60 seconds later, Chris Bowerman produced a cool finish to double the lead.

Niamh Donnelly made it 3-0 a minute before the break with a terrific 25-yarder low into the net and, although Duncan Smart pulled a goal back early in the second half, Aberdour saw out victory to set up a last-eight tie with Kyles Athletic seconds.

MacColl continued: “They deserved to win and when they have a true second team playing, they stand a decent chance. They did well and Craig (Callaghan, coach) was delighted. He was impressed by some performances; Ian Fullerton is only 14 and he’s not only holding his own, he’s standing out. Ali Abbott is only 15 and he’s a mainstay at the back, so it’s good to see the next batch holding their own.”

Aberdour’s first team will be back in cup action with a first trip to National Division side Caberfeidh in the Balliemore Cup quarter-final, while the seconds are in league action at Glasgow Mid Argyll. Throw up for both games is at 3pm and 2.30pm respectively.