THE future's bright for Aberdour Shinty Club after a team of their talented kids reached the semi-finals of a national competition.

A Primary 6/7 team from the club were in action at the National First Shinty Finals 2019, held in Fort William, which brought together more than 150 of the country's best young players to compete for Primary 5 and Primary 7 titles.

Aberdour qualified for the indoor event thanks to a strong performance in the Central Scotland Youth Shinty Association regional competition, and went on to perform admirably against some of Scotland's top teams.

Playing in the Primary 7 competition alongside 10 other teams, Aberdour were placed in Section B and edged out a strong Kyles Athletic/Strachur side to clinch second spot and a semi-final with Portree Gaelic School, who topped Section A with maximum points.

The West Fifers found themselves 3-0 down early on but, displaying great character and skill, they pulled the score back to 3-2 and had momentum going into the latter stages of the game.

Unfortunately for Aberdour, they ran out of time to find an equaliser as they were defeated narrowly by a Portree side who lifted the trophy after an undefeated tournament.

Proud coach Keith Chamberlain, who is also the club's chairperson, commented: "They were representing the whole of central Scotland after finishing as champions in the regional qualifiers, and managed to get out of the group.

"That was a good achievement, only losing to the eventual winners, and I knew they were capable of doing it. Against Portree, the score was only 3-2, but if we had a wee bit more of the rub of the green and more time, we could have beaten them. Their coach said that it was the toughest match that they had.

"We're taking on the nation's best and are beating them. It is a conveyor belt and we have a developmental pathway to nurture them and show they can achieve senior shinty status."

Lisa MacColl, who founded the club in 2001 and is head coach of the senior men's first team, added: "They went up last year but had a bit more experience this time.

"They're a wee bit older and did really well to get to the semi-final. They finished third overall and it's good to see their progress even more this year."