TALENTED youngsters with Aberdour Shinty Club are amongst the country's best after they qualified to play at a national competition.

Teams of P4/P5s - who are eligible to compete again next year - and P6/7s who play with the club travelled to Fort William last week to participate in the National Indoor Finals, with the latter reaching the semi-finals.

The teams, who both also won their respective Central Scotland winter indoor league competitions, reached the prestigious finals day by winning their regional qualifiers.

They both went on to represent the central region at the event, in which the P4/5s placed fourth in their group, and the P6/7s narrowly missed out on a place in the final after a thrilling semi-final with Glenurquhart.

Lisa MacColl, the founder of Aberdour Shinty Club, explained: "We were the winners from central, and then you think you've got Skye, Wester Ross, Lochaber, Oban, Mid-Argyll, all these places, Inverness, Badenoch - you've got all the top teams from every area attending.

"As we said to them at the start, you guys are already winners, because you guys are the winners from each of the 10 areas of Scotland. You're essentially the best of the best.

The P4/5s finished fourth in their group, but there was two groups of five, and they can go next year. Bearing in mind they won everything locally at that age group, they will then be able to participate in the next school year as a team again, hopefully qualify again, and they'll be a group of P4/5s instead of P3/4s, and that will make a huge difference.

"The P6/7s, we know from watching them that, when they're on form, they're on form, but when their heads go down, their heads go down. We were thinking it just depends on the team that turns up, but they were tremendous.

"They were so unlucky in the semi-final. They were 2-0 up, then they got caught off-guard, lost two goals, then they went 3-2 up, and then Glenurquhart came back for three all.

"Archie Stewart, one of the boys in our P6/7 team, the shots he was hitting, he couldn't have hit them any harder that day. He was scoring amazing goals, their keeper saved one, and then he went for the rebound, and the keeper saved it again. Then he had another saved and they sneaked a fourth goal.

"It was a really exciting semi-final and there wasn't a third/fourth play-off, so the top two teams played in the final, and we finished what I suppose is joint-third.

"It's a brilliant achievement."

The P4/5s won all 17 of their winter league matches, and all five of their regional qualifiers, whilst the P6/7s were pushed close in their winter league by Glasgow Gaelic School.

"Our P6/7s, at the start of the year, we weren't really sure how they'd do but, actually, they have just come on leaps and bounds," Lisa added.

"Both the 4/5s and 6/7s won the winter league, won the regional qualifier, and attended the finals. That is a huge success and is fantastic."