Marine Harvest Premiership
Lochaber 0 Kingussie 2
League leaders Kingussie stay top of the table after a Martin Dallas double gave them a 2- 0 win over Lochaber at Spean Bridge.
Barry MacDonald was free to play for Lochaber but will miss his team’s next two matches after passing through the disciplinary points threshold. Keeper Callum MacDonald was back, taking over from Bryn Whittaker in goal.
Kingussie were without injured forwards Savio Genini and James Falconer.
Martin Dallas gave Kingussie the lead with a well-worked goal on 19 minutes. Dallas collected a ball played up the right, almost on the by-line. He then cut across goal, linking up with the other forwards, before sending the ball low into the net from the left side of the ‘D’.
It was Martin Dallas again who made it 2- 0 on 41 minutes. This time Chris Holleysong floated the ball into the danger area. Ryan Borthwick fought with the full back for possession and the ball broke to Dallas on the right who struck a shot low into the net.
Lochaber were still very much in the game though and it took some excellent goalkeeping from Kingussie custodian Craig Dawson to earn his third clean sheet in four league matches. James Hutchison was also his reliable self at the back.
Callum MacDonald had to look lively on a couple of occasions in the home goal but Kingussie will be delighted to take the points ahead of this weekend’s home meeting with Lovat.
Glasgow Mid Argyll 0 Kinlochshiel 1
Kinlochshiel returned from Glasgow with both points after beating Glasgow Mid Argyll 1- 0 at Yoker. Brian Slattery recovered from injury to line up for GMA but they were missing Mark Bain and Stuart Reid who were both on holiday. Iain Luke was on the bench as he works his way back to fitness from a broken hand.
Kinlochshiel forward John MacRae was free of suspension after missing the MacTavish Cup win over Kingussie a week earlier whilst brothers Donald and Ally Nixon were also back.
The match was played on a difficult surface and the only goal of the game came three minutes before the break. Some great wing play from Jordan Fraser saw him play the ball to Oliver MacRae who blasted a shot high into the net to give ’Shiel a 1- 0 lead.
The win gives Kinlochshiel maximum points from their three league matches so far, leaving them a point behind leaders Kingussie with a game in hand.
Kinlochshiel don’t have a game this Saturday, whilst GMA will be tested at home against Newtonmore.
Glenurquhart 2 Lovat 1
Glenurquhart go third in the table as they came from a goal down to beat Lovat 2-1 at Blairbeg.
John Barr and Andrew Corrigan were in a strong ‘Glen’ side, lining up with Euan Lloyd and Lachie Smith in defence.
Lovat had Danny Kelly at full back and Calum MacAulay returned, starting on the bench.
The home side had an early chance to take the lead when Lovat keeper Stuart MacDonald was penalised by referee Calum Girvan for falling on the ball. Neale Reid hit the penalty well, but Stuart MacDonald made a brilliant save with his stick.
Glenurquhart had made the better start but when Lovat took a grip of the midfield, ‘ Glen’ boss Iain MacLeod showed he wasn’t afraid to make early changes and, with 15 minutes played, James MacPherson came on for Arran MacDonald with Connor Golabek dropping back into midfield.
More changes followed as Lovat replaced Graeme MacMillan with Martin Mainland on 26 minutes and Glen’s David MacLennan came on for Callum Smith at full forward on 30 minutes.
The visitors took the lead on 42 minutes. Ryan Ferguson sent a low ball in from the left and Greg Matheson got to it ahead of Lachie Smith. Matheson then sent a well-stuck shot into the net from 12 yards to make it 1- 0.
Lovat almost extended their lead on the stroke of half time when a Lorne MacKay effort hit the base of the post so they had to settle for a 1- 0 lead at the end of a physical, all-action first half.
The second half never hit the heights of the first period and Stuart MacDonald twice saved well to thwart Connor Golabek.
Drew Howie was having a keenly contested battle with his former Lovat team mate James MacPherson. And it was MacPherson who got the equaliser on 63 minutes when he got in front of Howie to crash a dropping ball into the net from an Ally MacKintosh corner on the left. It was a terrific finish which set up an interesting final third of the contest.
Stuart MacDonald again denied Golabek and then MacPherson. The reflex save from Golabek was outstanding as the Scotland goalie stretched his stick to the side to turn Golabek’s low shot over the bar with 77 minutes played.
The winning goal came on 82 minutes. James MacPherson was fouled by Drew Howie. MacPherson then ran away from the goal, taking marker Howie with him.
Fraser Heath spotted the space in the Lovat defence and his run forward was picked out by free-hit taker Neale Reid and Heath scored from inside the ‘D’. Lovat appealed for offside but their claims were waved away by referee Girvan.
There was a late scare for the home support as Lovat pushed for a leveller but stand-in goalie Garry MacKintosh was cool under pressure as he cleared the danger ahead of the on-rushing Lovat forwards, proving he could be difficult to shift when Stuart MacKintosh returns from injury.
The sides meet in the MacTavish Cup quarter finals at the same venue in a fortnight.
Kilmallie P Oban Camanachd P
The game between Kilmallie and Oban Camanachd at Canal Parks was postponed as a mark of respect following the sad passing of former Oban Camanachd player Neil ‘Nonny’ MacInnes.
Oban Camanachd host Glenurquhart this Saturday and should have Gary McKerracher back.
Kilmallie are at home to Kyles Athletic. Michael Rodger is free of suspension but bookings in the league defeat to Glasgow Mid Argyll mean Innes Blackhall and Jordan MacPhee join Craig MacIsaac on the banned list.