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The Oban Times - - Front Page -

THE MA­RINE Har­vest Pre­mier­ship ti­tle race took an­other twist and the Aberdein Con­si­dine Suther­land Cup Fi­nal between Lochside Rovers and Kin­gussie’s sec­ond team was post­poned be­cause of a wa­ter­logged pitch on Satur­day July 29.

Aberdein Con­si­dine Suther­land Cup Fi­nal

Lochside Rovers P Kin­gussie P There was dis­ap­point­ment for Lochside Rovers and the Kin­gussie sec­ond team as the Aberdein Con­si­dine Suther­land Cup was post­poned at 11am on the morn­ing of the game as An Aird was wa­ter­logged.

De­spite a ma­jor ef­fort from Fort Wil­liam ground staff, heavy rain over the pre­vi­ous 24 hours left too much wa­ter on the sur­face.

Ma­rine Har­vest Pre­mier­ship

Kyles Ath­letic 2 Kin­lochshiel 2 Ti­tle hope­fuls Kin­lochshiel and Kyles Ath­letic were sched­uled to meet at Kirk­ton and a Friday evening pitch in­spec­tion ruled the game on. How­ever, heavy overnight rain left the field un­playable on Satur­day morn­ing so the match was re­versed to Tighnabru­aich with a 4pm start.

In­jury con­tin­ued to rule out Kyles’ Innes MacDon­ald, whilst Dunkie Kerr was on hol­i­day. Cammy Keith re­turned to the bench af­ter in­jury and came on in the sec­ond half.

Kin­lochshiel’s Colin MacDiarmid sat out the fi­nal match of his five-game suspension.

Gordy MacDon­ald’s knee in­jury means he will strug­gle to play again this sea­son, but Oliver MacRae re­turned.

Kin­lochshiel took the lead af­ter five min­utes. John MacRae col­lected the ball in a lot of space and drilled a shot into the bot­tom cor­ner of the net.

Hav­ing scored early in the first half, Kin­lochshiel started the sec­ond pe­riod in a sim­i­lar fash­ion. John MacRae played in a good through-ball and Jor­dan Fraser slipped it past keeper John Whyte to make it 2- 0 with 48 min­utes played.

Kin­lochshiel claimed for a penalty soon af­ter when John MacRae went down in­side the ‘D’ but ref­eree Lachie Wood turned away their pleas.

Kyles Ath­letic tal­is­man Roddy MacDon­ald started the match in de­fence but moved up front as the hosts at­tempted to mount a come­back.

Grant Irvine halved the deficit on 82 min­utes. Kin­lochshiel keeper Scott Kennedy made a good, low save and the ball bounced through a few play­ers to Grant Irvine around the penalty spot. He struck it low and hard, through a ruck of play­ers, into the bot­tom right cor­ner of the net.

Kyles con­tin­ued to press, forc­ing a se­ries of cor­ners, and Scott Kennedy had to come off his line twice to foil Roddy MacDon­ald and Scott MacDon­ald in one- on- one sit­u­a­tions.

Kennedy came to the res­cue again as the match moved into in­jury time when he saved from Rob­bie MacLeod, but the ball found its way to an un­marked Sandy MacKen­zie at the edge of the ‘D’ and he smashed a shot into the bot­tom right cor­ner of the net to make it 2-2.

The share of the spoils means Kin­lochshiel stay two points clear of Kyles at the top of the ta­ble, but the Tighnabru­aich men have a game in hand. New­ton­more, now just three points be­hind Kyles, are also very much in the mix.

Kin­lochshiel and Kyles Ath­letic look for­ward to home games this week­end with Kin­lochshiel host­ing Kil­mallie at Kirk­ton and Kyles wel­com­ing Lochaber to Tighnabru­aich. New­ton­more 6 Kil­mallie 0 New­ton­more ex­tended their win­ning run to seven matches by beat­ing bot­tom side Kil­mallie 6- 0 at The Ei­lan.

The venue was switched on Satur­day morn­ing af­ter heavy rain left Canal Parks un­playable.

In­jury de­prived New­ton­more of Drew MacDon­ald and Chris Sel­lar and Evan Men­zies served the sec­ond game of his twom­atch ban. Paul MacArthur and David Ma­cLean were on the sub­sti­tutes’ bench.

Kil­mallie de­fender Pe­ter Carmichael re­turned af­ter suspension and Steven Ste­wart was back af­ter in­jury. Stephen McAlis­ter was still out in­jured.

Although the out­come of this match was never in doubt, Kil­mallie started well, man-mark­ing New­ton­more’s dan­ger­men to good ef­fect.

New­ton­more took the lead on 13 min­utes. Innes Black­hall gave away a need­less free-hit on the half way line when he was pe­nalised for a reck­less swing af­ter slip­ping to the ground. Michael Rus­sell played the free-hit into the Kil­mallie goal area where Glen MacK­in­tosh turned his man and un­leashed a pow­er­ful shot, beat­ing Kil­mallie keeper Shane Gil­lies at his right-hand post.

New­ton­more started to dom­i­nate the cen­tre line and ref­eree John An­gus Gil­lies played ad­van­tage fol­low­ing a dan­ger­ous swing and, with the ball played up to the home for­ward line, Jamie Robin­son scored his third goal in two games to make it 2- 0 with 24 min­utes on the clock.

New­ton­more started the sec­ond half as they fin­ished the first pe­riod and the game was won on 47 min­utes when Glen MacK­in­tosh got past a de­fender and drilled a shot in­side the keeper’s left-hand post.

Scot­land U17 cap­tain Iain Robin­son scored the goal of the match on 58 min­utes. New­ton­more played the ball out from de­fence to sub­sti­tute David Ma­cLean on the right wing. Ma­cLean sent the ball down the line to Fraser MacK­in­tosh who found Glen MacK­in­tosh. He chipped the ball to the back post where the on-rush­ing Iain Robin­son took the ball down, then took it round the keeper and slot­ted it home to make it 4- 0.

Fraser MacK­in­tosh notched a well- de­served goal on 71 min­utes. He put in a tremen­dous amount of work in the for­ward line and his ef­forts were re­warded when he ri­fled a 20 -yard screamer past the help­less Shane Gil­lies to make it 5- 0.

Kil­mallie’s day went from bad to worse with four min­utes re­main­ing when de­fender Pe­ter Carmichael stretched out at a New­ton­more ball into the goal area and in­ad­ver­tently de­flected it past keeper Shane Gil­lies into the net.

There were a num­ber of good New­ton­more per­for­mances. Steven MacDon­ald and Rory Kennedy were solid at the back, whilst Michael Rus­sell and Iain Richard­son were ex­cel­lent in the cen­tre line. In­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion will surely fol­low for Rus­sell if he main­tains his lev­els of per­for­mance since his switch to full cen­tre. Fraser Mack­in­tosh and Iain Robin­son caused the Kil­mallie de­fence prob­lems through­out the match.

Steven Ste­wart and Martin Ste­wart were Kil­mallie’s top play­ers on the day.

The match was played in good spir­its with ref­eree John An­gus Gil­lies keep­ing his cards in his pock­ets.

Next up for New­ton­more is this Friday night’s Bade­noch derby against Kin­gussie at The Dell. The 6pm throw-up will be broad­cast live on BBC Alba. Glas­gow Mid Ar­gyll 2 Lochaber 4 Lochaber came out on top against Glas­gow Mid Ar­gyll, win­ning 4-2 in their rel­e­ga­tion four-poin­ter at Peter­son Park, Yoker.

GMA’s Mark Bain was free to play but will miss this com­ing week­end’s home match with Oban Ca­manachd through suspension.

Lochaber’s Stu­art Cal­li­son col­lected a one-game ban for a dis­ci­plinary points ac­cu­mu­la­tion.

It was a wet after­noon in Glas­gow with a fairly strong wind but the pitch was in good con­di­tion.

Lochaber started against the wind but took the lead af­ter two min­utes with Con­nor Sweeney tak­ing on the wing back be­fore coolly slot­ting the ball past the keeper to make it 1- 0.

That was the only goal of the first half. Neil MacDon­ald made it 2- 0 10 min­utes af­ter the re-start when he held off the GMA full back be­fore send­ing a re­verse an­gled drive past Robert Dun­nings in the GMA goal.

Brian Slat­tery pulled a goal back with a shot from deep on the hour mark and an even spell of play fol­lowed

It was a tough, fair and com­pet­i­tive match with strong tack­ling from both sides and it was only in the fi­nal 15 min­utes that Lochaber put the game away.

Iain Fyfe made it 3-1 10 min­utes from time when he col­lected a re­verse pass from Neil MacDon­ald be­fore smash­ing the ball home.

A sec­ond from Con­nor Sweeney made it 4-1 when he latched onto a long Ryan John­stone shy be­fore crack­ing the ball home past a help­less keeper.

GMA’s Ewan Mur­ray net­ted a minute later when his high ball for­ward looked to be go­ing wide but, with shouts from vis­it­ing de­fend­ers to leave it, the wind caught the ball and curled it into the net.

Lochaber de­served the win but at no point dur­ing the 90 min­utes did GMA let their heads drop with vis­it­ing keeper Cal­lum MacDon­ald tested more than once.

At the end of the match, a happy Lochaber man­ager Ally Ferguson said: ‘ We played well with good team work and ef­fort from all the boys against tough op­po­nents who played some great shinty at times. We’ve gained an­other two points in what is a very tight league. I’m very pleased with how we played and the fi­nal re­sult.’

Lochaber now go above Glenurquhart to sev­enth in the ta­ble, level on points with sixth-placed Oban Ca­manachd, although they have played five games more. Glas­gow Mid Ar­gyll wel­come Oban Ca­manachd to Yoker this Satur­day whilst Lochaber head south again, this time to Tighnabru­aich to play ti­tle chal­lengers Kyles Ath­letic. Lo­vat 4 Glenurquhart 3 Lo­vat twice came from be­hind to beat lo­cal ri­vals Glenurquhart 4-3 in their 1pm throw-up at Bal­gate.

This was the fifth meet­ing between the sides this sea­son and Lo­vat’s only vic­tory was a 3- 0 suc­cess in the Tul­loch Homes Ca­manachd Cup.

Lo­vat boss Fraser Gal­lacher was back from hol­i­day so took up his cus­tom­ary po­si­tion in the dug- out. He re­sisted the temp­ta­tion to in­clude new sign­ings Marc MacLach­lan and Dun­can Davidson from Beauly and Bute re­spec­tively. Lo­vat young­ster Scott MacKen­zie faces a pe­riod on the side­lines af­ter suf­fer­ing a bro­ken wrist and a bro­ken bone in his arm against New­ton­more seven days ear­lier. Calum Ma­cAulay was also un­avail­able so Bai­ley MacKay started with Craig Main­land at full cen­tre.

Glenurquhart’s Ally MacK­in­tosh was back af­ter suspension but man­ager Iain MacLeod was with­out Fraser Heath, Con­nor Go­labeck, Michael Fraser and James Hur­wood.

Glenurquhart made a bright start with Oliver Black and James MacPher­son both forc­ing good saves from Lo­vat goalie Stu­art MacDon­ald.

It was Lo­vat who went in front on nine min­utes though when an un­marked Greg Mathe­son crashed a pow­er­ful shot through the keeper’s legs and into the net.

With wind blow­ing across the park, nei­ther team was able to grab the up­per-hand so it was no sur­prise when Glenurquhart lev­elled on 28 min­utes. The ball was de­flected into the air fol­low­ing a Glenurquhart cor­ner and Oliver Black volleyed the drop­ping ball into the net to make it 1-1.

There were a num­ber of stop­pages dur­ing the first half which didn’t al­low the game to get into a rhythm. Ref­eree Innes Wood kept a tight grip of pro­ceed­ings with An­drew Cor­ri­gan and John Barr col­lect­ing early book­ings.

The end-to- end na­ture of the con­test con­tin­ued and James MacPher­son gave Glenurquhart the lead on 33 min­utes. A free­hit close to the penalty spot was played wide to James MacPher- son who sent a first-time shot low past Stu­art MacDon­ald to make it 2-1.

Lo­vat pushed for a lev­eller and when Greg Mathe­son found just enough space to get a shot away on 41 min­utes, his ef­fort was ex­pertly saved with his right foot by Glenurquhart goalie Stu­art MacK­in­tosh.

Lo­vat had a great chance to draw level a minute be­fore the break when ref­eree Innes Wood awarded them a penalty af­ter con­sult­ing with goal judge Billy MacLeod. Stu­art MacK­in­tosh got his hand to Greg Mathe­son’s spot-hit but couldn’t keep the ball out. How­ever, ref­eree Wood, who had sig­nalled for the penalty to be taken, blew again be­fore the ball was hit and booked Lo­vat’s Lorne MacKay for some­thing he said. Mathe­son lined up the re­take, but keeper MacK­in­tosh saved above his head, just to his left, with his stick.

Lo­vat found an equaliser on 51 min­utes. Greg Mathe­son’s shot was cleared as far as Danny Kelly, who started at buck­shee for­ward, and he tucked the ball low into the net from around the penalty spot.

Glenurquhart re­gained the lead on 58 min­utes with James MacPher­son get­ting his sec­ond goal of the game.

The ball de­flected high into the air and, as it fell, MacPher­son caught it on the vol­ley from a cen­tral po­si­tion 25 yards from goal. The for­mer Lo­vat player’s crack­ing fin­ish beat keeper MacDon­ald to make it 3-2.

Glenurquhart were re­duced to 11 play­ers on 63 min­utes when John Barr was pe­nalised for a chal­lenge, although the sec­ond yel­low card may have been for per­sis­tent foul­ing.

Lo­vat strug­gled to take ad­van­tage of the ex­tra player; at times bunch­ing around the Glenurquhart goal.

They were al­most caught out with 15 min­utes re­main­ing when Glenurquhart broke for­ward and James MacPher­son’s shot pro­duced an ex­cel­lent Stu­art MacDon­ald save.

Just as it looked as if there would be no way through, Lo­vat found a lev­eller with just a minute re­main­ing. Glenurquhart had pressed for­ward, hold­ing the ball up front, but a long Thomas Fraser clear­ance out of de­fence put the home side on the at­tack.

They took ad­van­tage of the space as Lewis Tawse fed Greg Mathe­son and he beat his marker be­fore run­ning in to touch the ball past keeper MacK­in­tosh to make it 3-3.

The goal set up an ex­plo­sive fin­ish. With the match a cou­ple of min­utes into stop­page time, a long, high ball from the Lo­vat mid­field dropped into the Glenurquhart de­fence. A vis­it­ing de­fender went to shy the ball away in the air but was chal­lenged by Greg Mathe­son. Glenurquhart claimed the Scot­land for­ward had played the de­fender’s stick, forc­ing him to miss the ball. Mathe­son didn’t stop to de­bate the mat­ter and, as he turned, found him­self in a 50-50 chal­lenge with Stu­art MacK­in­tosh to win the ball. Mathe­son got there first and he knocked the ball home to make it 4-3.

Both camps were spo­ken to fol­low­ing some feisty ex­changes as the ref­eree tried to calm things down and it prob­a­bly helped there were just sec­onds re­main­ing.

Had it not been for some dropped points ear­lier in the sea­son, Lo­vat could have been part of the ti­tle race. Drew Howie did a thor­ough job at full back, Craig Main­land won a lot of ball in mid­field and Greg Mathe­son’s goals would make a dif­fer­ence to any side.

Five suc­ces­sive league de­feats have sucked Glenurquhart into the rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle. They drop to eighth place, just three points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone, and they have played more games than both Glas­gow Mid Ar­gyll and Kil­mallie. Their young­sters Fin­lay Robert­son and Oliver Black give them hope for the fu­ture.

Ma­rine Har­vest Na­tional Di­vi­sion

Oban Celtic 1 Caber­feidh 6 Caber­feidh on top of the Ma­rine Har­vest Na­tional Di­vi­sion, but they had to come from a goal be­fore beat­ing Oban Celtic 6-1 at Moss­field.

This was al­ways go­ing to be an up­hill bat­tle for Oban Celtic against a team sit­ting un­beaten at the top of the ta­ble. To make mat­ters worse for home boss Kenny Wother­spoon, he had 11 play­ers, in­clud­ing keeper Stephen Davidson, de­fend­ers Ful­ton Ron­ald, David MacInnes, David Hill and John Hill, mid­fielder Andy Hunt and for­wards Neil Carmichael, Lee Askew and Con­nor Howe, un­avail­able.

Caber­feidh’s Ryan MacKay was free of his three-game ban, whilst man­ager Jodi Gorski gave a place to for­mer Lo­vat player Jamie Mathe­son af­ter free-scor­ing per­for­mances for the Caber­feidh sec­onds.

Celtic quickly set­tled into the game and were un­lucky not to take the lead in the first minute when Iain MacKech­nie’s 30yard drive was head­ing for the top cor­ner only to be bril­liantly saved by Caber­feidh keeper Ewan Pilcher.

Celtic didn’t have to wait too long to take the lead and the goal came when a Daniel Madej through ball found Daniel MacMil­lan who shot past the keeper to make it 1- 0 with 18 min­utes played.

Caber­feidh didn’t offer much in at­tack un­til 32 min­utes when a mis­take in the home de­fence al­lowed Craig Mor­ri­son to ri­fle home from a nar­row an­gle.

Caber­feidh took the lead three min­utes later when Jamie Mathe­son jus­ti­fied his in­clu­sion by mak­ing it 2-1 at the break.

Any plans of a Celtic come­back went out the win­dow within 90 sec­onds of the re-start as Martin MacDon­ald made it 3-1.

A glim­mer of hope fol­lowed for the home side when Caber­feidh’s Martin MacDon­ald was sent off by ref­eree Calum Gir­van, re­duc­ing the visi­tors to 11 men.

Pho­to­graph: Neil Pater­son.

Lo­vat’s Daniel Grieve and Martin Main­land close in on Glenurquhart’s James Macpher­son dur­ing last Satur­day’s Ma­rine Har­vest Pre­mier­ship match at Kil­tar­l­ity which the home side won by the odd goal in seven.

Pho­to­graph: Neil Pater­son.

Skye’s James Pringle takes the high road as he at­tempts to block Beauly’s An­drew Mor­ri­son dur­ing last Satur­day’s Na­tional Di­vi­sion match at Brae­view Park which the is­lan­ders won 4-2.

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