The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - THE SCORE - BY BILL McALLISTER

Paul John Mack­in­tosh is stepping down as New­ton­more man­ager – break­ing the news to his play­ers af­ter a 4-3 de­feat from Kyles Ath­letic at The Eilean meant they can­not catch neigh­bours Kin­gussie in the Mowi Premier­ship ti­tle race.

He said: “I in­di­cated to club of­fi­cials some time ago this would be my last sea­son in charge. I’ve done seven years as man­ager and have en­joyed much suc­cess but it’s time to call it a day.

“I de­layed telling the play­ers while we were still in ti­tle con­tention but they’ve now been told of my de­ci­sion. It’s good to bow out with the Ca­manachd Cup back at the club.”

Mack­in­tosh’s role with a tim­ber com­pany has taken him to sev­eral coun­tries this year and work com­mit­ments were a fac­tor in his de­ci­sion.

He leaves with a glittering record of five Ca­manachd Cup tri­umphs in seven sea­sons plus five Premier­ship ti­tles, the MacTav­ish Cup won five times and the Ma­cAulay Cup twice.

His mo­ti­va­tional and or­gan­i­sa­tional skills were ad­mired by the play­ers and the fi­nal game at Kin­lochshiel on Novem­ber 2 will bring down the cur­tain on the Mack­in­tosh era.

New­ton­more pres­i­dent Nor­man Macarthur and his com­mit­tee will be­gin the process of iden­ti­fy­ing a suc­ces­sor tasked with tack­ling the rapid rise of Kin­gussie’s ex­cit­ing young team.

A 3-0 win over Kin­lochshiel at The Dell put Kin­gussie even more firmly on course for their first ti­tle in 10 years.

If Oban Ca­manachd win their last five games, and Kings lose their last two, then Oban could still leapfrog them – but a vic­tory over Kil­mallie at Canal Park this week­end will put red and blue rib­bons on the tro­phy.

Man­ager John Gib­son said: “We’re pleased to now need only two points from two games and we’d like to fin­ish it this week­end.”

Kin­lochshiel were very com­pet­i­tive in an end-to-end first half-hour with Wester Ross keeper Josh Grant mak­ing a cou­ple of fine stops, while Bob MacGregor, who suf­fered an eye in­jury in the warm-up, made a won­der­ful save to deny Shiel. James Fal­coner made the 40th-minute break­through be­fore Fraser Munro slammed Kings’ se­cond 10 min­utes into the se­cond half, while Ruar­idh An­der­son pol­ished off a fine free-hit move in 87 min­utes.

Still reel­ing from last week’s 5-1 home de­feat from Oban, New­ton­more were with­out the in­jured Fraser Mack­in­tosh and Jamie Robinson.

Roddy Mac­Don­ald got Kyles off to a flier with a seventh-minute strike and, though Drew Mac­Don­ald lev­elled on the half-hour mark, Rob­bie Ma­cLeod re­stored the vis­i­tors’ lead three min­utes later.

Glen Mack­in­tosh made it 2-2 in 66 min­utes but Mac­Don­ald struck again four min­utes later then Rob­bie Ma­cLeod grabbed his se­cond. Ewen Fraser hit a con­so­la­tion on a bad day for New­ton­more.

FIGHT­ING FALCONERS: David Fal­coner, of Kin­lochshiel, bat­tling with Kin­gussie’s James Fal­coner. In­set: New­ton­more boss PJ Mack­in­tosh

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