The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Shiel hope to make history
Wester Ross men bidding to reach their first MacTavish Cup final
Kinlochshiel’s Keith MacRae is pleased with his team’s home MacTavish Cup semi-final draw against Caberfeidh which takes the Wester Ross men 90 minutes from making history.
The international forward said: “Home advantage is a help and we’ve all set our sights on reaching our first MacTavish final and lifting the trophy for the first time.
“We played Kilmallie, a division below us, in last year’s semi-final and they really turned up while we couldn’t get going on the day and we lost.
“That’s a warning to us this time, not to let that happen again. Apart from the Premiership trophy, the Macaulay Cup is the only silverware we’ve won and our lads feel we need a MacTavish medal before we call it a day.”
Shiel won 5-3 at Strathpeffer on March 10 and MacRae knows the Castle Leod men will be a hot handful. MacRae said: “It’s their first MacTavish semifinal as a Premiership club, so they’ll be up for it and they’ve been playing well.
“But it’s a long time yet until the May 19 semi and our focus now is on maintaining our 100% record when we welcome Oban Camanachd to Kirkton this weekend.
“We’re scoring freely and the defence is very solid and we’ve no problems with Scott Kennedy back in goal and Paul Macrae fit again. There’s real pressure for places as shown by Ally Nixon going so well up front that he’s keeping out Oliver MacRae.”
Caberfeidh manager Jodi Gorski said: “There are no easy ties in semi-finals and we know Kinlochshiel are a powerful side, so we have to prepare accordingly if we’re to make the final.”
Keith MacRae has hit 12 of his club’s 31 goals in seven league and cup outings.
Oban manager Ian Hay said: “Shiel seem to be scoring for fun and we’ll need to close down their forwards.
“Daniel Sloss is suspended, while Willie Neilson is fighting to shake off an injury and it will be a late call.
“It’s too soon for Aidan MacIntyre, who begins light training next week but we have Scott Macmillan back after working last week.
“Our problem is that we haven’t been able to field the same team two weeks running due to injury and suspension. But we’ve had some close matches with Shiel, so we’re looking forward to going there.” Lewis Burrell chickenpox.
Fort William, who won this trophy for the first time last year, hope to have key man Arran MacPhee back from civil engineering exams in Dundee in time for their match with 2001 winners Inveraray at An Aird. Beauly, the 2015 winners, have a tricky away test against Aberdeen University, while Inverness make the trip to Taynuilt.
Bute, record five-time winners, head north to face 1989 winners Glengarry, who have Daniel Maclennan available now that his Highland League season with Clach is over.
Glasgow Mid Argyll make the long trip to Cannich to face Strathglass, while Oban Celtic head for Fife to meet Aberdour.
Ballachulish are at home to Col Glen, who beat them 3-1 in the league on March 24. is out with