Former Scotland international John Stewart is set for a comeback with Kilmallie while Skye are boosted by the return of 17-year-old Will Cowie for tomorrow’s duel of the teams seeking to be the shock name in the last four of the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup.
Skye, cup winners 24 years ago, and Kilmallie, who won the trophy 50 years ago, will be a crowd-puller at Portree.
Former skipper John Stewart, who played when Kilmallie were runners-up in the 2005 final, has not been in the picture this season but manager Duncan Kelly revealed that he will be involved in the tie.
Kelly said: “John has been suffering from medical problems with his feet. He didn’t retire, he was just unable to consider playing shinty. But he has recently been placed on different medication which appears to have made a major difference and it’s given John a new lease of life. He’s back in training and he’ll be a substitute for the Skye trip. He’s an inspirational figure in our dressing-room.”
However, full back Alan MacDonald will be away on holiday and misses the tie. But Ryan Stewart and Martin Munro, who missed last week’s National Division drubbing from Fort William because they were abroad on holiday, are back and will play.
Skye, the only North First Division side remaining in the competition, have a double tonic with Will Cowie and goalkeeper Jamie Gannon getting the green light.
Manager John MacLeod said: “Will missed out last week but his hand injury has cleared up in time, which is a big relief.
“Jamie had been given three weeks off to deal with a back injury and to be with his pregnant partner, but he’ll be back between the sticks.
“Alan MacKinnon is back from suspension, but Neil MacVicar is unavailable for work reasons.”
Jordan Murchison and Alistair MacLeod, both 19, join Cowie as teenagers in the islanders’ side which is captained by Gilleasbuig MacDonald. Top scorer Shockie Maclennan will be the big threat to Kilmallie.
“Skye are going very well in their league so we’ll need to be fully focused and ready for a very hard game”, said Kelly, while MacLeod commented: “Kilmallie are a division higher but we’ve managed to get some reports on them. Getting to the last four is a huge incentive for us both, so we’ll need to be at our best to have a winning chance.”