History is poised to be made when Oban Celtic make their first ever visit to Kinlochshiel after the teams were paired in Monday’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup quarter-final ballot.
Shiel playing legend Keith Loades, former Camanachd Association president, said: “We played them in a pre-season friendly at Oban four years ago, but I very much doubt if we’ve ever played them competitively.”
Johnston Gill, manager of the Wester Ross club, said: “Celtic have never played at Balmacara, so it’ll be a unique occasion. They may be a division lower, but they knocked out Premiership side Glasgow Mid Argyll in the last round, so we’ll need to be extremely careful.”
Celts manager Dougie MacIntyre is not thrilled about the 380-mile round trip involved.
Also making a long trip north will be 21-time cup winners Kyles Athletic, who face National Division outfit Beauly.
“Kyles last played at Braeview Park 15 years ago when they beat us 3-0 in the Camanachd Cup”, said Beauly president David Calder. “We visited them in the quarter final six years ago and they thumped us 6-2.
“It’s a tough tie for us, but it’ll be quite an attraction. Kyles are targeting the trophy and we’ll need to be at the top of our game.”
The winners of this weekend’s delayed Skye-Lovat tie at Portree will be away to Oban Camanachd, the 2019 runners up.
Oban manager Steven Sloss said: “Having the tie at Mossfield Park is a boost for us. Either side will be a difficult proposition, but we dominated in knocking out Fort William on Saturday and if we maintain that form it’ll stand us in good stead.
“The final being at Oban this year gives us an extra incentive.”
Kingussie, 23 times winners and favourites since they ousted holders Newtonmore, will be at home to Kilmallie in the other all-Premiership tie.
“We’ve not played Kilmallie yet this year, but they’re a strong, physical side with some good players”, said Kings manager John Gibson.
“We beat them in the Macaulay Cup in 2019, but haven’t played them in the Camanachd Cup for many years. Getting a home draw is all you can ask for.”