Oban Camanachd’s talented goalkeeper Cammy Sutherland sees the Scottish Sea Farms Celtic Society Cup as the team’s last opportunity to rescue a disappointing season.
Victory is therefore crucial for the holders in Saturday’s semi-final against Inveraray at Mossfield Park.
The 21-year-old said: “This is our final chance of a trophy to give us something to build on for next season. We’ve had disappointment in the other cups and want to make up for that.
“But we’ve hardly played three weeks in a row all season, which has robbed us of all momentum.
“It’s been the same for some other clubs, but we had such a good winning run in our last campaign that it’s very frustrating, which makes it all the more important that we reach this final.”
Sutherland has two Celtic winners’ medals and a runners-up medal, but Inveraray are out to sabotage Oban’s season.
John Kennedy and Ally Macdonald are out injured for the visitors, and player-boss Ruaridh Graham admits: “We’re underdogs, but if we’re at our best we can upset them.”
Third time lucky for Mid Argyll?
Kyles Athletic, the 2017 winners, have beaten Glasgow Mid Argyll twice this season, by 3-2 each time, but Mid Argyll hope a semi final on their own Petersen Park can make it third time lucky.
Former Kinlochshiel winger Oliver MacRae is unavailable, but player-manager Mark Bain said: “Ex-Newtonmore hitman Ewen Fraser is banging in the goals for us and if we can get him good supply we can end our Kyles hoodoo.”
Fort William have a double boost for their home Cottages.Com MacTavish Cup quarter-final with Glen Urquhart. Alex Macmillan returns from a calf muscle injury, while Johnny Foster is available again.
Co-manager Victor Smith said: “We’d 25 players training on Tuesday with plenty of energy so the toughest task will be trimming down to 15 for the tie.
“A semi-final against Kingussie is a great incentive.”
Glen surprised Lovat in the last round and Conor Golabek will test the An Aird defence.
Ballachulish hosts the Alvance BA Balliemore Cup semi-final in which 2015 winners Beauly try to sabotage Bute’s bid to become the first team to win the trophy six times. This tie has been delayed since August 29, with Beauly idle since then, but the experience of Ryan Mackay and David Maclean is an asset to the Greens, though Craig Fisher carries a threat for the islanders.
Skye await the winners
HIS Sutherland Cup holders Lochside Rovers have a tricky semi-final against Lovat at Spean Bridge, the winners to face Skye in the final.
The Oban men were the 2019 winners, beating Lovat 2-1 at Caol, and Lewis Buchanan has hit five goals in two rounds this term, while veteran Ray Rennie’s hat-trick took Lovat to this stage.
Roddy Young scored in all three of Kingussie’s cup knockouts of Newtonmore this season and he attempts to keep the run going when the teams meet again at The Eilean in Mowi League B. Breakthrough talent Stuart Ross is in the home attack.
Innes Blackhall is still suspended for Kilmallie, who visit Skye in League A. The home side have John Gillies fit again.
Meanwhile, Oban Celtic head to Fife to face Aberdour in League C.