Spectators are set to be banned from this weekend’s big Artemis Macaulay Cup clash between Newtonmore and Kingussie at The Eilean.
Kingussie and Fort William last weekend welcomed crowds to their matches for the first time in 15 months but hopes have been dashed of having supporters at the first big Badenoch derby of the season.
Newtonmore president Norman Macarthur said: “It’s not feasible for this tie but we could have measures in place for when the teams meet again at our place in the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup on July 16.
“We’re fortunate to have a venue where we can allow fans in but my view is this is highly unfair on the clubs who can’t do so.
“There should be a level playing field for everyone as far as admitting supporters is concerned.”
With midfield powerhouse Steven Macdonald suspended, Newtonmore have their work cut out against the cup holders.
Savio Genini, however, will be missing for Kingussie after having surgery in midweek on a fractured fingertip.
“Savio’s out but we’re hopeful he’ll be back for the Camanachd Cup tie,” said manager John Gibson, who calls in Martin Dallas, scoring freely for the second team, as his replacement.
Lee Bain is still out but Fraser Munro returns to the squad.
Kyles Athletic host Glasgow Mid Argyll in Saturday’s other quarter-final but Mossfield Park welcomes two delayed first round ties, with Oban Celtic facing Ballachulish at noon while Oban Camanachd tackle Bute at 3pm.
Full centre Arran MacMaster is fit to return for Inverness in their Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup derby tussle at Beauly.
“Arran’s had Achilles trouble but he’s OK now and he’s an influential player for us”, said manager Drew MacNeil.
“Craig Nicolson, who formerly played full centre, is now our goalkeeper and is shaping up impressively.”
Lochaber, who have not managed a first team fixture this year, are due to face Inveraray at Winterton Park in the same competition.
In the Mowi Senior League, Kilmallie head for Kinlochshiel and the Canal Park outfit will be without versatile Ian MacIntyre, who is heading to a new job in South Korea and will not play again this year.
Fort William, with teenager Lachie Shaw in sparkling form, will admit fans again for their home game with Skye.
Appeal after stick shortage
Shinty chiefs are appealing for donations of old shinty sticks to meet a shortage caused by pandemic limiting production.
With play having returned after a 15-month absence, there is limited supply of camans to replace those being broken.
Aarron Macleod, of the Camanachd Association, said: “We’re working to try and support caman making despite persistent challenges to the craft.
“We’re introducing standardised tests to give us a ‘gold standard approved’ caman and we’re now asking caman makers to provide us with a stick which can be tested, to help inform the standards and parameters to shape this gold standard.
“We’re going to launch a new business-led project with the University of the Highlands and Islands to determine the potential for caman makers to work in a co-operative to lower costs.
“Many are doing it for the love of the sport rather than as a money-making business.”
The association is setting up a group discussion with caman makers to better understand their challenges and discuss solutions.
Macleod added: “However, there are no immediate fixes and we are appealing to all ex-shinty players to check their cupboards and lofts and donate any old camans to your local club.
“We ask all current players with damaged sticks not to destroy them as often they can be fixed for use by junior players.”
— Shinty (@camanachd) July 6, 2021