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Shinty: Kingussie defender to miss start of season due to laser eye surgery

Skye's Ross Gordon and Calum Grant (Kingussie) challenge for the ball in a  MacTavish Cup match at The Dell.
Skye's Ross Gordon and Calum Grant (Kingussie) challenge for the ball in a MacTavish Cup match at The Dell.

Kingussie’s classy defender Calum Grant misses his team’s opening defence of their Mowi Premiership title on Saturday because of laser eye surgery.

Manager John Gibson said: “Calum has had corrective surgery and is fine but he is medically banned from playing until March 19.

“It’s great to be back in Premiership action but after we were crowned champions in October, 2019, we couldn’t have dreamed waiting so long to defend it.

“I think any one of five other teams can take the title, depending on how things evolve. Kinlochshiel are the team to watch after their historic Camanachd Cup and MacTavish Cup triumphs.

“But Oban have hit 12 goals in two warm-up matches, Lovat will again carry a threat, Newtonmore can never be ruled out while Kyles Athletic are an unknown quantity boosted by having players back.”

Shinty: Goalkeeper setback for Lochaber; Borthwick boost for Kingussie

Under new skipper Savio Genini, Kingussie welcome Caberfeidh to The Dell with the visitors giving a debut to Keiran MacPherson, of Kings’ title-winning team, who is now greenkeeper at Strathpeffer.

Cabers manager Jordi Gorski said: “Kieran’s looking very good in training but we’re without Colin Maclennan for work reasons while Conor MacGregor completes a suspension.

“Fraser MacDonald, who is 18, will make his Premiership debut in defence while 16-year-old attacker Taylor Condon will be a substitute.”

New Oban Camanachd boss Gareth Evans will be without Scott MacKillop for personal reasons and Scott Macmillan because of work for their opener with Glasgow Mid Argyll at Mossfield.

Evans said: “Louie MacFarlane and David Cameron will make their Premiership debuts.”

Double setback for GMA

Promoted Glasgow Mid Argyll have been hit by a double blow.

An x-ray has shown Ewen Fraser, who played for Newtonmore in the 2019 Camanachd Cup final, sustained a broken finger last weekend.

New manager Alan MacRae said: “Ewen will be out for five or six weeks and we have another attacker Calum McLay also out with a similar injury.”

Kinlochshiel will be unable to field their Camanachd Cup winning line-up at home to Newtonmore as Duncan Matheson is in France and unavailable.

Ally Nixon, who missed the final through injury, is set for substitute duty while his brother Donald skippers the Wester Ross men for the first time.

Goalkeeper Owen Fraser will skipper Newtonmore, now under a three-man management team but without five players from their last Premiership appearance three years ago.

Bryan Simpson, who played in Fort William’s last Camanachd Cup winning team in 2010, is in their squad against Kyles Athletic at An Aird.

Co-manager Victor Smith said: “I think it’s five years since he last played for the first team but he’s worked hard and we’re delighted to have him back as we need more experience.”

Skipper Arran MacPhee and Calum Shepherd, who missed their friendly defeat at Oban, return. Sorley Thomson, signed from Newtonmore, debuts for Kyles who include Martin MacFadyen, who has rejoined the Argyll club.

Michael Rodger can play for Kilmallie against Lovat at Caol as his two-game suspension has been wiped by the Camanachd Association as he has not been booked since 2019. But key men Innes Blackhall (three games) and Stuart Callison (two) miss the start through bans.

Lovat defender Calum Cruden starts a two game ban while Martin Mainland is unavailable for several weeks due to playing football for Loch Ness.

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