Key man Andy King is poised to make his comeback for holders Kyles Athletic in Saturday’s Scottish Sea Farms Celtic Society Cup semi-final against Oban Camanachd at Tighnabruaich.
But midfield dynamo Robbie Macleod will be missing for Athletic due to a family wedding.
Oban, beaten on penalties in last year’s final, beat Kyles in the finals of 2019 and 2018, and are boosted by the return of four players – Daniel Cameron, Daniel Madej, Malcolm Clark and David Cameron.
“We’ve missed Andy because of a bad gash below his knee but he’s back for our biggest game of the season,” said Kyles manager Robert Baxter.
“It’s a pity that Robbie misses out but we’re in good shape otherwise.
“Sorley Thomson and Liam Arnott, both playing in their first Celtic Society semi, have been flying and will pose a challenge on the tight pitch.”
Oban boss Gareth Evans revealed that 21-year-old Scott Robertson, who came in at wing back last week, will keep his place.
“Scott’s been at Lochside Rovers since he was 14 but he certainly didn’t look out of place and deserves to start,” he said.
“We lost 6-2 to Kyles last month after shipping five first half goals, but the lads are up for putting that right and we’ve everyone now available apart from longer-term casualty Gary Lord.”
Glasgow Mid Argyll, who have not reached the Celtic Society final in 35 years and last won the trophy 42 years ago, have suffered a double setback for their semi-final with Inveraray at Petersen Park.
Ex-Kingussie attacker Chris Hollysong is out with a thigh injury while Brian Slattery (knee) is also absent.
Manager Allan MacRae said: “It’s a blow to be without them for the tie but I’m hopeful that former Kinlochshiel man Oliver MacRae, missing last week with hamstring trouble, will be OK to return.”
Mid Argyll’s ex-Newtonmore sharpshooter Ewen Fraser aims to join the small band who played in both MacTavish and Celtic finals.
Ross Macmillan and Fraser Watt are a twin threat as Inveraray, runners up in 2016 and 2014 after being winners in 2013, aim to upset the Premiership side.
— Shinty (@camanachd) May 12, 2022
Oban Celtic host new club Cruachanside in the Ferguson Transport Balliemore Cup first round while Lewis travel to Boleskine in the new Single Team Club Cup, with Lochcarron at Glengarry and Ballachulish at Col Glen while Strachur-Dunoon host Tayforth.
Newtonmore, second top of the Mowi Premiership but five points behind Kingussie with a game in hand, aim to close the gap by beating Fort William at An Aird, having already knocked them out of the MacTavish Cup.
Third-placed Kinlochshiel bid to make it three wins on the spin when they play host to bottom club Kilmallie.
Lochaber could rise from fifth to second in the National Division if they account for Aberdour, who make their first ever journey to Spean Bridge.
Davidson on the beat
Policeman Duncan Davidson will be pounding a midfield beat for Lovat in Saturday’s Cottages.Com MacTavish Cup semi final with Kingussie at The Dell.
Manager Jamie Matheson revealed that Davidson, who came in for the injured Lorne MacKay against Kilmallie last weekend and scored, will keep his place in the starting lineup as the Black and Whites, who won this trophy in 2013 and 2014, face last year’s beaten finalists.
Both teams have a 100 per cent record this season so something’s got to give in this mouth-watering clash.
“Duncan grabbed his opportunity, did very well and he’ll start,” said Matheson.
“Lorne, who has a knee problem, has a 50-50 chance of being involved. Graeme Macmillan has recovered from a shin injury so we’re good to go.
“Kingussie have home advantage but our pitch isn’t in great shape at the moment and the good surface at The Dell will suit our style.
“We’ll be focused on trying to shackle excellent forwards in Roddy Young, Savio Genini and Ruaridh Anderson – but our front players are also pretty good and in scoring form.”
Kingussie, who last won this trophy in 2011, wait for late fitness tests on James Hutchison and Fraser Munro.
“They’re 50-50 at best and we won’t gamble with them,” said manager John Gibson.
“But their great experience can help our young team if they make it.”
Iain Fraser, a 17-year-old schoolboy, will figure from the start or from the bench to replace Dylan Borthwick, who is in Florida.
“Iain has considerable potential and will definitely feature in what will be the biggest game of his career,” said Gibson.
He revealed that veteran former internationalist Lee Bain will definitely start in a defence reshuffled following Alex Michie’s road accident injury.
The manager added: “Lee’s only been involved sporadically in recent years but he’s a great defender when he’s fit and his return is timely for us.
“Lovat have a stuffy defence and carry a real threat up front, so we’ll need to play very well to make the final.”
The tie between Skye and Caberfeidh has been postponed following the death of Skye club stalwart and former Scotland Under-21 manager Donnie Martin in a road accident.
Manager Kenny Macleod said everyone at the club is still in shock.
He said: “It’s been difficult to think about shinty after losing such a huge figure in our club, who was at the forefront of everything we did.
“Our thoughts are with Donnie and his family.”