Jet-heeled Roddy Young, whose double blasted Kingussie into the Cottages.Com MacTavish Cup Final, was described as “unplayable” by opposing manager Jamie Matheson.
Astonishingly fast for a big fellow, Young scored the first and fourth goals in Kingussie’s 4-2 win over Lovat at The Dell.
That win means Kings are now only one game away from potentially winning the North trophy for the first time in 11 years.
“It was our best team performance of the season with the players seeming to raise their game against a team of Lovat’s calibre,” said Kings manager John Gibson.
“To go 3-0 up by half-time was more than we could have hoped for and though Lovat, as expected, came back at us, we were good winners.
“They found it extremely difficult to handle Roddy Young’s pace. He won a string of fouls and could have had a hat trick but for fine saves from Stuart Macdonald.
“Lee Bain was excellent in defence and Louis Munro did well at full centre, while 17-year-old Iain Fraser scored in his first full game and had several good efforts.
“We didn’t risk James Hutchinson or Fraser Munro, but they should be fit ahead of the final.”
Lovat boss Jamie Matheson added: “Roddy Young is extremely dangerous, the way he takes the ball and turns makes him hard to stop. He was unplayable, particularly in the first half.
“I asked our lads to ‘win’ the second half and they did, but Kingussie are a class side and hard to reel in with such a lead.
“Graeme Macmillan went off injured, Lorne MacKay’s problem recurred and he went off early while Fraser Heath took a nasty one on the knee, so it wasn’t a good day for us.”
Savio Genini’s penalty, sandwiched between goals from Young and Fraser, had Kings in command. Greg Matheson pulled one back on the hour mark, but Young struck again before Marc MacLachlan grabbed a second for the Kiltarlity men.
Kings, beaten by Kinlochshiel in last year’s final, now face Skye or Caberfeidh, who play at Portree this weekend after their semi-final was postponed because of the funeral of Skye stalwart Donnie Martin.
Kirsty Deans makes history as first woman to score for Kingussie
Meanwhile, history was made when Kirsty Deans became the first woman to score for Kingussie’s second team when she came on as sub in their 6-1 North First Division win over Fort William.
The Forres Academy PE teacher has skippered the Scottish women’s shinty-camogie side and last month was named player of the season by her Caley Thistle women’s team mates.
John Gibson said: “This is the second time she’s come on this season, but it’s surely the first time we’ve had a female goal scorer.
“I saw a bit of the game and Kirsty was the victim of a heavy tackle just after coming on. But she didn’t let being flattened bother and it was great that she put the ball in the net.
“Maybe she’ll soon be pushing for a first team game!”
Meanwhile, Fort William’s Jamie Duncan sustained a broken knuckle in their 2-1 Mowi Premiership defeat at home to Newtonmore.
“Jamie could be out for several weeks, which is a blow”, said co-manager Victor Smith.
“Newtonmore had the strong wind in the first half and we couldn’t get near them. Fraser Mackintosh scored their two first half goals and used his vast experience to keep their younger players calm.
“But once Arran MacPhee scored a fine goal 10 minutes from time, we actually could have snatched a draw.”
In the other Premiership fixture, Jordan Fraser struck twice and John MacRae also netted as Kinlochshiel beat bottom side Kilmallie 3-0 at Balmacara – Shiel’s third successive win by the same scoreline.