‘Rocket Roddy’ Young’s spectacular scoring streak has fired Kingussie in to a commanding position towards retaining their Mowi Premiership title and chasing a clean sweep of cups.
But the 21-year-old hitman, who rattled in his third successive hat-trick in the 6-3 win over Lovat at The Dell, stressed: “We’re not counting our chickens, that would be far too dangerous.
“Eleven league wins out of 11 is a great performance, particularly considering all the injuries we’ve had.
“But we’ve still to go to Kinlochshiel, Lovat and Oban in our last seven league games – all tricky fixtures – so we need to stay focused.
“And no one at Kingussie is talking about the Grand Slam, even with the MacTavish Cup won and us being in the Macaulay Cup semi-final and the Camanachd Cup quarter-final.
“Too much could still go wrong so our priority is simply to maintain our momentum and see where that takes us.”
Young’s hat-trick of hat-tricks has taken him to 17 goals this season, the Premiership’s top marksman, and his pace and power are making a key contribution.
The son of club legend Dallas Young is now a development officer with the Camanachd Association and the big fellow’s finishing flair is a key weapon in Kingussie’s glory bid.
“I’m enjoying the run of goals, but the team makes my job easier,” he said. “We’re a close-knit unit and we train extremely hard, helped by fitness coach Neil Bowman being such a huge asset.
“Even when we haven’t been on top form, our sheer hard work brings us results.”
Lovat, unbeaten in the league until being gunned down by Young and his mates, are now 12 points behind Kingussie with four games in hand as the Red and Blues close in on the championship.
When they won the 2019 Premiership, Kings conceded 24 goals – now they have lost only seven goals in eleven outings, including seven clean sheets.
“Our defence has been unbelievable, even with Zander Michie out injured,” said Roddy.
“Kieran MacPherson’s come back, Lee Bain returned and Lee Riddoch is looking an outstanding prospect, so such a strong rearguard makes it much easier for those of us in the forward line.”
Manager John Gibson was delighted with his side’s blistering first half display, which saw them 5-1 up at the interval with doubles for Young and Ruaridh Anderson and one from James Falconer, with Fraser Heath responding for the visitors.
Lovat rallied in the second period and Greg Matheson slammed a double only for Young to crash home Kingussie’s sixth three minutes from time to send them into Saturday’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup tie on Skye in great heart.
Newtonmore’s outside title hopes faded after they crashed 2-0 at Glasgow Mid Argyll, with John McNulty, the Celtic Society Cup Final matchwinner the week before, carrying on the good work with a goal in each half, giving a major boost to Mid Argyll’s prospects of staying in the top flight.
Newtonmore drop to third, overtaken by Kinlochshiel – who were 4-0 home winners against Caberfeidh to move seven points behind Kingussie with a game in hand. Jordan Fraser and John MacRae each scored first half goals and then the same duo repeated their feat in the second 45.
Kyles Athletic were 2-0 home winners over Kilmallie, with Robbie Macleod and Finan Kennedy netting, which leaves Kilmallie and Caberfeidh now in the relegation places with three points apiece.
Oban win – but face Camanachd Cup quarter-final nightmare next
Oban Camanachd have a triple headache for next weekend’s Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup quarter-final with holders Kinlochshiel at Balmacara.
The Mossfield men have three forwards all away on holiday at the same time, and manager Gareth Evans admitted: “It’s a nightmare scenario.”
Daniel MacVicar, Daniel Madej and Ross Campbell are the missing trio, leaving Oban desperately short of firepower.
“The timing could hardly have been worse as we try to book a Camanachd Cup semi-final spot,” said Evans. “The lads have been two years without holidays so they’re entitled to a break.
“It’s a question now of looking at our options to reshape a front line to face Shiel.”
Daniel MacVicar’s fifth minute strike was enough to give Oban a 1-0 win at Fort William, which lifts the Red and Blacks to fourth in the Premiership.
Inveraray booked their place in the Ferguson Transport and Shipping Balliemore Cup final, but only after holding off a brave Strathglass revival.
A double from Fraser Watt and a Lewis MacNicol strike had the Argyll men 3-0 up by the interval, but Ruaridh Strachan and Penri Jones pulled two back for Strath before Inveraray held on for the win.