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Shinty: Trophy-chasers Oban and Kingussie square off in Artemis Macaulay Cup final

Both clubs have already claimed silverware success this season.

Oban Camanachd's Matthew Sloss challenges Kingussie's Robert Mabon during Artemis Macaulay Cup final
Oban Camanachd's Matthew Sloss challenges Kingussie's Robert Mabon. Image: Neil G Paterson

While Kingussie are favourites to retain their Mowi Premiership crown, the destination of shinty’s three senior cups will be a straight shoot-out between Kings and Oban Camanachd.

Both have already lifted their area trophies this season, with Kingussie beating Skye to take the MacTavish Cup, and Oban Camanachd defeating Glasgow Mid Argyll to secure the Scottish Sea Farms Glasgow Celtic Society Challenge Cup.

The two clubs meet in next month’s prestigious Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup final – but, first, on Saturday, they will contest the Artemis Macaulay Cup final at Mossfield, Oban.

Oban Camanachd last won the competition – the only one to guarantee a final between a north and south side – in 1995, and boss Gareth Evans said: “Kingussie are Grand Slam winners, and a top team, but they are there to be got at, and if we play like we did last Saturday (Camanachd Cup semi), then we have a chance.

“The way our centre line’s playing at the moment is a big plus for us, especially on the bigger pitches.”

In terms of team news, Evans added: “Ross Macmillan is ineligible, which is hard luck on him as he only played around 15 minutes for Inveraray earlier in the competition. Evan MacLellan will come back into the squad in his place.”

Oban Camanachd's Ross MacMillan running along the pitch
Oban Camanachd’s Ross MacMillan. Image: Neil G Paterson

Kingussie manager Ian Borthwick is hoping his side can lift a sixth successive trophy.

He said: “The boys have been pushed both mentally and physically this week, so should be in the right frame of mind come the final.

“We’ll basically have the same squad as last week.

“Lee Bain got a good 60-odd minutes in against Kinlochshiel without any problems, and Calum Grant played the second half at full centre, so he got a good run out, too.

“It looks as if this week has come too quickly for Thomas Borthwick, though. He’s training again, but needs to get a couple of sessions under his belt before getting some game time.”

Kingussie's Thomas Borthwick
Kingussie’s Thomas Borthwick. Image: Neil G Paterson.

Throw up for the final is at 2.05pm and the match will be live on BBC ALBA.

Beauly’s last chance at survival

Meanwhile, it is a huge day in the Mowi Premiership for both Beauly and Skye Camanachd – the sides promoted at the end of last season.

With Glasgow Mid Argyll looking marooned at the bottom of the table, Beauly occupy the second relegation spot – three points adrift of Skye, Kinlochshiel and Oban Camanachd, all who have played a game fewer.

It looks like a last chance for Beauly to hold on to their Premiership status, while a Skye victory would go a long way to extending their stay in the top-flight.

Skye skipper John Gillies has handed his side a timely boost by turning down the opportunity to play for Avoch in football’s Highland Amateur Cup final against Wick Groats at Harmsworth Park, Wick, on Saturday.

Kinlochshiel can pull away from the relegation zone with a win over GMA this weekend.

Elsewhere, league leaders Newtonmore are without the suspended Michael Russell for their final home match of the season against Caberfeidh at the Eilan.

Caberfeidh boss Garry Reid said: “I’m hoping it will just be one in and one out from our last game against Skye a fortnight ago. Scott Macphail is available again, but Ben MacDonald has returned to his job offshore.

Lovat will leapfrog Kyles Athletic into third place if they beat the Tighnabruaich men at Balgate.

Lochaber can strike National Divison title blow against rivals Glenurquhart in head-to-head

Two of the Mowi National Division promotion favourites clash at Spean Bridge, where Ferguson Transport & Shipping Balliemore Cup winners Lochaber host league leaders Glenurquhart.

Lochaber boss Ally Ferguson said: “We have got over the celebrations and the hangover from the cup win, and our focus is now back 100% on the league campaign.

“Glenurquhart come into this match in great form and all credit must go to them for that.

“We are three points adrift, but have two games in hand, so it’s a crunch game for both teams.

“We are at full strength for Saturday – and at home, which also helps – but we know we will need to be at our very best to get the points we are looking for.

“It should be a cracking game as there is evidently not a lot between the two teams.”

Second-placed Fort William maintain an outside chance of going back up to the top-flight, and they complete their season at home to bottom side Strathglass.

Kilmallie are also in the mix, and they will mark the passing this week of club stalwart and former Camanachd Association administrator Alastair MacIntyre with a minute’s silence ahead of their match against Oban Celtic at the Canal Parks.