After last week’s Artemis Macaulay Cup success, Oban Camanachd return to Mowi Premiership action against Lovat at Balgate on Saturday.
There is work to do, as Oban sit just three points above the relegation zone, though their cup exploits mean they have two games in hand.
Gareth Evans’s three-game touchline ban is now over, but the manager is not ruling out watching future games from the stand.
He said: “Looking back over the last three games, and we won them all, the ban may have been a blessing in disguise as you get a better view from the stand or on ‘the hill’ at Mossfield, where I was on Saturday. You definitely see things you would otherwise miss.
“Iain MacMillan is more than capable of looking after things from the touchline, so I wouldn’t rule out taking a seat in the stand again.”
Both Oban and Lovat will make significant on-field changes, and Evans added: “Everything we do over the next few weeks will be with the Camanachd Cup final in mind.
“We’ll rest Daniel Cameron, as well as Daniel Sloss and Blair McFarlane – who are just one booking away from a suspension. While a booking against Lovat would mean a ban for the Kinlochshiel (league) game, if that game was postponed, say because of the weather, both players would then miss the final.
“Ross Macmillan starts his four-game ban, but Andy MacDonald is fit again and our five substitutes from last weekend will all get game time.
“We’ll still field a strong team; one capable of winning the game.”
Lovat boss Jamie Matheson already has an eye on next season: “We are without Drew Howie, Daniel Grieve, Lorne MacKay and Graeme MacMillian and they will all now miss the rest of the season as we are looking to rest them to get them fit for next year.
“I’m also going to play some younger lads looking to break into the squad and stake a claim for a place next season.”
Kingussie look to bounce back from cup final loss
Kingussie look to put last weekend’s cup final disappointment behind them when they play Skye Camanachd at Pairc nan Laoch, Portree.
Kingussie boss Iain Borthwick said: “The boys know themselves what is at stake over the rest of the season. We have the Scottish and the league to play for and we’ll see how badly they want it.
“We are all in this together and we all need to do more over the next few weeks.”
It has been a sad the week off the field for Kingussie, following the passing of legendary shinty figure Donnie Grant MBE.
Skye manager Kenny MacLeod said: “The win against Beauly last week has left us in a good place, but I want to challenge the boys to see how many points we can pick up over our last five matches to finish as high up the table as we can.”
Skye are without the suspended Sam Macphee, while Kingussie pair Alexander Michie and Cameron Bremner are injured.
Rory MacKeachan is working, but Fraser Munro returns.
Beauly began their first season in shinty’s top-flight with wins over Kinlochshiel and Glasgow Mid Argyll, but they have since faltered and haven’t won a league match since mid-May. It doesn’t get any easier on Saturday when league leaders Newtonmore visit Braeview Park
Newtonmore co-manager Norman MacArthur said: “We’ll have Michael Russell back, and we really missed him against Caberfeidh, so we’ll be at full strength for what is our third-last match of the season.”
Can Kilmallie reel in promotion rivals?
The promotion battle in the Mowi National Division is hotting up and Lochaber can reclaim top spot if they win at bottom side Strathglass.
Kilmallie can close the gap on the other promotion hopefuls as they play their games in hand, but won’t have it all their own way against Col Glen at Glendaruel.
Kilmallie boss John Morrison said: “We have a run of games now, so all we can do is concentrate on the next game and not worry about the bigger picture.
“If we do that, then hopefully we can put some pressure on the sides above us.”
The regional second team cup finals see Kinlochshiel meet Fort William, with the Strathdearn Cup at stake, while Glasgow Mid Argyll and Kyles Athletic contest the MKM Building Supplies Oban Bullough Cup.