Oban Camanachd received a timely tonic following their Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup final defeat to Kingussie with the news that defender Garry Lord will return to the squad next season.
Lord hasn’t played for a couple of years and is a former Scotland under-21 cap who was on the fringes of the senior squad.
Manager Gareth Evans said: “Garry’s return is massive for us.
“He’s a leader who enjoys a tackle. We did think of brining him back for the closing stages of this season, but we’ll leave it until the pre-season.”
Oban Camanachd return to Mowi Premiership action on Saturday when they host Glasgow Mid Argyll.
Evans added: “We’ll freshen things up. Daniel Cameron is on holiday, but his groin injury also needs a rest, so we’ll have to think about whether it is best to give him a break for the remaining games this season.
“Daniel Madej is out with a knee injury while Blair McFarlane is playing for Oban Lorne, who represent Scotland in the 16-team Amateur Rugby World Cup in France.”
Bain misses out for Kings
Kingussie can extend their lead at the top of the table when they face Caberfeidh at Castle Leod.
Manager Iain Borthwick said: “Lee Bain’s out with a foot injury and Fraser Munro suffered a blow to the arm last Saturday.
“It’s the same arm Fraser broke last season but he’s had an X-ray and thankfully it’s ok. We’ll see how he is nearer the game.”
With Borthwick unavailable this week, Ali MacLeod takes charge of the side.
Cabers won the corresponding fixture 3-0 earlier in the season.
Skye Camanachd defenders John Gillies and Sam Macphee are both free from suspension for Kyles Athletic’s visit to Portree. However, Ruaraidh MacLeod is unavailable.
Kyles will check on Will Cowie’s hamstring injury whilst Roddy Macdonald should return after missing the defeat at Kingussie.
The sides also play for the Alasdair Morrison Memorial Cup.
The local derby between Beauly and Lovat has added importance as a Lovat victory would consign Beauly to a return to national division shinty next season.
Glen aiming to make their point
It’s crunch time in the Mowi National Division promotion race as Glenurquhart welcome Kilmallie to Blairbeg. This is Glen’s final match of the season, and they only need one point to go up to the Premiership.
A Kilmallie win would see them then having to beat Strathglass in their final game, and top Fort William’s goal difference, to gain promotion.
Glenurquhart boss Davie Stewart said: “I know we only need a point, but we’ll be going for the win. Shinty doesn’t lend itself to anything else.
“We’d hoped to be in the promotion push at the start of the season, but we weren’t expecting it as there are too many good teams in the league.
“We’re in with a shout and the boys have put us in this position with their good play. We’ll be virtually at full strength on Saturday with the exception of maybe one player but if anyone is missing, that’s what the squad is for.”
Kilmallie manager John Morrison said: “We’re missing a couple of boys but that’s par for the course just now. I think our promotion hopes are pretty slim.
“The equation for the Glen is simple – a point is good enough for promotion. We obviously want to win our remaining games, but the goal difference favours Fort William and Glenurquhart.
“We’re concentrating on winning the games rather than chasing goals.”
There is also a battle to avoid finishing bottom of the National when Oban Celtic welcome Strathglass.
This is both sides penultimate game of the season and both have tough final fixtures.
Oban Celtic currently hold a one-point advantage, but Strathglass have a better goal difference.
Celtic are without European Ryder Cup golfer Robert MacIntyre who has introduced a self-imposed shinty ban ahead of the biennial meeting with the Americans in Rome later this month.
Meanwhile, former Connacht hurling director Damien Coleman will manage Ireland for the shinty/hurling international against Scotland at Newry on Saturday October 21.
Coleman is a hugely respected figure within the GAA, and he will be unveiled at an official launch at Croke Park on Thursday October 12.
Scotland manager Garry Reid will announce his squad imminently.