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Shinty: Kingussie look to close in on Mowi Premiership title

The Kings take on Glasgow Mid Argyll at Peterson Park on Saturday.

A kingussie player in between two Kinlochshiel
Kingussie's Savio Genini between Finlay MacRae (left) and Duncan Matheson (both Kinlochshiel). Image: Neil Paterson.

Two victories from their next two matches will guarantee Kingussie their third successive Mowi Premiership title.

The Kings have the chance to put daylight between themselves and second-placed Newtonmore when they face Glasgow Mid Argyll at Peterson Park.

Kingussie currently lead their great rivals on goal difference but play their two games in hand, against GMA on Saturday and Skye a fortnight later, before meeting Newtonmore in the final match of the season for both sides at the Dell in early November.

Manager Iain Borthwick recognises his side could be champions ahead of More’s visit, saying: “We know we’ll win the league if we win against GMA and then Skye, but we still have a lot of work to do to get there.

“If we did, we could then go into the Newtonmore game with confidence.

“It will be some end of the season game against Newtonmore though as we need to have the mindset that the league is only won if we get the two wins and then finish it off by getting the right result against Newtonmore.

“Our focus for now is only on Saturday and we’ll be missing Savio Genini for the GMA game.”

Glasgow Mid Argyll manager Alan MacRae said: “Jamie Macleod is still out through injury whilst Ewan Fraser and Arran Byrne are unavailable.

“However, Finlay MacMillan is fit again, and Jan Ewers is added to squad.

“After all the rain, the forecast is better for the end of the week so hopefully the pitch will be fine for this 1pm start.”

Aiming to continue good form

Kyles Athletic are tucked in at third place, just a point off the top two and hope to capitalise on any slip-up from the teams above them.

However, before travelling to Kinlochshiel in their final match, they have a tough penultimate fixture against Artemis Macaulay Cup and Scottish Sea Farms Glasgow Celtic Society Cup winners Oban Camanachd at Tighnabruaich.

Kyles Athletic have eight league wins from their last nine fixtures, so go into the match with confidence.

Player/coach Roddy Macdonald said: “We should be along usual lines. The weather has been pretty horrendous around Argyll, and the rest of the country, so fingers crossed the pitch will dry up.

“Unfortunately, it’s the time of season where fixtures can drag on due to bad weather.”

Oban Camanachd Gareth Evans said: “Malcolm Clark’s at a wedding, Scott MacMillan’s on holiday and Louie McFarlane’s out with a broken collarbone but I’d always planned to give some of your younger boys a game and brothers Ross Campbell and Scott Campbell will be involved.

“Ross grabbed a hat-trick on his recent return for Lochside whilst Scott has been terrific with the seconds all season, so they deserve it.

“Daniel Cameron and Blair McFarlane both return after missing our last two games and they’re big players for us.”

Evans added: “I hope the game goes ahead but if the rain at Tighnabruaich was anything like here, the pitch will take some drying out.”

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MacRae and Jack miss out

Kinlochshiel boss Willie MacRae is minus Archie MacRae and Arron Jack for his side’s meeting with Lovat at Rèaraig.

However, he said: “Conor Cormack and WD MacRae both return and youngster Kieran Martin will play in our final three games of the season to give him experience for next year.”

Lovat manager Jamie Matheson makes a dash back from his belated honeymoon abroad, as he swaps 30-degree heat for the wild west coast to lead his side from the touchline.

He said: “Our flight lands at 5am on Saturday morning so it will be a quick nap and then off to a slightly colder Balmacara.

“We are pretty short for Saturday with a few boys at the Scotland game in Spain while both Drew Howie and Daniel Grieve are still injured so it’s a chance for a few younger lads, and some second team players, to test themselves against a good Sheil side.”

Throw up has been put back to 3pm to allow representatives from both clubs to attend the funeral of Beauly youth coach and keen supporter Kirsteen MacLennan.

As the 2023 Royal National Mòd gets under way in Paisley, the Aviemore Trophy (Mòd Cup) will be contested between Glasgow University and Strachur-Dunoon at the King George V Playing Fields, Renfrew. Throw up is at 2pm and Craig Scott is the match referee.

Earlier in the day, Alba play Glaschu for the Learn Gaelic Trophy (Women’s Mòd Cup) at the same venue. Throw up is at noon.