A title campaign which started in mid-March could end on Saturday as Kingussie will be crowned Mowi Premiership champions if they beat Skye at the Dell.
The Kings have two games remaining and only require one victory from home meetings with Skye and Newtonmore to ensure they cannot be caught by challengers ‘More or Kyles Athletic.
They will have to do it without defender Calum Grant, though, as manager Iain Borthwick explains: “Calum’s season is over as he has returned to Australia to work for six weeks, and he only left on Monday.”
Thomas Borthwick, who played so well at full centre for Kingussie in their 8-0 win over Glasgow Mid Argyll a fortnight ago, is on holiday and doesn’t return until Saturday evening.
However, Savio Genini should be back in the fold.
Borthwick added: “This is a big game for us, but we know it won’t be an easy one.”
With their top-flight status already assured, this will be a last match in charge for Skye boss Kenny MacLeod, who will step down following seven successive years in charge of the club’s first and second teams.
He said: “We had our last training session together on Tuesday, so it feels a bit strange already.
“Our focus is only on the game, though, and we have a full complement available other than the suspended William MacKinnon and Jamie Gillies, who is away.”
Shiel man says catching Kingussie is ‘bit of a long shot’
Kinlochshiel host Kyles Athletic at Rearaig.
Kyles Athletic player/coach Roddy Macdonald knows it would take a Kingussie collapse for his team to be champions, saying: “I think catching Kingussie is a bit of a long shot now, but we will go and try get something up at ‘Shiel.
“That would be difficult enough at full strength, but we are quite short this week unfortunately with a couple of boys on holiday and others with work commitments.”
Shiel manager Willie MacRae said: “The pitch is in great condition for this time of year so the game should go ahead.
“We are without WD MacRae, who has been playing with a knee problem for the last couple of months, whilst Jonnie MacAskill is also missing.
“However, Archie MacRae and Arron Jack are both available again.”
Absences expected at rest of Mowi Premiership sides in action this weekend
Oban Camanachd and Beauly are both missing players for their match at Mossfield.
Oban boss Gareth Evans said: “Scott Mckillop and Scott MacMillan are both working, Daniel Sloss, Matthew Sloss and Gregor MacDonald aren’t available, Blair McFarlane is playing rugby, whilst Evan MacLellan and Louie McFarlane are injured.
“However, Craig MacMillan and Daniel Cameron are available again after injuries, whilst Lewis Cameron returns after the birth of his son.
“Ross Campbell and his 15-year-old brother Scott will get game-time.”
This is relegated Beauly’s final match of their first Mowi Premiership campaign, and they are without suspended trio Ryan MacKay, Euan MacCormick and Sandy Elrick.
Both Glasgow Mid Argyll and Lovat have given their younger players an opportunity over recent games.
GMA boss Alan MacRae said: “The youngsters have really taken the chance to impress.
“Cailean MacLeod has played for most of the season, whilst Arran Byrne has been a regular in defence over the last five games alongside Zac Menzies and his brother Milo Menzies in midfield.
“Young Ruairidh MacSween has made a few appearances in attack, and he has also caught the eye.
“However, our under-17s have a couple of play-off matches at Mossfield on Sunday, so we may restrict their game time against Lovat if we can.”
Likewise, at Lovat, manager Jamie Matheson added: “Angus Mearns and Joe Embleton are two who have featured a lot for us over the last few months and both have impressed me, so I hope they push on over the winter and then pre-season.
“Hopefully both will be fighting for a first team spot come the new season.
“As for this Saturday, we have twins Craig and Martin Mainland back along with Graeme MacMillian and Duncan Davidson, which is a good boost, but we are without Lewis Tawse and Bailey MacKay, and we aren’t sure if my brother Greg will travel as his wife is due their first child shortly.”