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Shinty season hots up for Fort William

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Gary Innes | 11:06 UK time, Monday, 11 April 2011

Kyles Athletic took a huge step forward in their bid to win their first ever Premier League title on Saturday, beating Fort William 3-2 at An Aird.

Dunkie Kerr opened the scoring for Kyles after 20 minutes, then, one minute later Fort's John MacLeod equalised with a stunning volley.

Fort William's defence struggled to get the ball past the midfield in the first half due to the strong wind and Kyles' fast paced-forwards.

Kyles started to dominate the first half and scored a further two goals - through Thomas Whyte, and then on the stroke of half time a 30-yard ripper from Grant Irvine.

Fort's forwards saw a lot more of the ball in the second half, with some outstanding goalkeeping from the oldest, and best keeper in the game, keeping the scoreline at bay.

Kenny MacDonald is rumoured to have attended primary school with Rabbie Burns, but his eye for the ball between the sticks has certainly not deteriorated with age - it was, as always, simply stunning.

When Fort did manage to get another it was from six yards out. I managed to nip the ball off the last defender and slip it past big Kenny from close range.

More great goalkeeping continued after that, and Fort will feel very dissapointed to not to take at least take a point from the encounter. This was due to an outstanding young shinty team who have world at their feet.

I am also an auxillary firefighter for Spean Bridge, and straight after the game we were called to a wildfire which took me out into the middle of nowhere. Normally, this wouldn't prove to be an issue, however I had agreed to talk on the local radio station, Nevis radio.

They had advertised all day about their new sports show, and how I was going to be doing a live interview on it. so, I apologise to everybody at the station and to everyone who thought I didn't phone in because I was in the cream-puff, but I was up the top of a hill with no signal sweating my socks off, for the second time that day!

The Badenoch derby also took place on Saturday between Newtonmore and Kingussie.

Craig Dawson opened the scoring for Kingussie, before a Glen MacKintosh double gave the homeside the advantage. Dawson then netted his second with only five minutes remaining, to take a share of the points, the match ending 2-2.

Lovat had a comfortable win at home over Glenorchy. Four from Greg Mathison, and singles from Craig Mainland and Lewis Tawse finished the game 6-0.

Inveraray travelled over to Oban and came away with both points after two goals from Rary's Grant Griffin, and a strike from Russel MacKinlay. Oban's Daniel MacKinnon managed to get his name on the scoresheet for the homeside with the game finishing 3-1.

Glenurquhart continued their current form with a 5-1 win over Kilmallie. Two goals apiece from, Calum MacAulay, and Ruiridh Cameron, did most of the dammage, with Neale Reid finishing off the scoring for the homeside. Liam MacDonald netted Kilmallie's only goal.

Looking ahead to this weekend, Newtonmore take on Kyles Athletic's at the Eilen. This will be a showdown and a half. Last year's champs, Newtomore, have dropped three points from their last two fixtures and need to win this, if they want to try and retain the Premier crown.

Kyles have not dropped a point, and if they stand a chance of winning the league, they will see this fixture as their biggest yet.

Fort William have also lost three points from their last two games, and face Kingussie at An Aird. Fort William v Kingussie is always a huge game in the shinty calendar, and this week will be no different. Fort know if they loose this fixture on Saturday, all hopes of title success may be out the window, even at this early stage.

In the other Premier ties, Kilmallie take on Inveraray, while Lovat host Glenurquhart, and Oban Camanachd challenge Glenorchy.

How the Premier League table will look next weekend I'm not sure, but one thing is for certain, it's going to be a fine weekend of shinty before we find out.

Safe travels to all travelling players and clubs.


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