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Fort and Kingussie to fight out MacTavish Cup

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Gary Innes | 15:22 UK time, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Fort William and Kingussie both forced their way through to the Co-operative MacTavish Cup final, the first silverware up for grabs for the season.

Kilmallie travelled to the Dell to face Kingussie in a repeat of last year's final, with Ronald Ross stamping his authority on the tie with a mandatory hat trick, followed by a goal from King's Thomas Bothwick.

Kilmallie's Michael Rodger then went on to score a double to lift the Caol men back into the game, and with only minutes remaining, Kilmallie's John Stewart scored for the away side, meaning Kings held on for a nervous 4-3 win.

Fort William travelled up to Newtonmore in the other semi final. With a large crowd gathered and both teams knowing of Kingussie's success earlier in the day, everything was to play for.

Newtonmore took the wind in the first half and pressed the Fort defence from the off. James Clark and Stevie Stewart in particular were outstanding in the back four for Fort and didn't put a foot wrong all day.

Fort scored within one minute of the restart after a brilliant strike from John MacLeod but Paul MacArthur levelled 10 minutes later as the game raged from end-to-end.

The next goal was crucial, and when Fort's Brian Simpson ran past his marker and riffled the ball into the top of the net, the away support went wild. Fort then started to dominate and John MacDonald found the postage stamp corner with only five minutes remaining to seal a place in this year's final.

The big game takes place on the Bught Parks, Inverness on 18 June.

The only Premier game to be played saw Glenorchy travel up to Drumnadrochit in search of their first points of the season. Unfortunately for the Dalmally men, a Neale Reid penalty conversion left them empty-handed once again.

My good pal Dr Phil Cunningham MBE, fellow accordion player and housewives favourite, was on hand to draw the second round of the Camanachd Cup this week, live from Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall.

He certainly made things interesting for us, drawing Fort William out to travel to Newtonmore. This is certain to test Fort's sensational eight Camanachd finals in a row.

Phil, however, has said he predicts a 3-1 win for Fort William; let's just hope he is better at predicting the future, than drawing the teams!

The other fixtures are as follows: Taynuilt v Kingussie, Oban Camanachd v Kyles Athletic, Lochcarron v Kilmallie, Inveraray v Lochaber, Glenorchy v Lovat, Bute v GMA, Kinlochshiel v Glenurquhart.

It's back to cup action again this week with the first round of the Artemis MacAulay Cup. Fort William travel to Lovat, where they have drawn 0-0 already this season on league duty. This time a finish will be demanded, with all games played to a finish.

The other clashes are: Lochaber v Kilmallie, Kinlochshiel v Newtonmore, Inveraray v Bute, Glasgow Mid Argyll v Oban Celtic, Kilmory v Oban Camanachd, Glenorchy v Kyles Athletic, Glenurquhart v Kingussie.

I am currently in Islay performing this week at various concerts and events for the Islay Whisky Festival, and will unfortunately miss this week's Fort fixture. With a little goldy already in hand, I'm practising toasting the Fort lads' success for Saturday. Fingers crossed!

Safe travels to all supporters and clubs this week.



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