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Shinty displays bring awards cheer

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Gary Innes | 17:53 UK time, Monday, 18 July 2011

Fort William now sit top of the Marine Harvest Premier League after beating Lovat 8-0 at An Aird.

This was the last game at Fort's home ground until late 2012, to enable the pitch to be torn up and a new drainage system fitted.

It took only four minutes for Fort to find the net with a slice of luck. My shot was not going to beat the Lovat keeper, but as the ball rolled towards goal a puddle stopped it dead, leaving Gordie Mackinnon the easy job of slipping it home!

After this stroke of luck, Fort never looked back with MacKinnon completing his hat-trick alongside doubles from Bryan Simpson and myself.

Stevie Stewart managed his first ever Premier League goal in the 90th minute, which would have taken some of the sting out of breaking his nose earlier in the match.

Glenurquhart travelled down to Inverarary and will be delighted to leave with a point after a 3-3 draw.

Beauly were in action against Skye at the weekend. Photo: Neil Paterson

Garry MacPherson opened the scoring for 'Rary after six minutes, only for John Barr to level a minute later.

Russell MacInlay then bagged a double to see Inveraray lead right up until the last 10 minutes, when Barr's second of the day followed by a late Lewis MacLennen strike secured a share of the spoils.

Kilmallie continued their fine form with an impressive 10-0 win over Glenorchy. Hat-tricks from Liam MacDonald and Michael Rodgers did most of the damage, with Peter MacIntyre (2), Mark Graham and John Stewart also adding their names to the scoresheet.

The Artemis Macaulay Cup semi finals were scheduled on Saturday with the main focus being on the North, where Kingussie met Newtonmore. Unusually, this game was abandoned after 25 minutes when torrential rain made the field unplayable. However, the game has been rescheduled for this coming Saturday.

The weather didn't prove to be such an issue in the South, where Kyles Athletic brushed aside Oban Camanachd 7-2 to breeze through to the Macaulay Cup final.

Roddy MacDonald opened the scoring in the first minute for Kyles, with Iain MacMillan equalising moments later. Grant Irvine then pushed Kyles back into the driving seat only for Matt Ripon to again level for Camanachd shortly after.

Kyles then stepped up a notch after this with a Roddy MacDonald personal tally of four, while Robby MacLeod and Gordon Whyte added the final touch.

The annual Shinty awards were held in Oban on Sunday with many of Shinty's top sponsors and delegates in attendance.

I was honoured and delighted to win the Marine Harvest Player of the Year Award, and the Scottish Hydro Player of the Year Award.

This is the first time that I've won either award and to win both in the same season is a real personal high for me.

I want to thank all the clubs and committees that voted for me: if you make yourself known I will see you get a dram and a cuddle accordingly!

Looking ahead to this weekend's Premier fixtures: Glenorchy host Oban Camanachd; Lovat challenge Inveraray; while Glenurquhart will try to contain Kyles Athletic.

Fort William travel just three miles over the water to the Canal Parks where they meet local rivals Kilmallie.

Kilmallie have had some good results of late, and will look to continue this current form when meeting their arch enemies.

Fort, on the other hand, have also strung together some good results and will do their upmost to stay top of the Premier League table come Saturday evening.

Unfortunately, I'll miss the local derby match this week after another weekend of gigs and festivals take me to the Hawaii of the Hebrides: Tiree.

Fort William v Kilmallie games are always brilliant to be involved in for players and supporters alike. I'd advise anybody visiting the Lochaber area on Saturday to get along and witness this battle, however, make sure you shout and support the team with the high-vis vests on...

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