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Sunday service for shinty?

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Gary Innes | 15:11 UK time, Monday, 26 March 2012

2011 champions Newtonmore remain firmly at the top of the Orion Group Premiership after a 6-2 away win at Inveraray.

Russell MacInlay opened the scoring for the home side, but it wasn't long before 'More's Danny Macrae and Glen Macintosh had three between them.

'Rary's Stuart Robertson pulled one back shortly after half-time, however another Danny MacRae double and a single from Macintosh put a smile on at least one side of Badenoch.

Kyles Athletic


On the other-side, Kingussie continued their downward spiral when Kyles Athletic thumped them 5-2 at Tighnabruiach.

Roddie Macdonald, Ewan Campbell, Dunkie Kerr and a Thomas Whyte double wrapped things up.

Fraser Munro found the back of the net twice for Kings, but, after conceding 14 goals in their opening four matches, questions will be asked of the Kingussie defence.

Kinlochshiel's home fixture against Glenurquhart was once more reversed as their home field was rendered unplayable.

However, this did not put the 'Shiel men off their stride as they strolled away with both points thanks to goals from Findlay MacRae and Fraser MacVicar.

'Glen's Lewis Maclennan did find the target on home soil, but the 'Drum men were left empty handed again this week when they could not find an equaliser.

Lovat were yet to drop a point going into Saturdays match when they welcomed Bute to Balgate Park, Kiltarlity.

However, after 90 minutes with no goals the game was settled as a draw.

Fort William got their Mactavish Cup first round off to flier when they brushed aside Caberfeidh 8-1 at the Black Parks.

Fort were four up by half time through strikes from yours truly, including a penalty.

Daniel Stewart then added to the tally with an outstanding solo goal, followed by a Gordie MacKinnon double, and super strike from substitute Ryan Campbell.

Shinty over the past few years has caught a lot more media attention, and, certainly in the central belt, from my own experience, more and more people seem to understand what shinty is.

This is most likely down to good promotional work from the Camanachd Association, and more exposure though television, radio and other media outlets.

With this in mind the sport has progressed and with this comes change.

Even over the past decade we have seen shinty turn from a winter sport into a summer sport, the introduction of two to three subs - who can now even roll on and off, plus the direct free hit rule in the Celtic Society Cup.

Wether you agree with the changes or not, these changes are now part of the sport.

My question now is, with all major sports being played on a Sunday, should shinty be looking to schedule the odd game on a Sunday?

If there was, say, just one game a month on a Sunday, this would be a great way of getting neutral players, supporters, and fans through the gates to watch the match.

It would also be a way of generating more press and hype for the only Sunday game that month, which would of course work better if it was a derby of sorts.

They have been doing this for years in our sister sport hurling with great effect, however, do you think Shinty will ever break through to the sabbath on a regular basis?

Looking ahead to this week, only two games are scheduled in the Premiership this weekend due to cup action.

Newtonmore will look to extend their lead at the top when they face Kyles Athletics at the Eilean, while Kilmallie host Inveraray at the Canal Parks.

In the North, the Co-operative Mactavish Cup first round takes precedent with
Lochaber v Lochcarron, Glenurquhart v Inverness, Strathglass v Skye, Beauly v Lovat and Kinlochshiel v Kingussie.

In the South, the Celtic Society Cup also gets underway with Aberdour v Glasgow Mid Argyll, Glenorchy v Bute and Oban Celtic v Strachur.

Fort William have no fixture this weekend as Fort's defender Neil Robertson ties the knot with his lovely partner Penny.

Neil who took a knock to the head on Saturday, was overheard asking boss Peter Macintyre to be taken off at half-time as he was worried another knock to the face may ruin his wedding day pictures.

Macintyre responded with a cheeky grin and told Robertson to 'grow a set' and that it was all to late for his looks anyway.

Safe travels to all clubs and supporters.

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