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Shinty cup overflows with drama

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Gary Innes | 11:10 UK time, Monday, 14 May 2012

The first round of the Artemis Macaulay Cup was the talk on shinty lips on Saturday, as all Premier clubs, and First Division clubs that beat the preliminary rounds, took to the field.

And, of course, the day featured a cup shock as last year's North finalists, Newtonmore, who would possibly have been tipped favourites for this competition, lost 2-1 to Kinlochshiel.

Keith Macrae opened the scoring for 'Shiel but Newtonmore's Calum Stewart was able to level.

And the result wasn't decided until the 90th minute, when Kinlochshiel's John Macrae scored with virtually the last hit of the ball to blow the competition wide open.

Fort William v Lovat

Bute also made it through with a 5-2 win over Oban Celtic, while a Scott Macmillan penalty was enough to see his Oban Camanachd side through against Glenorchy.

Glasgow Mid Argyll also progressed courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Taynuilt, while Glenurquhart thumped four past Kilmallie before half time.

Kilmallie did pull one back late on through Ross Lavin, but the Drumnadrochit men made sure it was their names in the hat for the next round.

Lochaber got off to a dream start over Premier giants Kingussie, racing to a 2-0 lead through Scott Paterson and Ben Delaney.

It was another Lochaber man next on the scoresheet, but unfortunately for Lochaber it was a Lachlan Campbell own goal that opened the gates for Kingussie, shortly followed by a Ronald Ross equaliser.

Ross went on to score a hat-trick, topped up by Fraser Munro and Rory Borthwick, while a Shaun Nicholson strike, and another from Delaney, ensured the match finished 6-4 in Kingussie's favour.

Inveraray welcomed their rivals Kyles Athletic to the Winterton and also snatched a last-second winner.

The game stood at 1-1 thanks to goals from Garry MacPherson and Ewan Campbell, until 'Aray's Chris Crawford scored a 90th-minute goal to take the Argyll men through to the next stage.

Fort William got back to their winning ways when they beat Lovat 4-3.

Fort were extremely short on Saturday through injury, suspension and work commitments, not least of all our full centre and Scotland international Niall Macphee, who was in Afghanistan with his company, Sportslabs.

They were there to assess if Ghazi Stadium in Kabul, was up to FIFA standard.

One thing's for sure, Lovat's home field at Kiltarlity is definitely closer to FIFA standard than our temporary field, The Black Parks!

Lewis Tawse opened the scoring for the home side before Bryan Simpson levelled shortly after.

Owen Ferguson pushed the Kiltarlity men ahead once more, before a simply stunning 40-yard solo run saw Gordy Mackinnon take on the Lovat defence and slip it past the keeper.

Only moments later Mackinnon had the ball at his feet once more to take his tally to two.

Ryan Campbell was next on the scoresheet for Fort with a sizzling top corner strike to give Fort a two goal advantage. ]

However, Owen Ferguson got his second of the day with one minute remaining, leaving injury time a frantic affair for both sides.

Its semi-final Saturday this weekend in the Co-operative MacTavish, and AJG Celtic Society Cups.

In the North's MacTavish Cup, Glenurquhart face Newtonmore at Drumnadrochit, while Lochaber go head-to-head with Kingussie for the second consecutive week at Spean Bridge.

In the South's Celtic Society Cup, Bute challenge Inveraray, while Aberdour clash with Taynuilt.

With so many teams in cup action, only two Premiership ties are scheduled to take place; with Kinlochshiel tackling Kilmallie, while Fort William make the long drive south to Tighnabruaich to face Kyles Athletic.

Kilmallie beat Kinlochshiel two weeks ago to give the Caol men their first win of the season.

However, Kinlochshiel, who sit third in the league, will be on a huge high after beating Newtonmore on Saturday, and will look to continue their fine league campaign.

Kilmallie have a bigger uphill struggle than 'Shiel's home field, Kirkton, though, as marksman John Stewart saw red at the weekend and is subsequently suspended for this fixture.

Kyles Athletic, who dominated the Premier league last year up until the back end of the season, have not quite had the same impact this year.

That said, Kyles are sitting joint third in the Premiership, and ex-Fort William youngster Ewan Campbell has been banging the goals in for Kyles since his move to Dunoon.

Fort boss, Peter MacIntyre, is constantly struggling to field anything close to the same team each week at the moment, and will be hoping for a few more regular faces back this weekend to help bolster his squad.

Safe travels to all clubs and supporters.

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