Friday night booze takes the fizz out of Saturday games
Now, maybe I'm too straight-laced for the sport, or the fact I want to be the best I can on a Saturday, but it seems more and more shinty players are taking to the pub for a few on a Friday night.
Growing up through the ranks at Fort William, it was drilled into us that it was completely unacceptable to even think about having a few pints on a Friday night. Of course, we made up for it doubly on the Saturday.
But things clearly seemed to have changed at the club, as many of the youngsters are arriving on Saturday morning bold as brass admitting to the mischief they were up to the night before. It has got that bad that manager Peter MacIntyre has installed a rule - if he knows, or you're caught drinking on a Friday, you will not even be considered for selection.
We all understand it's an amateur sport and that we have to make sacrifices when committing to a season, but in my mind you can never give 100% to yourself, and your team-mates, if you hit the booze the night before.
So what are your views on this tricky subject? Do you agree, or do you think each player as individuals should be allowed to do as they please with their evenings?
Robbie Macleod of Kyles attempts to block the swing from Lovat's Callum Cruden in their Orion Premiership match. Photo: Neil Paterson
Fort William welcomed Kinlochshiel to the Black Parks in our Premiership clash.
I had borrowed my girlfriend's mum's ankle brace in an attempt to try to last the match after a fall a couple of weeks ago. Fiona Grant (Grantown's physio extraordinaire) had me well sorted as I could be to try to last the fixture. In the black socks, one ankle looked like a snooker cue, while the other looked like a snooker table leg! It did, however, do the trick and I lasted until the last 15 minutes.
Thank you, Fiona. Especially as it turned out to be my day, scoring a hat-trick as we took the lead three times in reply to Keith MacRae's 30-yard rocket and an own goal from our defender, Duncan Rodger.
Kyles Athletics sit two points clear at the top after defeating Lovat 2-1 at Kiltarlity. Owen Ferguson opened the scoring for the home side. Roddy MacDonald equalised for Kyles after the restart, followed by the winner from John Whyte.
Kingussie's goal machine, Ronald Ross, completed a hat-trick to send Kilmallie home without any points. Liam MacDonald put the Caol men ahead in the first half, but they couldn't contain Ross in the second half as Kings won 3-1.
Inveraray lifted the first South silverware of the season after demolishing First Division Taynuilt 14-0. This was Taynuilt's first-ever senior final and, if nothing else, they will have gained massive experience from the whole day.
Four goals from Russell Mackinlay and a hat-trick apiece for Garry MacPherson, Ruaridh Graham and Euan MacMurdo did all the damage. Aray's Chris Crawford also got his name on the scoresheet with a solo strike to finish the highest-scoring final on record.
Looking ahead to this weekend's fixtures.
In the Premiership, Kinlochshiel battle it out with Newtonmore, Bute host Lovat, while Kilmallie face Kingussie for the second consecutive week.
The Kyles Athletic v Glasgow Mid Argyll Camanachd Cup replay takes place at Tighnabruaich for the last quarter-final spot of shinty's showpiece.
In the Artemis MacAulay Cup semi-finals, Inveraray, high off their Celtic Society Cup win, face Oban Camanachd, while Fort William play Glenurquhart.
Fort beat Glenurquhart 3-1 in the league a couple of weeks back, but Glenurquhart were unfortunate that day, as lady luck played her part in two of Fort's goals. Both clubs know each other inside out. It will be interesting to see if either manager changes their tactics for Saturdays match-up. However, for both clubs, this is their only chance of a major final this year.