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Fort William and Newtonmore enjoy derby wins

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Gary Innes | 21:48 UK time, Monday, 27 August 2012

It was derby day in the Orion Group Premiership and, live on BBC ALBA, Fort William welcomed their old foes, Kilmallie, from across the river Lochy, to An Aird.

Both clubs were aware this would be the last Premiership meeting between the two clubs until at least 2014, as Kilmallie, alongside Bute, were consigned to relegation last weekend.

Fort's Brian (Boob) Simpson broke the deadlock on 68 minutes, with Gordy MacKinnon adding a second goal shortly afterwards.

It is disappointing for the Lochaber area to lose two big derby days next year, so I personally wish the Caol men a speedy return to the top flight.

For Fort William, this campaign has been very much a transitional period, after many of the team's old heroes finished up at the end of last season. However, the young talent coming through is encouraging.

As a team that has been used to playing in the huge open space of An Aird, it was often difficult and testing on many occasions playing 90% of our home games at the tight, narrow, 'Black Parks', while the home ground got a face lift.

With this in mind, Fort's new look team will be excited at the thought of starting the 2013 season with An Aird in great condition, and with a year of Premiership shinty experience under the belts of boss Peter MacIntyre's new recruits.

Newtonmore got the better of Kingussie at the weekend

Newtonmore got the better of Kingussie at the weekend (pic: Neil G Paterson)

In the Badenoch derby, it took Kingussie's Savio Genini only two minutes to find the net against their old rivals Newtonmore.

But John MacKenzie levelled and Chris Sellar, and Paul MacArthur completed the 3-1 comeback.

Kyles Athletic continued their fine form to brush aside Bute 2-0 at Tighnabruiach.

Camanachd Cup finalists Kyles are still in the hunt for their first ever Premiership title, sitting top of the league alongside Newtonmore at present.

Dunkie Kerr, and Thomas Whyte were the home scorers, as islanders Bute make preparations for South Division 1 shinty next season.

It took a late goal from Kinlochshiel's Keith MacRae to salvage a point at home against Inveraray, who nudged out Kinlochshiel in the Camanachd Cup semi-final two weeks ago.

The visitors' opening strike at Balmacara, came from striker Neil Campbell.

A week after losing 5-0 in the MacAulay Cup final, Oban Camanachd bounced back in style as they beat Oban Celtic 7-0, to win promotion from South Division 1.

Oban Camanachd will step up into Bute's position, while in the North we still wait to see who will secure Kilmallies spot.

Kilmallie's neighbours, Lochaber, I'd say are odds on favourites. However, with Skye scoring an injury-time goal to draw 3-3 with Caberfeidh, you couldn't write off the islanders just yet.

This weekend, the reserves have their say. In the North, Fort William and Beauly battle it out at Invergarry for the Strathdearn Cup. In the South, Lochside Rovers meet Ballahulish at Inveraray, for the Bullough Cup.

In the Orion Group Premiership, Bute welcome Newtonmore to the island, Kyles Athletic host Kinlochshiel, Kingussie have home advantage over Lovat, while Inveraray battle Glenurquhart.

Safe travels to all supporters.

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