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Newtonmore begin title defence in style

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Gary Innes | 18:31 UK time, Thursday, 10 March 2011

Last year's Premier League champions Newtonmore got their 2011 season off to a flier, with a 6-2 away win at Inveraray.

A hat-trick from Danny Macrae did most of the damage, sealed by single strikes from Stephen MacDonald, Paul MacArthur and Glen MacIntosh.

Inveraray's Stuart Robertson and Neil Campbell got themselves on the scoresheet for the home side. However, it was not enough to worry Brick MacArthur's boys.

Kilmallie took on Oban Camanachd at the Canal Parks in their first Premier League fixture since 2007.

Oban Camanachd saved their Premiership spot on the last day of the season last year to keep them up in the top flight.

Kilmallie hitman, John Stewart, got the Caol side's goal but this was not enough to stop Oban's Daniel McIntyre, Lewis Cameron and Andrew MacCuish, who wrapped the game up 3-1.

Kingussie and Newtonmore, represented here by Lee Bain (l) and Norman Campbell, both enjoyed wins at the weekend. Photo: SNS.

Kingussie and Newtonmore, represented here by Lee Bain (l) and Norman Campbell, both enjoyed wins at the weekend. Photo: SNS.

Kingussie started their season without top goal scorer and this year's captain, Ronald Ross, who was missing because of an ankle injury.

Stevie Bothwick's young guns came up trumps again, with goals from teenagers Ryan Bothwick, Fraser Munro and two from Thomas Bothwick.

Lovat could not find a way back and Kings took their first two points of the season with a 4-0 victory.

Glenorchy got their season campaign under way with a hard-hitting 8-0 defeat at the hands of Kyles Athletic's at Tighnabruaich.

Three goals from Duncan Kerr, two from Thomas Whyte, and strikes from Fraser MacDonald, Robbie MacLeod, and David Zavaroni did the damage.

Fort William met Glenurquhart at An Aird. From the moment of arriving at the field it looked fresh and unspoilt, and felt brilliant to be back in the swing of things.

From the throw-up Fort pressed the Glen keeper, and after eight minutes I managed to pick the ball up on the edge of the box and slip it through Stuart MacIntosh's legs to open the scoring.

Brian (Boob) Simpson was next on the scoresheet for Fort with a great strike to take a two-goal lead at half-time.

The next goal would prove crucial for both teams, and it came in the form of a penalty, after the Scotland keeper was deemed to have kicked the ball.

I scored from the resulting penalty and the game finished 3-0.

This was my first competitive shinty game with the helmet on, which I was a little apprehensive about, although I have to say after 10 minutes I didn't even notice I had it on.

In fact, I felt safer going into tackles and up for high balls than I ever have before, although maybe with old age I'm turning into a bit of a Jessie - who knows?

Having never worn one growing up I thought it would take a lot longer to adjust to wearing one. I'm not saying that I am completely used to it already, but they are not nearly as bad as people have made out to me in the past.

However, I'm not so sure my dentist will be so pleased about my new-found love for the shinty helmet.

Looking ahead to this week's action, Glenurquhart take on Inveraray at Drum in a game where both teams will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeats.

Kingussie have home advantage again this week facing Kilmallie. Johnny Morrison's men have a hard couple of games ahead of them, facing both Badenoch giants away over the next two consecutive weeks; however, I'm sure he will have a plan up his sleeve.

Lovat host Newtonmore at Kiltarlity in search of their first points this year. After Newtonmore's neighbours Kingussie putting 4 past them last week, they will be looking to tighten up at the back.

Oban Camanachd will prepare to meet Kyles Athletic at Mossfield. Both teams won last weekend and will be concentrating on taking both points again this week.

Glenurquhart will meet their first south visitors this year when Inveraray join them at Drumnadrochit.

Fort William head off down to Dalmally where they face Glenorchy. 'The Mart' field is usually a leveller for any visiting team as it can be very soft, especially if the cows or sheep have been on it during the week.

It is one of those real lovely places to play, as it sits out in the middle of a field on its own, surrounded by the hills and glens.

Glenorchy have some outstanding players, and if Fort want to take both points back up the A82, they had better be prepared for a fight.

Best of luck to all clubs this weekend. Apparently the snow is back on the way, so get yer tights ready.

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