Kingussie lift the cup to put the boot in
Mixing and matching my boots failed to bring Fort William any luck in Saturday's Co-operative MacTavish Cup final.
And the Fort are looking at a first empty silverware cabinet since 2006 as Kingussie retained the trophy with a 4-2 win.
I arrived at the field with only 45 minutes to spare before throw up, not the best preparation for a cup final I know, but I had spent the previous 45 minutes in an Inverness sports shop trying to swap my football boots as the left one had burst.
After faffing about for ages they came back to say they only had one pair of size 10's left, which were bright green.
As luck would have it, our trainer Smaxie Smith was also in the shop to swap his son's pair which were exactly the same as my own, but with a rip on the right boot.
So after a quick switch to speed things along I arrived with one of my own boots and one of young Lewis Smith's.
Kingussie celebrate their Co-operative MacTavish Cup final victory (pic: Neil G paterson)
The Bught Parks looked superb with the grass lovely and short. A big crowd gathered and a pipe band struck up to escort both teams onto the field.
The game had hardly got underway when Fraser Munro opened the scoring for Kings from close range after a fumbled shot had found its way to the end of his stick.
Fort were soon awarded a penalty after a Kingussie defender was deemed to have kicked the ball in the box.
I stepped up and hit it straight down the middle into the chest of keeper Andrew Bothwick.
Bothwick made numerous great saves as Fort pushed to find an equaliser. However, Martin Dallas put Kingussie two ahead against the run of play.
John MacDonald then got fortunate for Fort after his shot skidded off Kings defender Garry Munro's stick to beat Bothwick at his near post.
With Fort pressing time and time again, the scores were level on the stroke of half time when the ball broke to myself, and I struck it high into the roof of the net - the shot giving team-mate Gordy Mackinnon a haircut on its way.
After the break, Kings started to find more holes in the Fort defence and, on 65 minutes, Craig Dawson slipped the ball past Paul MacKay to give Kingussie the lead once more.
Fort continued to press forward but were repelled by a solid Kingussie defence and outstanding goalkeeping from Andrew Bothwick.
This game was never going to finish without Kings captain Ronald Ross getting his name on the score-sheet and in the dying seconds he did just that.
Fort's James Clark had marked him out the match all day but as the ball broke to big Ron just inside the box, there was only one place it was going.
Soon after, Ross was collecting the first silverware of the year to set alight the parties in Badenoch and Strathspey.
Fort William were very disappointed after creating several good chances but Kingussie proved once more that they have a lot more depth in their squad and up front than just their captain. Well done.
In the Scottish Hydro Premier Division, Newtonmore continued to press Kyles at the top of the league when a single Glen MacIntosh strike was enough to take both points against Glenurquhart. This result sees last year's champs Newtonmore now just three points behind the Tighnabruaich men.
Peter MacIntyre opened the scoring for Kilmallie when they met Inveraray away at the Winterton Park, before Garry MacPherson equalized on the 30th minute. However, Kilmallie's John Stewart was on hand to snatch the winner and wrap up both points for the Caol men.
In the Artemis Macaulay Cup, Kyles Athletic sneaked through against their neighboring islanders Bute with only seconds remaining of extra time.
Dunkie Kerr opened the scoring and then went on to put Kyles ahead by two on 20 minutes, before Sandy MacVicars own goal threw Bute a lifeline. Roddie MacDonald was then next to find the net for Kyles but Graham Fisher and Robert Walker fought back to level the tie.
With only two minutes remaining and 118 minutes of shinty played, Kerr popped up once more to clinch the match 4-3.
Kyles will now face Oban Camanachd in the other south semi-final after they beat Glasgow Mid Argyll 4-3. Two goals from GMA's Angus Macintosh and strike from Craig Anderson just wasn't enough to stop Camanachd's Scott MacMillan (2) Iain MacMillan and Lewis Cameron from progressing.
Lovat met Glenorchy in their Camanachd Cup replay, after both clubs drew a fortnight ago at Dalmally. This time it was not so close as Lovat romped home 7-1 winners.
A hat-trick from Greg Matheson, two from Euan Ferguson followed by strikes from Owen Ferguson and James MacKenzie put the home side in seventh heaven. Grant MacPherson was the only Glenorchy man to get his name on the scoresheet. Lovat now face Kilmallie away in the next round to take place on 2 July.
Looking ahead to this week in the Scottish Hydro Premier Division, Kilmallie host Kingussie at the Canal Parks, while Newtonmore have the chance to go one point behind league leaders Kyles if they can get the better of Lovat at home.
Fort William face a road trip to Drumnadrochit as they prepare to take on Glenurquhart.
In the South, Kyles Athletic and Oban Camanachd meet each other in the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup final. This is the first South silverware up for grabs and both teams will desperately want to get their hands on the cup.