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Shinty gears up for Camanachd Classico

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Gary Innes | 20:44 UK time, Monday, 15 August 2011

This year's Camanachd Cup Final will be contested by Shinty's oldest rivals, Kingussie and Newtonmore.

Both Badenoch clubs won their semi finals on Saturday at Spean Bridge, setting up one of the most eagerly anticipated finals in years.

The last time the two rivals met each other in a Camanachd Final was in 1997 where Kingussie embarrassed - and demolished their neighbours 12-1.

That scoreline will certainly not be recreated this time round as Newtonmore - in many opinions - will probably start as favourites.

Kingussie, on the other hand, are very experienced in this final, and the experience Stevie Bothwick's young guns developed in last year's final will certainly help them prepare.

With Ronald Ross also captain, and rumoured to retire from playing at the end of this season, who knows what fate will have in store.

When Glen Macintosh scored for Newtonmore after only 10 minutes, supporters were heard to say they feared the worse.

Russel McKinlay however rubbished all such thoughts moments later when his strike equalised for Inveraray.

McKinlay then doubled his tally for the day thrusting Inveraray into the driving seat while setting the South fans alight.

As the minutes ticked away David Cheyne levelled the score for 'More' taking the tie to extra time.

Newtonmore stepped up a gear in extra-time, and in the end comfortably beat Inveraray 5-2 after Glen Macintosh completed his hat-trick, while Steven MacDonald found the net with literally the last hit of the ball.

Kingussie on the other hand had no such drama and they brushed aside Kilmallie 6-0. Kilmallie started the match extremely well and went into the dressing rooms at half time goalless.

King's marksman and skipper Ronald Ross must have woken up at half-time as he bagged a hat-trick in under seven minutes from the restart.

Further goals from Craig Dawson, Fraser Munro and a fourth from Ross completed the day's haul.

The only Premier League fixture to take place saw Lovat beat Oban Camanachd 1-0.

Greg Matheson's strike on 58 minutes was enough to secure both points for the Kiltarlity men.

The Artemis MacAulay Cup Final takes place this Saturday at Mossfield Park, Oban.

South's Kyles Athletic meet North's Newtonmore live to the nation on BBC TWO, to find out which part of the Shinty country has the dominance and bragging rights for another year.

Newtonmore were the first ever winners of the MacAulay Cup in 1947 and have not won it since 1986 where they beat Kyles Athletics 4-2 in the final.

Kyles Athletic's have had a tremendous season so far and have only lost one fixture to Inveraray all year.

Newtonmore have lost five fixtures however after last weekend's victory, and confidence running high ahead of their Camanachd Cup Final This will be a final not to be missed.

Who do you think will take this year's MacAulay Cup? Will it head North to Newtonmore or will the South village of Tighnabruaich welcome home their champions?

Only one Premier fixture is scheduled this weekend which brings Kingussie and Kilmallie back together once more.

King's have managed 14 goals past Kilmallie with out reply in their last two encounters.

With both teams safe in the league, this fixture will allow Kilmallie the opportunity to try some positional key changes.

I am off to Prague this weekend with MĂ nran for a festival so unfortunately miss the big match, and the opportunity to be part of the BBC commentary team.

I will be sure to be tuned in though sitting by the Vltava with a cold one shouting out in my strongest highland accent "Come on?"

Safe travels to all clubs and supporters.

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