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Kyles need Newtonmore slip up to retain title chance

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Gary Innes | 21:00 UK time, Monday, 3 September 2012

Newtonmore are within grasping distance of lifting the 2012 Orion Group Premiership trophy after beating islanders Bute 2-0.

It was More youngsters Ackie MacRae and Calum Stewart who bagged both goals for the Badenoch side with no reply in return from the Rothesay men.

Kyles Athletic sit alongside Newtonmore on 26 points but have played one more game than their closest counterpart.

Kinlochshiel travelled to Tighnabruaich to meet the south league hopefuls and opened the scoring first through Keith MacRae. Roddy MacDonald brought Kyles level on 30 minutes, which was followed up by a John Whyte double, to finish the day's scoring and take Kyles back up alongside Newtonmore at the top with a 3-1 victory.

If Kyles stand any chance now of lifting their first-ever Premiership title, they need Newtonmore to drop points this week against Glenurquhart.

This is not out of the question. Glenurquhart have finished their 2012 season on a high after lifting their first major trophy in the club's history and haven't lost a game since.

This week's two points came in the same fashion as their two points recently against Kingussie, a penalty winner from goal-keeper Stuart MacIntosh, this time against Camanachd Cup finalists Inveraray.

Glen had apparently missed eight penalties this year before they found their super striker and he couldn't have been further away from the spot if he tried.

Kingussie and Lovat finished all square

Kingussie and Lovat finished all square (pic: Neil G Paterson)

Scotland International Stuart Mac, or 'Smack', as he is affectionately known, at the beginning of this season was in charge of stopping penalties, not taking them! This new-found fame in the village of Glenurquhart has sparked a surge in juvenile number one goalkeeper jersey's being sold out at the Shintyshop.

Kingussie welcomed Lovat to the Dell and sprung on to the scoreboard first through Rory MacGregor. Savio Genini then doubled Kings' scoreline with a strike on the half hour mark. Lovat, however, managed to salvage a point after Owen Ferguson and Calum MacAulay both scored for the Kiltarlity men to finish the tie 2-2.

In the North and South reserves cup finals, congratulations to Beauly Shinty Club, who won the Strathdearn Cup final on Saturday over Fort William. Scott Knox bagged the opener for Fort William, but a goal from Connor Ross and a double from Shaun Stewart confirmed the silverware was heading to the green and white of Beauly.

In the South, it was Lochside Rover that won the spoils in the Bullough Cup final with a 6-2 win over Ballahulish. Darren Sutherland and Davie Macphee were the Ballahulish hit men, but they could do nothing to stop a hat-trick from Daniel Mackinnon, followed by goals from Shaun Morgan, Brian MacCallum and Neil MacFarlane to secure both hands on the trophy.

Looking ahead to this weekends action...

In the Orion Group Premiership, its crunch time for Newtonmore as they face Glenurquhart back to back for the Premiership title.

This weekend, More have home advantage as they look to step two points clear of Kyles Athletic with their game in hand. With a More goal difference of 12 going into this match, Newtonmore and Kyles Athletic will know fine well that a win would all but confirm Newtonmore as 2012 Premiership champions.

The only other Premiership fixture has Bute finishing their last Premiership tie of the season against Kinlochshiel. Bute were confirmed as relegated a number of weeks back but will hope to leave the Premiership on a high with their first two points.

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