Newtonmore clinch MacAulay Cup with late win over Kyles

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland
Fraser MacKintosh celebrates with the trophy after scoring Newtonmore's winner in the Artemis MacAulay Cup final against Kyles Athletic
MacKintosh got his hands on the trophy after his goal settled the final

A Fraser MacKintosh goal six minutes from the end of extra time gave Newtonmore the Artemis MacAulay Cup for the first time in 28 years.

In a hard fought final in Oban against holders Kyles Athletic - a repeat of the 2013 final - Danny MacRae opened for Newtonmore after the quarter-hour mark.

Dunky Kerr equalised in what was a much improved second half for Kyles.

With the game seemingly heading to penalties, MacKintosh stepped up with the winner.

It means More's league and cup double is still very much on.

First into action was Newtonmore keeper Mike Ritchie with two saves in the first two minutes, but it was More who made the breakthrough when MacRae got the opener after 16 minutes.

They continued to dominate but failed to exploit their advantage during the first half - both versions of it because referee Deek Cameron apparently misread his watch when he first blew by mistake on 40 minutes.

Kyles manager James Perlich's team talk can only be guessed at since the holders came back out a better team and Kerr equalised after 53 minutes.

However, it was now Kyles' turn to fail to cash in and the game stubbornly drifted towards 90 minutes in deadlock.

Extra time quickly became a 'next goal's the winner' scenario and Ritchie denied Kyles when he blocked a long ball dropping out of the sun, with forward Roddy MacDonald in close attendance.

With time running out, again it was a long high ball which the Kyles defence failed to clear and MacKintosh steadied it and fired in from 20 yards.

Kyles threw everything forward but Newtonmore held on.

Manager Paul John MacKintosh said: "I am absolutely delighted. We've got so many injuries, so many boys carrying problems. I'm delighted to get the MacAulay under our belts and eventually win it.

"We felt we got a raw deal in last year's final but we tried not to focus on that and just tried to focus on what we had to do today. We got there and that's what it's all about."

However, the opportunity for Newtonmore to land two trophies in an afternoon if Lovat had failed to beat Kingussie in the Orion Premiership did not materialise when that game was postponed due to bereavement in Lovat's home village of Kiltarlity.

In the Marine Harvest National Division, it's as you were in the race for the promotion place after a 1-1 draw between Fort William and Oban Camanachd. An Arran MacPhee penalty for Fort was neutralised by a goal from Lorn Dickie so Camanachd have 21 points with two to play and Fort have 20 with three games to go.

Caberfeidh came from behind to beat Glasgow Mid Argyll 2-1 while Skye, who beat Newtonmore's reserves 4-2, and Ballachulish, 1-0 victors over Aberdour, took further steps towards meeting each other in a play-off for a place in next season's National Division.

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