Shinty: Wins for Newtonmore, Kinlochshiel, Kyles and Kingussie

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland
Newtonmore v Lovat
Reigning champions Newtonmore are off and running in the new season with a home win over Lovat

Newtonmore opened their bid for an eighth consecutive Marine Harvest Premiership title with a 4-2 home win over Lovat, one of their closest potential rivals.

Kinlochshiel marked the start of the 2017 shinty season by continuing last season's progress in dramatic style, with Keith MacRae's 92nd minute 3-2 winner over Oban Camanachd at Balmacara.

Kyles staked their claim with a 4-2 defeat of Lochaber at Spean Bridge while Kilmallie made their return to the Premiership but lost by the same scoreline at home to Glenurquhart.

And there was no luck either for the other promoted side Glasgow Mid Argyll who went down 3-1 at home to Kingussie.

Newtonmore's Conor Jones got the Premiership's first goal of the new season just four minutes into the champions' encounter with the 2015 Camanachd Cup winners.

Iain Robinson made it 2-0 in the second half but Lorne MacKay replied within a minute. Robinson then got his second which was pegged back by Greg Matheson and for 10 minutes the game hung at 3-2 until Robinson completed his hat-trick at the death.

Kinlochshiel and Oban Camanachd have both been quoted as possible challengers to Newtonmore. Their encounter first swung Shiel's way with goals before and after half time from Oliver MacRae and Donald Nixon. Camanachd battled back with a strike from Daniel MacVicar and an equaliser from Malcolm Clark before Keith MacRae's last gasp winner.

It was plain sailing at first for Kyles against Lochaber with a penalty from Robbie MacLeod and a goal from Grant Irvine in the first half and contributions from Irvine again and Roddy MacDonald in the second. Lochaber then struck back late with an Andrew King own goal and a strike for Shaun Nicholson.

Kilmallie made a dream return to the top flight when Michael Rodger got their opener just before the half hour. However, Calum Smith equalised for Glenurquhart just before half-time and James MacPherson gave them the lead just after. Duncan Rodger made it 2-2 before MacPherson clinched it for Glen with two more to complete his hat-trick, scored in 22 minutes of play.

Ruairidh Anderson and Ryan Borthwick gave Kingussie a 2-0 half-time lead in Glasgow before Chris Hollysong effectively buried the game with a third early in the second half. Calum McLay made a late reply for Mid Argyll.

Strathglass made a great return to national level shinty with a two-all draw in the second tier National Division at home to Caberfeidh who have been quoted as one of the favourites. Top international points scorer Kevin Bartlett, who has recently returned to Cabers from Lovat, got both for the visiting side.

Oban Celtic, also moving up, just failed to match Strathglass when they lost 2-1 at home to a late goal from newly relegated Fort William's Daniel Stewart. The other relegated side, Skye, swept Inverness aside 4-1 in Portree, scoring in the first and the last minutes, while Lewis Montgomery got four as Inveraray eclipsed Beauly 5-1.

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