Balliemore Cup: Kilmallie win shinty's intermediate trophy

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland
Kilmallie players and coaches celebrate with the Balliemore Cup
Kilmallie held off Glasgow Mid Argyll to win the Balliemore Cup

Kilmallie lifted the Balliemore Cup, shinty's national intermediate title, for the second time in three years with a 3-2 victory over Glasgow Mid Argyll at Fort William.

And they also learned that their semi-final opponents in the Camanachd Cup on 28 July will be Newtonmore, who beat Kinlochshiel 4-2 in the remaining quarter-final at Balmacara.

Lovat, who have played two extra games, joined Newtonmore and Kinlochahiel on 16 points at the top of the Marine Harvest Premiership with a 2-1 defeat of Oban Camanachd in Kiltarlity.

Kyles kept in touch with a 5-1 home win over Caberfeidh.

The bottom two changed places but threw away opportunities late on to progress towards real safety. Skye and Glenurquhart both scored first but the island side were pulled back to a 3-3 draw by Lochaber while Glenurquhart, who go bottom, lost 3-2 to Kingussie.

At Fort William, Calum MacDougal gave Kilmallie the lead but Calum McLay equalised just before half-time. Innes Blackhall restored Kilmallie's lead and MacDougall's second extended it before Garry Luke struck back to create a nail-biting last 20 minutes.

Drew MacDonald gave Camanachd Cup holders Newtonmore an early advantage and they looked to be heading for a comfortable win after a Glen MacKintosh double brought the half-time score to 3-0 and Michael Russell got their fourth. Replies from Oliver MacRae and John MacRae were insufficient to get Shiel back into the game.

In the league, Andrew MacCuish put Oban Camanachd in front after just nine minutes and it was into the second half before a Lewis Tawse double swung it Lovat's way.

Colin MacDonald and Luke Thornton put Kyles 2-0 up and Kevin Bartlett replied for Cabers, all in the first 13 minutes. Sandy MacKenzie made it 3-1 at half-time and, after Grant Irvine's strike, MacKenzie also got Kyles' fifth.

Skye looked to be making a huge breakthrough when James Pringle scored early and Ruaraidh MacLeod gave them a 2-0 half-time cushion. Shaun Nicholson narrowed the gap and Will Cowie restored it with a penalty. Stuart Callison again reduced Lochaber's deficit to a single goal before Nicholson broke Skye's hearts with a stoppage-time penalty equaliser.

Meanwhile Glenurquhart suffered similarly in stoppage time when Rory MacGregor grabbed a very late winner for Kingussie. Before that, Fraser Heath's opener for Glen was quickly cancelled out by James Hutchison and MacGregor then put Kingussie ahead. Heath equalised just before half-time and MacGregor's winner came just as it looked as if the entire second half was going to be goalless.

Although Skye leapfrog Glen off the bottom, this is only by a goal difference of one and both are now four points behind Lochaber who have eight.

The only National Division game saw Beauly recover from a poor run to win 3-1 in Inverness.

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