IT was a good weekend for Newtonmore, with their 5-0 home win over Caberfeidh strongly tipping the balance in favour of them regaining the Marine Harvest Premiership title at the expense of defending champions Kinlochshiel.

Newtonmore’s cause was also helped by the fact that their two closest rivals for the Premiership title, Kinlochshiel and Kyles Athletic, fought out a 3-3 draw at Balmacara.

At the same time, the Newtonmore reserve side defeated Kingussie seconds 5-2 after extra time to clinch the Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup, the national trophy for junior sides, making Saturday a night of double celebration in the blue half of Badenoch. Things are coming together nicely for the club at the right stage of the season, but Newtonmore goalkeeper Kenny Ross knows there is no room for complacency.

The former Scotland international skipper said: “We have three games left to play and if we win two of them that should be enough, particularly given our superior goal difference.

“However, we really couldn’t have a tougher run-in, with matches against Oban and Shiel at home and a trip away to Tighnabruaich to face Kyles.

“You would not pick these three teams to finish off your season, but we are in a better place than we were a few months ago – and with yesterday’s Sutherland win, there is a positive feeling throughout the whole club.”

That positivity was in evidence right from the start of Saturday’s Premiership encounter, with Newtonmore dominating the match from the outset. Cabers keeper Ewan Pilcher pulled off an excellent early save from More half-forward Stevie MacDonald, followed by a series of further stops – some more comfortable than others. However, the opener came after 25 minutes when a ball worked forward out of defence by Craig Ritchie fell to Newtonmore’s veteran front man Glen Mackintosh, who fired home from distance.

Caberfeidh briefly went on the offensive but Craig Morrison’s shot flew fractionally high and within a minute Newtonmore had punished the Ross-shire side’s temerity for attacking them. MacKintosh followed up a blocked strike from youngster Iain Robinson to drill home his side’s second goal after 30 minutes.

More should have gone even further ahead before the break but Pilcher continued to keep his side competitive with an excellent save from a close-range shot by Robinson followed quickly by another fine piece of work when he got his palm to a rasping drive from More half-forward Evan Menzies. After half-time, Caberfeidh replaced Jamie Matheson with Graham Macgregor in attack and the veteran was quick to get a shot on target at the first time of asking but More keeper Kenny Ross saved comfortably.

Newtonmore added to their lead again after 54 minutes when wing-centre Fraser Mackintosh broke forward on to a cutback from Menzies and cushioned the ball low past Pilcher. Menzies got Newtonmore’s fourth after 68 minutes when he wrong-footed his marker and fired home from the edge of the “D”.

With the game effectively over, More manager PJ Mackintosh brought on three substitutes in attack, and it was down to one of them, Ewen Fraser, to administer the coup de grace when, after 73 minutes, he picked up a pass inside from Glen Mackintosh and slipped the ball past Pilcher.