SHINTY’S main focus at the weekend was on the Camanachd Cup with the second-round ties taking pride of place. The most exciting of those was the derby clash at Canal Park, Caol, in which home side Kilmallie recorded a 5-3 victory over their Spean Bridge-based neighbours Lochaber.

As the score suggests this was an exciting contest in which Kilmallie took the early initiative racking up a 4-0 half-time lead.

The first of these goals came in five minutes via youngster Craig MacIsaac when he reacted quickly to find space behind the Lochaber defence and smash his shot past keeper Callum Macdonald for the opener. The Kilmallie front line retained the southern-style square formation that undid Kinlochshiel in last weekend’s MacTavish semi-final. The unusual formation caught out Lochaber for a second time when wing-man Michael Rodger came deep to pick up the ball then turned defender Duncan Mackinnon to find the space to rifle in his side’s second goal of the afternoon. Kilmallie continued to press forward for the rest of the half with MacIssac adding a third in 30 minutes and setting up team-mate Duncan Rodger to claim a fourth just before the break.

The National:

Lochaber re-organised their defensive layout at the interval, bringing on veteran Neil Macdonald to shore things up at the back. This quickly paid off in 55 minutes when Connor Sweeney scored with a low back-hand shot past Shane Gillies, and then when Kilmallie defender Stephen MacAllister received a red card shortly afterwards. Pressure on the home defence intensified with Gillies having to come to the rescue with a series of fine saves. However, even he could do nothing to prevent a 25-yard strike by internationalist Shaun Nicholson from bringing up a second Lochaber goal.

The visitors’ comeback eventually stalled when, in a late Kilmallie attack, determined work by Martin Stewart secured the ball and he set up an unmarked Duncan Rodger to claim his side’s fifth of the afternoon and though Stuart Callison hit a third Lochaber counter just before the final whistle, a Kilmallie victory was by then secure.

For Kilmallie’s Mark Macpherson the second half performance of his side was concerning: “I am delighted with the way we kept going forward in the first half — but we need to keep our concentration and make sure we don’t allow sides to have the number of free shots we allowed Lochaber today. Better sides will punish us for that.”

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In the other local derby, Glenurquhart and Lovat drew 1-1 at Drumnadrochit and will have to go through their paces once again next week in the replay at Kiltarlity. Mike Fraser put Glenurquhart into a second half lead when he converted a corner sent over by youngster Finlay Ralston.

Lovat’s Greg Matheson squared the tie from the penalty spot after ref Archie Ritchie judged that Glen keeper Stuart Mackintosh had kicked the ball.

Skye surprised Kingussie 2-1 in Portree with Jordan Murchison and Will Cowie giving the Islanders an early two goal lead. Kingussie dominated the latter stages of the game but could only manage to find the net once, through a Savio Genini penalty.

The National:

Holders Newtonmore also had a bit of a scare when they went behind 1-0 away at Fort William to a Graham Campbell strike. However, a penalty from Steven Macdonald and goals from both Fraser and Glen Mackintosh saw the holders safely through to the next round.

In the remaining Camanachd Cup fixtures, Inveraray beat Caberfeidh 5-1, Strathglass won 2-1 against Kilmory while Kyles Athletic overwhelmed Glasgow Mid Argyll 7-0. In the final tie of the afternoon Kinlochshiel drew 0-0 with Oban Camanachd and will now travel to Taynuilt for the replay this weekend.