THIS is the 120th year of competition for the MacTavish Cup, now with the advent of a new sponsor rebranded as the MacTavish Cup, but it sometimes feels as if current holders Newtonmore have won it at every time of asking, though their Badenoch neighbours down the road in Kingussie would probably beg to disagree.

This past weekend, however, the holders were given an almighty scare on their home pitch when visitors Glenurquhart took them to extra time before eventually losing out 5-4 on penalties.

Glenurquhart were certainly not fancied to put in much of a performance, having been beaten 5-1 by More in a league fixture a fortnight ago, but with frontman Evan Menzies suspended and centre Jamie Robinson sidelined by injury, the Newtonmore line-up proved to be more vulnerable than expected. In what was always a tight match, it took until late in the first half for Newtonmore to finally open the scoring through veteran full-forward Glen MacKintosh, who dropped deep to hunt out the ball before turning to fire his strike home from all of 35 yards. Glen were not behind for long and some neat interplay between Daniel MacKintosh and Conor Golabek set up the equaliser for striker Fraser Heath, whose crisp finish beat More keeper Kenny Ross just before the break.

The second half provided more thrills at either end but despite Newtonmore’s Ross being the busier of the two keepers, Glenurquhart ,who probably just shaded the match in regulation time, were unable find the killer goal.

Extra time provided more of the same, with the added twist that this time Heath’s strike in the 107th minute was cancelled out by Glen MacKintosh’s last-minute goal.

That meant a penalty shoot-out and after misses and scores on both sides the match moved on to the sudden-death phase, with More youngster Iain Robinson holding his nerve to net the only one that ultimately mattered, giving his side victory.

Newtonmore now have the opportunity to go on to win the trophy for a record 42nd time, while Glenurquhart require to address themselves to the more serious business of picking up enough points to ensure Premier League survival.

Another tight encounter in the MacTavish Cup took place at Portree, where home side Skye Camanachd were disappointed to lose 2-1 to Lovat. The visitors took an early lead when their captain Lewis Tawse pounced on a rebound after a shot from Lovat frontman Marc MacLachlan had been partially blocked.

Skye pushed for an equaliser but found the Lovat defence, marshalled by half back Calum Cruden, difficult to get past. The match was finally decided just before half time when MacLachlan used his strength to get between Skye full-back John Gillies and goalkeeper Iain Macleod to knock the ball home and give Lovat a 2-0 lead. Although Skye eventually pulled a goal back through Jordan Murchison 10 minutes from time, they never quite looked sharp enough to take the match to extra time.

The remaining MacTavish Cup ties were much more one-sided affairs, with Caberfeidh defeating Fort William 5-0 at An Aird thanks to a hat-trick from international full-forward Kevin Bartlett and a double from Craig Morrison.

Kinlochshiel also had a straightforward victory in the competition, defeating visitors Lochaber 7-2 at Balmacara. Keith Macrae (3), John Macrae (2) and Ali Nixon (2) were the home scorers while Stuart Callison and Shaun Nicholson were on target for Lochaber.

In the Marine Harvest Premiership, Kyles Athletic defeated Kingussie 3-1 at home – a result that sees them move up to second in the table, one point behind defending champions Kinlochshiel.