HOLDERS Newtonmore’s 1-0 away victory against Lovat ensured they made it through to the final of the Cottages.com MacTavish Cup, scheduled to take place at Inverness’s Bught Park on June 16.

However, if the Badenoch side wish to add to their record haul of 41 wins in this competition, which dates back to 1898, then quite simply they are going to have to play better.

On the other hand, Lovat do have Scotland goalkeeper Stuart MacDonald as their last man in defence, but in this match he and his counterpart at the other end of the field, Kenny Ross, were only occasionally involved.

Much of the game boiled down to a series of individual outfield tussles in which neither side could gain the upper hand. The only goal came early in the second half after More youngster Iain Robinson, who had worked hard all afternoon, drove the ball forward, where it was partially blocked by defender Callum Cruden.

An attempted clearance was miscued by wing-back Mark Kelly and Newtonmore’s top scorer, Evan Menzies, profited by volleying the ball home from outside the D.

Newtonmore will certainly face a sterner test at the Bught where their opponents will be will be defending Premier League Champions Kinlochshiel, who had an emphatic 7-2 home win over Caberfeidh in the other semi-final.

Under-21 international Craig Morrison put Cabers ahead after four minutes but two strikes from top scorer Keith MacRae put Shiel in front and they extended their advantage with goals from John MacRae and Jordan Fraser before Colin MacLennan brought the score back to 4-2 at half-time. Caberfeidh were unable make further headway in the second half and Shiel had a further goal from John MacRae and two more from his brother Keith, which brought the latter’s personal tally for the afternoon to four.

The semi-finals of the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup also took place at the weekend, with Kyles Athletic winning 4-2 away to Glasgow Mid Argyll at Yoker and Oban Camanachd defeating Inveraray 2-0 at Mossfield.

In the first of these matches, Kyles appeared to be cruising to victory as they ran up a 3-0 lead thanks to a Dunky Kerr goal and two from Colin MacDonald.

However, a fightback from GMA saw them narrow the gap to a single goal with strikes from Craig Anderson and Calum MacLay.

Tighnabruaich nerves were finally calmed five minutes from time when a Grant Irvine finish settled the game in favour of Kyles.

In the other semi, Oban teenagers Daniel MacVicar and Daniel McCuish were the goalscorers. McCuish clinched the tie in the 66th minute when he fired home from 15 yards, having picked up a crossfield pass from his uncle Andrew McCuish – a more usual goal scorer for the club.

Finally, in the Marine Harvest Premiership, Lochaber emphasised their intention to retain their place in the top division with a 4-1 home win over bottom club Skye.

For most of this game the teams were level, with Shaun Nicholson’s early opener being cancelled out by Will Cowie’s first-half response. Lochaber, however, showed the greater self-belief and late goals from Stuart Matheson, Kevin Ferguson plus a further strike from Nicholson finally ensured both points for the Spean Bridge side.