Shinty’s main fixture of the day in the Mowi Premiership saw reigning champions Newtonmore lose out 3-1 at home to neighbours Kingussie in what was the first Badenoch derby of the season.

From the manner in which their young side matched their more experienced rivals in every department, hopes are high among the Kingussie faithful that they may witness a changing of the guard in Badenoch.

Kings manager John Gibson said: “It was a good performance and ended up being a good result but it’s much too early to start drawing conclusions on the back of what was let’s face it our first win of the season. What we have to do is build on it and put in a performance in every game, not just the ones our supporters think are big games.”

The first half of this clash was an even affair with both sides testing each other out cautiously. If anything Newtonmore started the slightly stronger side but the Kingussie backline were always able to prevent their forwards, in particular international striker Evan Menzies, from getting anything serious on target.

At the other end Kingussie based their game plan on defending from the front, harassing the More backs so that big hitting defenders Rory Kennedy and Steven Macdonald rarely had opportunities to launch long balls forward into their opponents’ half which have proved so effective in previous matches.

Indeed Scotland international Macdonald,who was playing his first match of the season having missed the opening fixtures through suspension, seemed just off the pace and paid the price for this in 19 minutes when he allowed half-forward Savio Genini just enough space to run onto a slightly deflected ball just outside the box and drill it low past More keeper Kenny Ross for the opener. Newtonmore quickly rallied with Macdonald making amends for earlier failings when, after Genini miscued a touch in attack, the More halfback’s long ball forward fell to full centre Michael Russell who was missed at the back by the Kings defence and he fired home the equaliser after 25 minutes.

With no further scoring before the break the sides were poised for an even second half. Both managers had to shuffle the pack due to injury, with midfielder Bob MacGregor taking over in the Kingussie goal from Craig Dawson and Ian Richardson replacing Fraser Mackintosh in the Newtonmore centre line.

In the end it was Kingussie who rose to the occasion. Half-forward Ruaraidh Anderson was a constant threat to the home defence and in the 64th minute his neat link up play with winger James Falconer saw the ball find Genini. His ball across the “D” set up Roddy Young who outmuscled More full-back Kennedy to put Kings into a 2-1 lead.

The third and last Kingussie goal arrived in 72 minutes when a shot from outside the box by Young was half blocked by Kennedy only for Falconer to drill the loose ball home from close range. Things might have been even more serious for Newtonmore were it not for keeper Kenny Ross who kept out further late strikes from both Anderson and Genini.

Elsewhere in the Premiership Lovat, Kilmallie and Kyles claimed victories at the expense of Caberfeidh, Lochaber and Inveraray while Oban and Kinlochshiel drew 1-1.

With the tragic death earlier in the week of 24-year-old Strathglass defender Lawrence Jones, the passions bound up with the indigenous sport are very much put into perspective.