CUP shinty was to the fore once again this past weekend with the focus on the second round of the MacTavish Cup where Glenurquhart defeated visitors Skye 2-1 at Drumnadrochit in what was arguably the tightest tie of the day in the north.

Having been relegated from shinty’s premier division at the end of last season both sides, under new management, are attempting to rebuild and, along with Fort William, make up the current top three in the Mowi National Division. Promotion is certainly the aim of Glenurquhart co-manager Eddie Tembo, though a successful cup run also excites him.

“People have been telling me this game was our first big test of the season – and I agree with them,” he said. “Skye will be disappointed not to get anything from the game because they are one of the top sides in the Division. It was certainly a tough match physically, and also mentally, and I’m happy we were able to come through it though we have picked up injuries to Ally MacKintosh and Michael Brady that may come back to haunt us.”

Though Glenurquhart eventually ran out winners they did not start out on the front foot, with slick stickwork from the Skye frontline pegging them back at the outset. Key to the Islanders’ early advantage was their midfield, particularly William MacKinnon and John Gillies, who gave them edge in the opening minutes. As a result Skye went ahead in the fifth minute when full-centre Gillies slipped the ball in behind defender Lachie Smith to winger Jordan Murchison and his first time volley flew past Glen keeper Stuart MacKintosh for the opener.

The Glen management quickly rigged their defensive line-up pulling pacy youngster Cameron MacKintosh back from midfield to cover Murchison’s explosive runs and gradually the midfield balance swung towards the home side. Indeed they might have levelled the score in 12 minutes but Ewen Brady’s well-worked strike came back off the bar. They were then thwarted again on two further occasions by Skye keeper Ryan Morrison, who first stopped a rocket shot from Brady before blocking a low net-bound strike from Glen wing centre Finlay Ralston. Eventually, however, the Islanders ran out of luck when in the 26th minute half-forward Conor Golabek set up Glen frontman Neale Reid and he fired home the equaliser.

Though Glenurquhart continued to press they were unable to add to their total before the break, while at the other end Skye exerted their own pressure with a Gillies shot from distance again forcing the Glen keeper into action. After the break however, Glenurquhart seized control of the match once more, grabbing their winner in the 51st minute after a cross-filed ball was cut back by winger Oliver Black into the path of Golabek and he struck the ball in from close range to seal the game and see his side safely through to the semi -final draw.

There Glen will be joined by Kingussie, who posted a 3-1 home victory over fellow Premiership side Lovat. Also through are Strathglass who defeated Beauly 3-2 away.

Meanwhile in the south area in the Scottish Seafarms Glasgow Celtic Society Cup, Kyles Athletic, Oban Camanachd and Glasgow Mid Argyll made it through to the next round at the expense of Bute, Oban Celtic and Ballachulish respectively.

Finally in the Mowi Premiership Newtonmore beat Lochaber 6-1 away while Kilmallie lost 1-0 at Kinlochshiel.