FORT William celebrated their success in winning the Mowi National Division as well as their promotion to shinty’s Premier League with a 4-2 home win over second-placed Glasgow Mid Argyll at An Aird.

Both these sides have successfully secured promotion places out of a competitive Mowi National League which saw experienced teams like Glenurquhart and Skye both miss out on the step up to the sport’s top flight.

For Fort William co-manager Addie Robertson – who steers the side with the help of former team-mate Victor Smith – Saturday’s promotion sets the seal on the rebuilding project that he and Smith set about five years ago when the club was in the doldrums.

“What has been pleasing has been watching the progress of our squad,” he said. “It is a young team and they are keen to test themselves against the top sides in the sport. They all grew up remembering when Fort William won four Camanachd Cups in a row and they want to be back playing at that level.

“The future looks bright certainly but we also know that next year it is going to be difficult and we’ll need to start in top gear and get points early if we are to do well.”

There was certainly no problem getting points this season with Fort William on the back of their weekend victory having won the Mowi National Division trophy by an eight-point margin never having lost a game.

Not that GMA made it easy for them – in what was always a tight game the South side competed well throughout and were it not for some excellent saves by Fort keeper Paul Mackay and two uncharacteristic late misses from GMA full-forward Calum McLay, the scoreline might well have been different.

With Fort William rusty having had a seven week lay-off since their Balliemore Cup Final triumph at the end of August, Mid Argyll took the game to them but found them difficult to break down. Indeed, it was Fort William who opened the scoring in the 14th minute after the GMA defence had failed to knock an attempt by Lewis Morrison past for a corner. The loose ball was snapped up by winger Alexander MacMillan and his angled shot across visiting keeper Robert Dunnings eventually found the net off the inside of both posts.

After the break Fort William captain Arran MacPhee doubled his side’s advantage in 50 minutes when with his marker Garry Luke temporarily out of the play after a head knock, he was able to exchange passes with half-forward Lachie Shaw and fire the ball high past Dunnings to make it 2-0 .

Minutes later, GMA reduced the leeway when a forward ball from Brian Slattery sparked a tussle between full-forward John Don MacKenzie and Fort defender Mark Grant, allowing Duncan MacRae space to fire a looping shot over Mackay.

A piece of fine finishing by MacPhee, when he pulled down a clearance and dispatched it into the top corner, then saw Fort William go 3-1 up before a powerful finish from MacKenzie narrowed the gap between the sides to 3-2 . Fort William were however on the front foot at this stage and with Dunnings having to make a double save with his hand from Shaw and then MacPhee, the writing was clearly on the wall.

The final goal of the match fell to Fort substitute Padraig McNeil, who was on hand in 73 minutes to slip the ball past Dunnings from close range to finally seal both points.