Shinty: Fort William slide towards relegation from top flight

Newtonmore were too strong for Fort William

Fort William chances of Premiership survival are slowly slipping away week-by-week.

And failure to pick up maximum points this weekend would as much confirm the An Gearasdan men will be playing shinty next season in the new National Division 1 Championship.

At the start of the season I would have said this would be the worst thing that could have ever happened to my club.

However, having played the most part of this season and watching the new young Fort players coming through, a drop to a lower division to regroup may not be the worst thing in the world.

This may be the only way to solidly rebuild, from the bottom up.

Ideally, if there was anyway to rebuild and stay in the Premiership, this would be fantastic but, unless results start to improve rapidly for the young lads coming through, taking a beating week-in-week out does nothing for their confidence, nor for the older heads.

The latest of those heavy defeats came on Saturday as Newtonmore secured a meeting with Kyles Athletic in this year's Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup final, by knocking seven past Fort William, live on BBC ALBA.

Glen Macintosh was first to open the 'More' goal gates, with the first strike after only three minutes.

Four goals later from man-of-the-match Danny MacRae and a double from John MacKenzie, had the blue and white Badenoch men in seventh heaven, before the final whistle rang out across Inverness' Bught Parks.

Elsewhere in the Orion Group Premiership, it was all about late goals, as Lochaber's Shaun Nicholson, secured both points for the Spean Bridge men over Inveraray with his 88th-minute strike to win 2-1.

Lovat's Lorne Mackay left it even later, with his 90th-minute winner to beat local Premiership rivals Glenurquhart 3-2, while a 90th-minute Donald Irvine penalty for Kyles Athletic secured a point for the Tighnabruaich in a 1-1 draw with Kinlochshiel.

In Marine Harvest North Division 1, Kilmallie were crowned champions after an impressive 4-1 away win over Strathglass but they won't be promoted next season.

The Camanachd Association confirmed league reconstruction throughout the sport which takes effect from the start of the 2013/14 season, meaning Kilmallie will have to wait and win the new National Division Championship if they are to get promoted back into the Premiership.

I'm sure this however had no impact on the Caol men's celebrations over the weekend...

Looking ahead to this weekend's fixtures, the Artemis MacAulay Cup final takes pride of place on Saturday at Mossfield Stadium, Oban, where Kyles Athletic and Newtonmore meet for a Camanachd Cup dress rehearsal live on BBC2 from 14:00 BST.

I was fortunate enough to win the MacAulay cup back in 2000 as an 19-year-old with Fort William.

We had beaten Kingussie in the semi-finals to break the Badenoch side's record breaking four-year unbeaten run, which still stands as the most successful team in the Guinness Book of World records.

We then went on to beat Kyles Athletic 3-1 in the final. I wore the solid gold medal on a chain around my neck for about two weeks until, when sprinting at training it bounced up and split my lip!

Looking back, I've no idea why on earth I thought this was a good idea or cool in the slightest...

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