Shinty: Newtonmore champions again as Lochaber are relegated

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland
Newtonmore take on Inveraray
Newtonmore only needed a point but secured the title with a comfortable win

Newtonmore clinched a fifth consecutive Orion Premiership title with a 3-0 victory in their final game at Inveraray while a 5-1 defeat by Kyles Athletic at Tighnabruich means that Lochaber have been relegated to the second tier.

A 7-0 success for Fort William at home to Bute sends them into their Marine Harvest Premiership decider against Oban Camanachd on 27 September a point clear as both teams fight for a return to the Premiership.

And Glasgow Mid Argyll have become the champions of women's shinty following a 3-2 success over Skye at Strachur.

Newtonmore went to Inveraray looking for just a single point to put themselves out of reach of second-placed Lovat and it took until the stroke of half-time for Paul MacArthur to put them ahead.

A Newtonmore player celebrates with the Premiership trophy
Newtonmore have the trophy for a fifth straight year

On the hour Nick Crawford found his own net to make it 2-0 and Glen MacKintosh got the third with 15 minutes remaining.

Following a period of quarter of a century with no league titles at all, Newtonmore have become the dominant force in the Premiership for five years in a row.

Even a victory against Kyles would by no means have guaranteed Lochaber's safety and they started in positive mode with an early goal from Stuart Callison.

Lochaber stayed ahead for more than half-an-hour before the Zavaroni brothers, with Roberto's double split by one from David, scored three times in 11 minutes to put Kyles well in the driving seat. Colin MacDonald and Calum Miller went on to complete the scoring.

At An Aird, Daniel Stewart got a hat-trick in six minutes for Fort William after Arran MacPhee's opener. Stevie Stewart and Calum Shephard added to Bute's woes before Daniel Stewart got his fourth at the death to make it 7-0.

This means Fort will have a one-point lead when they meet Camanachd in both clubs' last game in Oban later this month and Camanachd now must win to overhaul their opponents.

Bute's defeat ended a miserable season which has yielded just a single point after two were deducted for failing to fulfil a fixture.

Apart from the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup final between Kingussie and Glenurquhart in Inverness next Saturday, the National Division title is the only major issue to be settled at the end of a season which has been criticised for being too short and with too few games following the introduction of smaller eight-team leagues.

In the women's Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup final at Strachur, Joan Nicholson got two and Alana McGarrie one in their 3-2 win over Skye, who had Caitlin Maclean and Lorna Macrae on target.

At the same venue, a hat-trick from Sarah Pocock helped the Strathglass women's team to a 6-4 success over Lovat in the Marine Harvest Challenge Cup.

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