Shinty: Lovat through to Camanachd Cup final

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland
Newtonmore v Lochside Rovers
Newtonmore beat Lochside Rovers to win the Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup

After a closely fought 120 minutes at Fort William, Lovat won through to the SSE Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Inveraray.

Lovat, who have not won this cup since 1953, will meet either Newtonmore or Kyles in Oban on 19 September.

The Lovat team had made a pledge of abstinence in advance of the weekend's Belladrum Festival just two miles from their Kiltarlity ground.

However, after the final whistle that was instantly torn up as they headed home for a night of celebration.

And there were also celebrations just along the road at Ballachulish where Calum Stewart marked his 21st birthday by scoring all five for Newtonmore as they lifted the Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup, shinty's reserve team championship, with a 5-0 triumph against Lochside Rovers.

This was 'More's first final and first success in this trophy for 12 years and they overwhelmed the Oban Camanachd second string.

Newtonmore celebrate with the Aberdein Considine Sutherland Cup
Newtonmore players celebrate with the trophy

In the Marine Harvest Premiership, Kyles Athletic came from behind to defeat Kingussie 3-2 at Tighnabruaich and narrow Newtonmore's lead to three points, both title contenders having played 11 games.

At An Aird, Fort William, Lovat came racing out of the traps when Lewis Tawse put them ahead after just two minutes. However, cup specialists Inveraray steadily got back into the game and Euan McMurdo levelled just before the break.

The Argyll side pressed even harder into the second half with Lovat looking progressively more unsettled, but the 90 minutes produced no more goals.

Nor did first period of extra-time but the second was barely a minute old when Lovat's Euan Ferguson hit the post and seconds later Jamie Matheson recovered from an earlier miss to strike home a 25-yarder from out on the left.

With five minutes remaining, Kevin Bartlett put Lovat in full party mode when he squeezed the third inside the right post.

Stewart's birthday goal spree began in the third minute and although it didn't resume until well into the second half, it only took him a further quarter-of-an-hour to complete his tally.

This is the Newtonmore club's first honour in a potentially golden season where their reserves are also still on course to win North Division 1 and the Strathdearn Cup while their first team are favourites to win the league and still strong Camanachd Cup contenders.

However, these are less memorable days for Newtonmore's local rivals Kingussie who slumped to their sixth consecutive Premiership defeat despite Rory MacGregor scoring first.

Robbie MacLeod soon got an equaliser for Kyles, who then suddenly took charge within three minutes of the restart when Grant Irvine then Gordon Whyte made it 3-1.

MacGregor's second ensured a more exciting final quarter but Kingussie are now just five points clear of Inveraray in the relegation play-off place but have played three extra games.

In the National Division, Skye, after separate diversions to avoid two accidents in the West Highlands, reached Yoker to start against Glasgow Mid Argyll almost two hours late.

However, it was worth the wait since a 2-0 victory meant Skye join Kilmallie on both 13 points and seven games played. Danny Morrison and Kenny Campbell both found the net before half-time.