Kinlochshiel seal maiden Premiership title in style

Kinlochshiel celebrate their Premiership title success
Kinlochshiel celebrate their Premiership title success

Kinlochshiel brought their season to a dream conclusion when a 3-0 victory over Oban Camanachd at Mossfield Park confirmed a first ever Marine Harvest Premiership title for the Wester Ross side.

Shiel just needed a single point from this final game, but did it in style on an afternoon when their only remaining rivals Kyles Athletic's game was postponed due to an unplayable pitch.

Kilmallie's late 2-1 defeat by Lovat, combined with Lochaber's 1-1 draw with Newtonmore, confirmed that Kilmallie will take the second relegation place following Glasgow Mid Argyll's earlier demise.

Fort William almost certainly lost their chance of promotion from the National Division after twice surrendering a lead over champions Skye in a 4-4 draw.

The afternoon had originally looked like a potential Helicopter Saturday since Kyles could still have won the title with a defeat of already relegated Glasgow Mid Argyll, had Kinlochshiel lost. However the postponement of that game focused all eyes on Oban.

After a goalless first half, Jordan Fraser got a vital breakthrough for Kinlochshiel just after the restart.

With a point enough to win the trophy, this gave the Balmacara side a two goal cushion. But for good measure Fraser got a second before Keith MacRae rounded off a triumphant season for Johnston Gill's side, who just over 20 years ago were languishing as a single team club in shinty's bottom division.

Kinlochshiel are the new Premiership champions
Kinlochshiel only lost one match on their way to a first top flight title

The Premiership title is Kinlochshiel's biggest honour to date, outstripping their 2016 MacAulay Cup success.

The only other occasion in the 21-season history of national league shinty when the Premiership title has eluded Newtonmore or Kingussie was in 2006 when Fort William took the honours.

Greg Matheson opened for Lovat midway through the second half and although Kilmallie grabbed an equaliser, with five minutes to go Lewis Tawse scored Lovat's winner which confirmed Kilmallie's relegation.

This was also because at nearby Spean Bridge, although Evan Menzies followed up his Camanachd Cup winning goal with Newtonmore's second half opener, Lachlan Campbell soon replied to grab a status-saving point for 11-man Lochaber.

This gave Lochaber 10 from their full 18 game programme, one beyond what Kilmallie can now reach in their remaining game.

Fort William got off to a flying start at home to Skye when, one minute apart, Alex MacMillan and Graham Campbell gave them an early 2-0 lead. Will Cowie got one back, James Pringle equalised before half time and into the second period, Danny Morrison edged Skye in front.

That lead lasted for only four minutes before Lachie Shaw's strike for Fort who then got their noses in front through Sean Cameron. However, Pringle completed his double to grab Skye a share of the points.

This now leaves Fort with the effectively impossible task of beating Inveraray by 13 in their final match to overhaul second placed Caberfeidh on goal difference.

Oban Celtic and Inveraray drew 3-3 in the other second tier game.

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