Shinty: Oban beat Kinlochshiel, wins for Kyles & Newtonmore
Newtonmore's chances of regaining the Marine Harvest Premiership title improved dramatically as a 2-0 win over their local rivals Kingussie was followed by a 4-1 defeat by Oban Camanachd for 'More's nearest challengers, champions Kinlochshiel.
Skye's relegation gloom deepened in Saturday's other Premiership match, which was won 4-0 by Kyles Athletic.
With a dozen clubs requesting their free Saturday to attend the Belladrum music festival, the only other senior game saw National Division leaders Kilmallie's bid for the title stutter with a 3-3 draw away to Glasgow Mid Argyll.
At The Dell on Friday, Iain Robinson scored a well taken goal in each half as Newtonmore got MacPherson Clan Gathering weekend off to a start by claiming the Sir Tommy MacPherson Memorial Trophy that was also on offer to the winners.
Kinlochshiel had an opportunity in Oban to draw back level at the top but came nowhere close, despite Ali Nixon's opener just after the half-hour. It took Connor Howe just three minutes to equalise and early in the second half Andrew MacCuish and Howe again effectively killed the game with two in a minute. Daniel MacVicar's late contribution was the icing on the cake for Camanachd.
Meanwhile, the loss through injury of leading scorer Keith MacRae during the game came as a possible major blow not only to Shiel's league campaign but to their prospects in the MacAulay Cup final against Kyles on 18 August.
Colin MacDonald got an early opener for Kyles at Tighnabruich but the island side defended stubbornly into the second half. Quick goals from Ross MacRae and Scott MacDonald were followed by Colin MacDonald's second near the end.
This leaves Newtonmore two points clear of Lovat, with Kyles a further point behind. Meanwhile Shiel drop to fourth - one more point adrift but with a game in hand on the leaders.
Skye returned to bottom place on goal difference and are effectively seven points shy of safety with six to play.
At Yoker, Kilmallie took the lead three times and were pegged back on each occasion. Liam MacDonald's strike was neutralised by Calum McLay, as was Calum MacDougall's by Jamie MacFadyen. Bryan MacKay edged Kilmallie ahead yet again but Jack Berg salvaged a point for Mid Argyll two minutes from time.
Kilmallie lead Fort William by two points with Mid Argyll and Inveraray, who have both played an extra game, a further point in arrears.