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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 15th June 2017 > Newtonmore lift MacTavish Cup after narrow win over Kilmallie

Newtonmore lift MacTavish Cup after narrow win over Kilmallie

MacTavish Cup final

Newtonmore 3

Kilmallie 2

Newtonmore retained the Mac- Tavish Cup with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Kilmallie in their 4.05pm throw-up at Bught Park, Inverness.

Newtonmore manager Paul John MacKintosh was without young forward Iain Robinson who was abroad on a school trip. Jamie Robinson came in at full centre with Steven MacDonald continuing in attack. Evan Menzies joined the senior squad for the first time this season after scoring six times in two outings for the seconds and he took a place on the bench.

Kilmallie boss Mark MacPherson was without suspended defender Stephen McAlister so Martin Stewart dropped back to cover. Innes Blackhall returned after a hand injury and started in midfield. Aaron Sandison was free of his five-match ban and joined Ryan Stewart and veteran John Stewart as substitutes. New signing Daniel Stewart was cuptied.

It was a difficult fortnight for Kilmallie in the lead-up to the final following the passing of top scorer Duncan Rodger and club stalwart Donald Lamont senior. The Camanachd Association had given The Canal Parks side the option of postponing the final, but a decision to proceed was taken at a club meeting.

Both men were remembered on specially designed pre-match Kilmallie training tops and there was a minute’s applause ahead of throw-up as a mark of respect. Michael Rodger added to the poignancy, wearing his cousin Duncan Rodger’s number 12 shirt rather than his usual number nine top in this televised match.

Kilmallie started with a light wind in their favour, playing towards the town end in the first half.

A Steven MacDonald shot within 20 seconds showed early intent but the ball bounced wide. MacDonald went close again on four minutes when he got to a ball that looked to be going out of play, but his touch from a wide angle went across the face of goal.

A couple of minutes later, as a heavy rain shower fell, Drew MacDonald sent a great ball into the goal area but Glen MacKintosh uncharacteristically blazed a strike over the top from point black range.

A long ball from Kilmallie defender Steven Stewart bounced into the Newtonmore ‘D’ where keeper Norman Campbell chested it down before volleying it to safety.

Newtonmore still looked the more threatening though and they broke the deadlock on 16 minutes. Ackie MacRae lofted the ball high into the danger area where it was controlled by Steven MacDonald on the Newtonmore left and, with his back to goal, MacDonald made just enough space to turn and drill a low shot just inside the keeper’s left post to make it 1-0.

A touching message on the Kilmallie warm-up tops, in memory of Donald Lamont and Duncan Rodger who recently passed away.

Kilmallie were forced to make an early change when Peter McIntyre was caught on the top of the head by the dropping caman of team mate Martin Stewart, leaving a nasty gash, so Aaron Sandison came on.

Newtonmore made a setpiece opportunity count on 26 minutes. Allan MacDonald bundled down Steven MacDonald just outside the ‘D’ as the forward made for goal. Fraser MacKintosh, with his back to goal, slipped the ball to his left where Drew MacDonald lost his marker before crashing the ball into the same spot as MacDonald had for the opener to make it 2-0.

Kilmallie needed a goal and Calum MacDougall’s direct running was causing problems for the Newtonmore defence. With the match approaching the half-hour mark, MacDougall forced his way through on goal but Michael Russell got a crucial touch with his stick to clear for a corner.

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