FORT William and Glenurquhart meet in Saturday’s shinty game of the weekend – with a place in the Artemis MacAulay Cup final at Mossfield Park on August 18 at stake.
Glenurquhart have never won a major senior trophy, although in the last 25 years they have reached the Camanachd Cup final, going down 4-2 to Kingussie at the Bught in 1988, and more recently losing to Kingussie again in the MacTavish Cup final in 2008 also at Inverness.
On Saturday, the Bught Park in Inverness provides the venue and both sides will hope to use this to their advantage.
Glen have shown up well against their co-manager Drew McNeil’s former team in recent times and, although they were defeated 4-2 at Blairbeg Park only three weeks ago in the league, their last visit to the Black Parks in mid-April returned a 4-2 scoreline in their favour.
Having defeated Kilmallie and Kingussie to set up this clash with Fort, Glen will feel that they can go on and book a place in the televised final by taking care of a Fort side in transition.
The South area semi-final takes place at Mossfield Park, Oban, where Oban Camanachd, who last lifted this trophy in 2005, have home advantage over three-time winners Inveraray.
Although Inveraray’s firepower was highlighted last week against Taynuilt, this week’s South Division One opponents are likely to present the Royal Burgh side with a much tougher challenge.
The encounter at Kirkton between Kinlochshiel and champions Newtonmore looks to be the pick of three Orion Group Premiership fixtures scheduled for Saturday.
More’s last visit to Kirkton ended in a first round elimination from the MacAulay Cup, however with leaders Kyles Athletic idle, More will return to the top of the table should they make it a league double over the Wester Ross outfit.
Kilmallie go head-to-head against Kingussie for the second time in seven days and with games running out, a win at Canal Park is crucial to Kilmallie’s fading survival hopes.
With this being the case, a reverse of last week’s outcome cannot be ruled out should Kilmallie perform to the level that earned them five points from the three matches prior to their visit to The Dell.
Lovat will hope to resurrect their title challenge in Rothesay against a Bute outfit marooned at the foot of the table and five points adrift.
Despite Bute appearing odds-on to drop back to South Division One, they did hold Lovat to a 0-0 draw at Balgate in March and could present a few problems for Allan MacRae’s travelling squad.
North Division One leaders Skye return to the Aird district in search of further points, with Beauly being their hosts at Braeview Park.
The teams have yet to meet this season and, with Skye racking up 14 points from eight matches, appear genuine title contenders. The outcomes of these three matches against Beauly will prove significant in the islanders’ run-in with favourites Lochaber.
Lochaber, in third place, but with only six games played, take on second-placed Caberfeidh at Spean Bridge.
After losing 5-2 to Lochaber at Castle Leod in late April, the Cabers defence are sure to find the free-scoring home attack a handful and will do well to halt Lochaber’s likely rise up the table.
Lochcarron line up against Strathglass at Battery Park where a home win could see Lochcarron elevate as high as fourth in the table and leave Strath well adrift at the foot of the table.
North fixtures, all throw-ups 2.30pm unless stated: Saturday, Artemis Macaulay Cup semi-finals – Oban Camanachd v Inveraray (noon), Fort William v Glenurquhart.
Orion Group Premiership – Bute v Lovat, Kilmallie v Kingussie, Kinlochshiel v Newtonmore (noon).
Marine Harvest North Division One – Beauly v Skye, Lochcarron v Strathglass, Lochaber v Caberfeidh.
Marine Harvest North Division Two – Kinlochshiel v Glenurquhart (3pm), Lovat v Lochaber, Newtonmore v Fort William, Skye v Kingussie.
Marine Harvest North Division Three – Boleskine v Caberfeidh, Lewis v Inverness, Lochcarron v Strathglass (noon), Strathspey v Lochbroom.