Published: 05/10/2017 09:30 - Updated: 03/10/2017 14:07

Kinlochshiel aim to net first Premiership title

HISTORY could be made at Mossfield Park as Kinlochshiel can clinch their first Marine Harvest Premiership title this Saturday.

For Shiel their objective is clear – avoid defeat against hosts Oban Camanachd and the title will be theirs, with nearest challengers Kyles Athletic hoping for Shiel to slip up while also having to win their final fixture at home to relegated Glasgow Mid Argyll to snatch the title away from the Wester Ross side’s grasp.

Shiel lead Kyles by two points and, although they are three goals better off, it is more than likely that if Shiel lose at Oban, Kyles will defeat GMA by more than two goals to take the title on goal difference.

To lose the title on goal difference would be heart-breaking for Johnston Gill’s men, who have had a superb season and would be considered by many shinty followers as worthy champions.

The one meeting between Shiel and Oban this season was on the opening day of the season at Kirkton with Keith MacRae’s last-minute goal getting Shiel’s campaign off to a winning start by a 3-2 scoreline.

Kyles Athletic go into their final fixture with hope more than expectation.

While being made to work hard for a 2-1 win at Peterson Park in early July, it would be a major shock if Kyles didn’t win with a bit to spare at Tighnabruiach – especially with a Premiership title being a possibility for the home team.

Defeated Camanachd Cup finalists Lovat, meanwhile, will have to put Saturday’s disappointment behind them if they are to pip Newtonmore to a third-place finish.

Newtonmore and Kingussie are level with Lovat on 21 points, however Kings, having completed their programme, are unlikely to finish above their rivals who each have two matches still to play.

Lovat’s penultimate fixture involves a trip to Canal Park to face relegation-threatened Kilmallie where Mark MacPherson is sure to have instilled amongst his squad the significance of this fixture.

Lovat were 4-2 winners at Balgate in their previous league clash and can expect to be up against a determined Kilmallie side, who will give their all to avoid making a quick return to second tier shinty.

This is also Kilmallie’s second last game and a win could take them above local rivals Lochaber on goal difference, should Lochaber lose their final match at home to Newtonmore.

A Lochaber win would remove the eighth-placed Spean Bridge outfit completely from the relegation equation and this could be more than possible given More’s competitive edge may be dampened following their Camanachd Cup triumph last Saturday.

In the Marine Harvest National Division, Caberfeidh will look on with interest at the fixture at An Aird between fellow promotion prospects Fort William and champions Skye.

A win for the islanders would confirm Cabers, who have completed their fixtures, as runners-up to set up their first Premiership campaign.

For Fort to have a realistic chance of finishing second they would have to take both points against a team aiming to finish their league campaign undefeated for the third time in four years.

A draw would leave the door slightly ajar for Fort to finish above Cabers on goal difference, however for that to happen Fort would almost certainly need a double figure winning margin in their final match at home to Inveraray.

In the other fixture in this division, Beauly conclude their season with a trip to face Oban Celtic where a Beauly victory would give them a league double over Celtic and enhance their chances of a top half of the table finish.

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