Game one in Kingussie v Newtonmore trilogy
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Kingussie are through to the Artemis Macaulay Cup semi-finals courtesy of a 3-1 derby win over Newtonmore at a wet Eilan.
This was the first part of a cup-tie trilogy between these great rivals.
They meet in the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup second round at the same venue this Saturday whilst they were also paired together in last week’s cottages.com MacTavish Cup quarter-final draw, this time at the Dell.
The other last-eight MacTavish ties, all currently scheduled for August 14, see Beauly host Caberfeidh, Fort William welcome Lovat or Glenurquhart whilst Strathglass are at home to Kinlochshiel or Lochaber
With Paul MacArthur and Fraser MacKintosh unavailable at present, Steven Macdonald serving the second game of a two-match ban and Chris Sellar and Conor Jones still injured, Newtonmore boss Orsten Gardner reshuffled his pack.
He included four teenagers – Arron MacBean, Max Campbell, Struan Ross and Declan Brannan – while Craig Ritchie was able to get some game time although not yet fully fit.
Kingussie’s Savio Genini declared himself fit to play but wasn’t risked, giving his finger injury an additional week’s recovery time.
Fraser Munro returned, starting on the bench and with Kieran MacPherson unavailable, manager John Gibson fielded James Hutchison at centre.
Skipper Rory MacKeachan returned to the starting line- up so Ryan Borthwick was deployed in attack.
After a cagey start, the Kings broke the deadlock on 14 minutes with a fantastic team goal. The move started with Kingussie keeper Rory MacGregor palming away Michael Russell’s ball from the left into the D and Thomas Borthwick sent the ball down the Kingussie right to James Falconer.
Ryan Borthwick ran out to the right wing, taking marker Rory Kennedy with him, and he cleverly returned Falconer’s pass, sending the speedy forward racing in on goal.
With keeper Owen Fraser coming off the line, Falconer quickly moved the ball from left to right before slipping it past the keeper to the delight of his teammates.
Max Campbell and James Falconer both saw shots blocked by the respective keepers as play flowed from end-to-end
Kingussie suffered a blow when they lost Thomas Borthwick, who has made a great start to the season at wing centre, with a knee injury.
Borthwick was earlier caught in a sandwich between Drew MacDonald and Jamie Robinson and he crumpled to the ground soon after as he tried to change direction to get onto the ball. The extent of Borthwick’s injury and subsequent spell on the sidelines is still to be determined.
He was replaced by Fraser Munro.
Roddy Young added a second straight from the start of the second half. Fraser Munro played a ball forward from inside his own half to Roddy Young.
Young’s ball forward was touched on by James Falconer, releasing Ruairidh Anderson on the right
and Anderson beat his marker before playing a
low cross which was missed by Ryan Borthwick but Roddy Young made no mistake, striking the ball first time, low past keeper Fraser on his right side to make it 2-0.
Newtonmore fought back though and they halved the deficit on 52 minutes.
Referee Martin Maclean penalised Robert Mabon’s challenge on Iain Robinson and Robinson lost his marker to run onto Michael Russell’s short free-hit.
Robinson deftly touched the ball by Alexander Michie before firing a low backhand shot from the left across keeper MacGregor and into the net.
It remained 2-1 until the match was about to move into stoppage time.
Ruaridh Anderson won possession from a ’More goal-hit and slipped the ball to James Falconer on his right.
Falconer played the ball down the wing, where Martin Dallas had run wide of goal.
His cross into the middle wasn’t dealt with by the home defence allowing Dylan Borthwick to send a backhand effort goalwards from a central position.
It dropped into the bottom corner of the net, deceiving the keeper on his right side.
Photos: Aidan Woods
For more pictures and reaction see this week's Strathy