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Badenoch clubs managers give their reactions to MacTavish cup draw

By Ali Morrison

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Norman MacArthur, joint manager of Newtonmore, has warned Fort William remain a big cup threat despite now being in the league below.
Norman MacArthur, joint manager of Newtonmore, has warned Fort William remain a big cup threat despite now being in the league below.

The manager of the two Badenoch giants have been giving their thoughts on their semi-final draw in cottages.com MacTavish Cup.

The prospect of a Badenoch final at the Eilan moved a step closer after Newtonmore and Kingussie avoided one another.

With redevelopment work continuing apace at the Bught Park in Inverness, Newtonmore will host this year’s final at the Eilan on Saturday 8 June.

‘More’s participation in the final is dependent on safely negotiating a trip to An Aird in the semis to face Fort William who are the only team from out-with shinty’s top-flight to reach the last four of the competition.

Newtonmore co-manager Norman MacArthur said: “We played Fort William in a pre-season game at An Aird, and it finished a goalless draw.

“Our pre-season didn’t go as we’d have hoped which contributed to our poor start to the season.

“I watched some of Fort William’s win at Kilmallie and Victor Smith’s return to the side has certainly made a big difference.

“Victor has ability, no doubt about it.”

Fort William co-manager Alan Knox hopes his side can cause an upset but raised a realistic tone as he said: “We are the only side from out-with the Mowi Premiership in the semi-final draw so it was always going to be difficult, whoever we got.

“We are very happy to have home advantage against Newtonmore though.”

Holders Kingussie welcome Skye Camanachd to the Dell in a repeat of last year’s final when James Falconer’s early goal was all that separated the sides at the Bught Park.

Kings manager Iain Borthwick said: “It’s a match between the top two teams in the league at the moment so I’m happy to have home advantage.

“It certainly won’t be easy as Skye have been racking up good results this season. There are no easy games at this stage.”

Skye manager Willie MacDonald said: “You have to beat the big teams to win the trophy, so we’ll take it.

“We’ve not played Kingussie yet this season and we are having a bit of an injury crisis at the moment but, with the a couple of weeks away, hopefully some of the injured boys will be back before the semi-final comes along.”

The cottages.com MacTavish Cup semi-final ties are scheduled for Saturday 18 May.

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