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Kingussie in the box seat for Premier title


By Gavin Musgrove


Caberfeidh keeper Iain McCall brings down Kingussie forward Roddy Young.
Caberfeidh keeper Iain McCall brings down Kingussie forward Roddy Young.

KINGUSSIE need just four points from their remaining three games to claim their first Premiership crown in a decade.

It could prove to be a decisive weekend in the title race with the Red and Blues winning a 5-4 thriller against Caberfeidh.

Meantime their closest rivals Newtonmore crashed 5-1 at home to Oban Camanachd in an exact reverse of the previous weekend's Camanachd Cup final scoreline.

The shock result well and truly gives the Dell side the advantage in the title race.

The Kings were aware that 'More had been defeated in the earlier throw-up and boss John Gibson was keen to ensure his side did not squander their chance.

He said: "We needed to make sure we capitalised and got the two points ourselves and we did.

"It would have been a real downer if we had slipped up at the same time.

"Mathematically we now need four points from the final three games but it is still a big ask."

Kingussie host Kinlochshiel this Saturday and then have to make visits to Kilmallie and Kyles Athletic.

Gibson does not think that 'Shiel's recent lack of competitive game time will help the home side.

"They were in good form albeit they have not played in nearly two months.

"But it means their players will be fit and fully rested and they will be a tough test for us. They have some excellent players and we will need to be at our best to beat them."

Despite being delighted with both points, Gibson did not think his side was at its best on Saturday at Castle Leod especially defensively.

"It was a great weekend for us – it was a terrific result although the performance was not the best but at this stage we are just looking for the points."

He continued: "It was a strange game; real end to end stuff at times. We dominated large spells of the game and played some really nice shinty going forward.

"We could have scored more goals but a combination of poor finishing and some very good goalkeeping kept our tally down to five. And we were not sharp enough defensively."

Gibson has a full squad to choose again from this Saturday when another victory would mean they have one hand on the title trophy.

But as ever Gibson refuses to get carried away. He said the aim for this season was to beat last year's sixth-placed finish by getting more points off the top teams, and they have certainly done that.

"I thought if we could finish in the top two or three then it would be a successful season to be honest. Our sights were not set on winning the league so this is all a massive bonus."

To gauge the progress being made, the Kings only secured two points against Newtonmore and then Kinlochshiel from the five teams that finished above them in 2018, winning seven and losing seven with four draws.

* Cabers' goal-machine Craig Morrison continued his monumental scoring run making it an incredible 21 games in a row that he has found the back of the net.

And he scored not just once but four times including the opener.

But the Red and Blues were back on level terms after winning a penalty in the 19th minute when Roddy Young was brought down in the D and Kieran MacPherson converted.

Young scored on 23 minutes then Savio Genini fired home from distance to make it 3-1 on 26 minutes.

On the half hour, Cabers pegged back the score when a Kevin Bartlett shot rebounded off the post and Morrison slotted home.

Morrison then pulled Cabers level straight from the restart.

Kingussie made changes at the back with Calum Grant marking Morrison and Robert Mabon looking after Kevin Bartlett.

Genini got his second on 65 minutes and completed his hat-trick just five minutes later.

Morrison took his season's total to 36 with just 10 minutes left but the Kings held out.



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