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Evan Menzies battling to be fit for Newtonmore-Kingussie derby

By Gavin Musgrove

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Evan Menzies
Evan Menzies

NEWTONMORE captain Evan Menzies is in a race for fitness to play against old foes Kingussie at the Eilan this Saturday.

He is hoping to recover in time from the injury he sustained in the second minute of the Caberfeidh game as he laid on the pass for the opening goal.

Menzies said: “The derby matches against Kingussie are always special.

“They caught us cold last year so we will be really up for it on Saturday.”

The Blue and Whites are settled in defence and have midfield options but they have key men missing upfront.

Menzies, if fit, will be without his strike partner Glen Mackintosh who is on holiday, medical student Ewen Fraser who is still in Australia and young Duncan Gorman who damaged his hamstring early in the first game loss against Kilmallie.

However, Drew MacDonald has recovered well from his workplace hand injury and is available for selection.

Newtonmore manager PJ Mackintosh is determined to ensure that the Eilan is turned back into the fortress it was again last year as the team went on a 19 game unbeaten run in May.

He said: “We often seem to be slow-starters when we have not had the weather to get practice hitting balls outdoors.

“However, I was pleased with our performance against Caberfeidh.” With Glen Mackintosh missing, there will be some personnel and positional changes.

PJ Mackintosh commented: “We have Steven MacDonald back from suspension and available for selection so that gives me some options.

“Kingussie are maturing as a team and we will have to up our game to win on Saturday”

Club secretary Ian Gibson is hoping that the Camanachd Association will look at fixture scheduling again for future years.

He said: “The Kingussie derby is one match everyone wants to see.

“It would be much better if it was held later, during the Easter holidays, when we could attract a much greater crowd.

“A match like this is a great experience for visitors and we must start marketing the sport more professionally.”

n The National League was completely wiped out at the weekend but one game did go ahead in North Division1.

Lovat took the opportunity to top this division as well as the Premiership with a 4-0 win at Balgownie over Aberdeen University. Cammy MacMillan opened the scoring on 22 minutes then Finlay Ogilivie added a second a minute before the turn.

Jamie Matheson made it 3-0 in the 63rd minute and Ogilvie got his second and Lovat’s fourth goal a couple of minutes from time.

North Division 2 fixtures were also decimated by the snow and freezing temperatures

In the south, only the South Division 1 tie at Ballachulish went ahead with the home side coming from a goal behind to win 2-1.

Neil McKirdy fired Col Glen in front a minute before the turn but Duncan MacDonald levelled on the hour mark after a Dougie Rankin effort had been parried out by Col Glen keeper Ewan Harrison.

Rankin himself scored the winner a couple of minutes later to take an early lead at the top of the table.

All other South fixtures were wiped out too.

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