Lovat expect tougher test against Kinlochshiel
The 106th running of the MacTavish Cup gets underway tomorrow with four scintillating first round ties.
The pick of the action sees Lovat and Kinlochshiel go head to head at Balgate just four weeks after Lovat handed out a 5 - 0 drubbing to the Wester Ross side.
Lovat boss Fraser Gallacher is not expecting a repeat scoreline against last season’s beaten finalists however.
“That’s in the past and tomorrow will be a different game.It looks like they are getting back to their best form so we need to step up if we want to make progress. ”.
Gallagher expects to name the same squad which demolished Caberfeidh 8 - 2 in the MOWI Premiership last Saturday although Lewis Tawse is expected to return from holiday.
‘Shiel were bitterly disappointed with their performance in going down 2 - 1 to Newtonmore in last year’s final and feel they have unfinished business in the competition.
Manager Johnston Gill has been encouraged by the form of his Scotland forward Keith MacRae who is fighting his way back to full fitness after a knee operation.He has being showing up well for the club’s reserve side but Gill faces a big call on bringing him back for such a vital match.
The winners travel to Kingussie in round two.
Meanwhile Caberfeidh manager Jodi Gorski will be looking for a dramatic improvement from his squad after last Saturday’s mauling by Lovat.They face Lochaber at home but will be wary of the Spean Bridge side who beat Caberfeidh home and away in
Meanwhile Caberfeidh manager Jodi Gorski will be looking for a dramatic improvement from his squad after last Saturday’s mauling by Lovat.They face Lochaber at home but will be wary of the Spean Bridge side who beat Caberfeidh home and away in last season’s Premiership.
Gorski steered his side to a semi-final placing in the 2018 competition but it is eighty-two long years since Cabers last won the trophy.
There is an intriguing local derby in Cannich where Strathglass entertain Inverness.Although Inverness took voluntary relegation at the start of this season and now operate in a league below the Strath management team of Roy MacKenzie and Bruce Douglas are preparing for a tough battle.Inverness hit six against Kinlochshiel reserves last Saturday with David Campbell and Charlie MacDonald bagging five of the goals between them.
The match will be preceded by a minute’s silence as Strathglass pay respect to their former players Lawrence Jones and John Gordon who died recently.
In the final match of the opening round Fort William and Skye lock horns in Portree just a week after their dramatic National Division clash which ended 4 - 3 in favour of the Fort with four of the goals coming in the final eight minutes.
Holders Newtonmore begin the defence of the trophy at Kilmallie next Saturday while Beauly, Glenurquhart and Kingussie were given first round byes.
There are two matches in the Premiership with Kilmallie eyeing a share of top spot if they can take both points in their match at Canal Parks against Kyles.Inveraray and Kingussie meet at the Winterton.
Glenurquhart can take over at the top of the National Division with a victory over Glasgow Mid Argyll at Yoker.