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Lovat start quest for first shinty Premiership crown

By Will Clark

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Lovat look to get their 2020 shinty season off to flying start when they take on Kilmallie in the Premiership at Canal Parks in the opening Saturday of the campaign.

Lovat open the season against Kilmallie.
Lovat open the season against Kilmallie.

Club chairman John MacRitchie is optimistic that Lovat can make a genuine challenge for the title after falling short in the last few seasons.

“If we can keep everyone fit and available we will not be far away,” he contended.

“Last season, on too many occasions we were unable to field our strongest team because of injury or suspension. If we can avoid that I am pretty confident we can maintain a successful challenge”.

MacRitchie has installed a new management set-up at Balgate, where former boss Alan MacRae has joined forces with Jamie Matheson who is stepping up from the reserves.

“Everyone is looking forward to the new season,” he added.

“We have had a good build up and the training has gone well, though we would have ideally liked two or three friendlies in the pre-season.

“We are away at Kilmallie so that will be difficult. They took a point off us at Balgate last season and although we beat them at Canal Parks that was an end of season match with little at stake.

“Tomorrow will be different, they have a new manager as well so there is all to play for.”

Lovat have strengthened in the off-season with the return of Scott MacKenzie and Drew Howie, but suspended striker Marc MacLachlan may not return after his ban.

In the National Division Skye, Glenurquhart and newly-relegated Inveraray and Lochaber will be aiming for promotion.

Glenurquhart are home to face Inveraray while Strathglass meet Lochaber at Cannich. Beauly head south to face newly promoted Aberdour, looking to avenge last season’s 4–1 Balliemore Cup defeat.

In North Division One, Inverness, without last season’s eight-point penalty, are expected to challenge for promotion but face a tricky start against Glenurquhart Colts.

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