Three trophies are still up for grabs as the Highland League season enters the final 8 days of competition and tomorrow the destination of the two main trophies could become clear.
The final of the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup will take place at Princess Royal Park with Keith and Inverurie going head to head in the hope of adding a silver lining to their campaigns.
The Maroons management have been utilising their squad to it’s fullest to ensure that the only absentee tomorrow will be long term injury victim Graham Lonie. Ryan Broadhurst and Jamie Michie will be the main absentees although there are a couple of niggles in the camp with Andy Low one of the doubts.
Sharing top billing is Formartine United’s match against Nairn County at North Lodge Park with Steve Paterson’s side needing three points to clinch a historic championship success just four years after stepping up from the Junior ranks.
Tommy Wilson will be added to the 16 that saw off Buckie Thistle by three goals to nil on Wednesday night. Nairn are set to be without Wayne Mackintosh and Jamie Mackay for the trip.
Cove Rangers will make the trip to Rothes knowing that a point would leave them relying on a Nairn victory at North Lodge, while a victory would mean that if the Wee County took a point from their trip to Pitmedden then the title race would go down to the wire. Kevin Tindal has a full squad to choose from while Rothes have player manager Frani More suspended and both Greg Simpson and Stewart Abel unavailable.
Wick Academy are keen to secure third spot and three points against Strathspey Thistle could well do that if Nairn fail to win at Formartine. The Scorries have no new injury doubts as they aim to add to their impressive 70 points tally. Strathspey could also clinch their highest ever league finish an they too have no new injuries to note but David Ritchie missed the match due to suspension.
Clachnacuddin need just a point to secure a top five finish but they will travel to Turriff without Chris Ross, Graham Tatters, Struan Scott-Woodhouse, Paul Brindle, Gordon Morrison, Michael Finnis, Colin Williamson, Alan Pollock Scott Davidson and Mark Kennedy. Their opponents could still move into the top half of the table but are likely to have one eye on Tuesday night’s Aberdeenshire Shield final. Gary Harris and Darren McAllister are suspended while Gary McGowan, Dave McKenzie, Nick Gray, Robbie Allan, Mike McKenzie and Richie Ligertwood are all ruled out due to injury.
The race to avoid the wooden spoon is still live and Fort William know that they must pick up all three points from their 1.30 kick off at Claggan Park tomorrow against Lossiemouth. The Coasters are currently four points clear of the Fort and Steve Dunn’s side could still overtake Rothes and Strathspey if they win this one and beat the Speysiders next Saturday (if Wick beat the Jags tomorrow), but equally they could yet finish bottom of the pile.
Fort are without Sean Grant, Darren Duncan, Gary Farquhar, Andy Maclean and Andy Martin. Coming in are Davie Forbes and Chris Macleod. Lossie are without the suspended Matty Davidson (who misses the last two games of the campaign).
Finally the last two teams to lift the SHFL trophy will meet at Victoria Park with Forres making the trip to Buckie. It will be a poignant afternoon for Graeme Grant who misses the match through suspension, as does Scott Moore. Martin McMullan and Duncan Jones are unavailable while Nathan Sharp, Simon Allan, Fraser Bremner and Ryan Green miss out due to injury. The Jags are without Shawn Scott, Chris Angus, Jay Cheyne and Neil Davidson. Dean Donaldson and Shaun Carrol are doubts but youngsters Ben Stewart and Joe Legge are added to the squad.