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Kinlochshiel play holders Kingussie in the Artemis Macaulay Cup Semi-Finals this Saturday at Braeview Park, Beauly. We spoke to Shiel back, Conor Cormack ahead of the big game, there will be another interview with Kingussie wing-centre Cameron Bremner later this week…

A big game on Saturday as you travel to your old stomping ground, Braeview Park to take on Kingussie in the Macaulay Cup Semi-Final, how have the club been preparing for an occasion like this?

Yeah, we are all really looking forward to it. Braeview is a great venue for this semi and we have all be training hard but generally there’s no change to our usual routine.

After a rocky start, Shiel really hit from in the middle of the season going 9 undefeated until Saturday’s result. What would you put the turnaround in results down to?

We’re a close group, and when things aren’t going our way we tend to band together and double down on training. It’s frustrating that we started a bit slow, but hopefully we have a great chance to make this a great year.

Kingussie are the current Macaulay Cup holders, what do you make of them this season, obviously you had a competitive game down at The Dell back in April? 

They are undoubtedly the most consistent team in our game at the moment, but they have been run close by a few teams this year so not unbeatable. We know we’ll have to be at our best to produce a result, but those are the games we want. They beat us down at The Dell, but it feels like an age ago and both sides have changed since then.

Archie MacRae has come into a bit of form over the last few weeks – scoring 3 goals in the last 4 – what different dimension does he give you in the forward line?

Its great to see Arch getting on the scoresheet. Its hard for a young player to break into a forward line with established players like ours. But his stickwork and confidence on the ball are starting to show that he’s got so much to offer us if he keeps working hard and progressing the way he is.

How influential is the return of John MacRae from long term injury?

Its such a boost for us having John back. He’s a presence on the park and knows how to hit the target. For the rest of us to see how hard he has worked to get to this point – it gives us more incentive to give everything we’ve got

Over the last 4 meetings between these sides, Shiel have won 2 and Kingussie have won 2. Would you say it was 50/50 going into this weekend or do you think there is a favourite?

I think that most teams would have to concede that when you play Kingussie right now, you are likely to be viewed as the underdogs. But we know what it takes to beat them and feel that we’ve got it in our locker to the job

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