Normal service has been resumed at Kingussie with their umpteenth successive victory against near neighbour Newtonmore and a sensational return to form by leading scorer Ronald Ross.

The big striker, who has almost single-handedly kept the allegedly stuttering champions on track this season with a brace here and a brace there, bagged a double hat-trick as Kingussie completely overwhelmed Newtonmore.

Having dropped two points in drawing two matches in this league championship already, Kingussie's alleged vulnerability was becoming the talk of the shinty steamies.

However, where matches against Newtonmore were once grand affairs and a barometer of the state of the game, Saturday's crushing 8-2 win for Kingussie served only to emphasise the gap between the sides separated only by three miles of tarmacadam and an awful lot of history and once again the length of the premier league.

Kingussie scored four in each half to extend their lead at the top of the Premier league as challengers Glenorchy were idle. Russell Dallas and Kevin Thain weighed in with their two other strikes, while Norman MacArthur and Cameron Binnie scored for the home team in a late flourish.

Their cause wasn't aided by the dismissal of David Cheyne in the last ten minutes for a second bookable offence. Newtonmore remain firmly rooted in bottom spot alongside Oban Camanachd.

Oban actually led Fort William 3-2 at half time in their clash at Mossfield but Fort stepped up a gear in the second half and Gordon MacKinnon's haul of four goals was the difference between the sides in the 6-3 result.

Oban are now the only team in the Premier league not to record a win and they go to Newtonmore on Saturday in a match which is now crucial to the fortunes of both teams as the league approaches the quarter mark.

In division one, Skye and Lochcarron continue to set the pace although there is not going to be much between the top four at the end of the day.

Skye came from two down against Caberfeidh at Strathpeffer to win 3-2 with Willie Cowed getting a double and Lochcarron scored through Ross Brown late on at home to Bute after the same player had missed a penalty.

Best win of the day in division one was Glasgow Mid Argyll's 5-0 away romp against Glenurquhart which leaves the city side in the chasing pack of four clubs three points behind second place Lochcarron. Fulton Ross and Calum Simister both scored twice in the second period which Glasgow dominated after earning a half-time lead through a David Dunn penalty.

Dunadd Camanachd emphasised their domination of women's shinty when they won the five team six-a-side championship at Tighnabruaich. Dunadd, who earlier this season clinched the first Scottish women's championship, won the title with 1-0 victory over Kyles in the round-robin tournament and secured the McNee Cup.

A spokesman for the organisers said afterwards that they had been delighted with the turn-out by Glengarry, Dunadd, Kyles, Oban and Bute and that it was hoped that the event would become an annual competition. Results:

Premier league: Kilmallie 1, Inveraray 2; Newtonmore 2, Kingussie 8; Oban Camanachd 3, Fort William 6.

Division one: Caberfeidh 2, Skye 3; Glenurquhart 0, Glasgow Mid Argyll 5; Lochcarron 1, Bute 0; Strachur 0, Ballachulish 4.

North division one: Beauly 3, Kinlochshiel 1; Glengarry 1, Inverness 2; Lochaber 3, Lovat 1.

Division two: Kingussie 3, Newtonmore 5; Skye 0, Boleskine 1.

Division three: Caberfeidh 2, Lochaber 2; Inverness 0, Glenurquhart 5; Kinlochshiel 0, Beauly 3; Lochbroom 1, Strathglass 7.

South division one: Kyles Athletic 3, Tayforth 1; Glasgow Mid Argyll 0, Oban Celtic 5.

Bullough Cup, first round: Bute 3, The Highlanders 3.

Hugh Dan MacLennan