A dozen years have elapsed since Scottish football’s ‘helicopter Sunday’ but given the respective locations and budgets this weekend’s big sporting decider has conjured fanciful imaginings of ‘puffer boat Saturday’ as Kinlochshiel and Kyles Athletic both bid to make history for their clubs.

At the risk of offending the communities in question, the notional recruitment of Para Handy’s ‘smertest boat in the tred’ would surely fit the occasion, it’s engineer growing increasingly puce-faced as he is told to re-direct the vessel as the contenders try to inject the vital spark that will make the difference.

“Macphail, this is your captain speaking. Turn the boat around… Hugh Dan has just announced on the wireless that Kinlochshiel have scored an equaliser,” you can hear a latter day Roddy McMillan or Gregor Fisher bellowing down the funnel.

In reality it is reckoned that when the ball is thrown up in Oban, where leaders Kinlochshiel are the visitors and down the west coast at Tighnabruich, where Kyles Athletic play host to Glasgow Mid-Argyll, a fast car will be sitting somewhere around Inveraray. However in keeping with long-time sponsors Marine Harvest’s core business, they almost might as well be taking to the waterways since, while around 80 miles separate the venues, the roads are such that even with a clear run it’s the best part of an hour either way.

Life could be made a lot easier for the officials involved should Kinlochshiel grab a commanding first half lead since their victory when the top two met up at Kyle of Lochalsh a fortnight ago, means they only need a draw to secure their first ever title.

In many ways destiny seems to be favouring the club that was formed 60 years ago as an amalgamation of predecessors Kintail, Lochalsh and Glenshiel, one of the consequences of the depopulation of that part of the world. Next season marks the 60th anniversary of the new club’s formation and they will begin it at a new home, that crucial meeting with Kyles a fortnight ago, which they won convincingly 4-0, having been their last competitive outing at their long-time home of Kirkton before they move to a new ground in Balmacara next season.

Furthermore, wherever the trophy ends up tonight, the next President of the Camanachd Association will almost certainly be celebrating or commiserating with them since the man in question is Keith Loades, the former internationalist who will be the first Kinlochshiel man to take on that post. These are heady days for a club which only last year won its first senior national trophy when winning the Macaulay Cup final and the importance of what they have done for their community is reflected in the club having had to arrange supporters buses for the lengthy trip to Oban.

That they have been beaten just once previously in the course of this league campaign would make losing the title on the final day would all the more heart-breaking. Yet it is far from beyond the bounds of possibility because they face an Oban Camanachd side that contested the Celtic Society Cup final early in the summer before, more recently, coming within minutes of getting into last week’s Camanachd Cup final.

On the face of it, then, theirs is by far the tougher challenge and, with Glasgow Mid-Argyll having been officially relegated when they were beaten 4-1 at Oban a fortnight ago, Kyles’ firepower is such, as the only team to have gone past the half century mark this season, that they are expected to win by the sort of margin that will make Kinlochshiel’s current three goal differential advantage irrelevant.

The Tighnabruich men are seeking to become the first team from shinty’s southern district to win the Premiership title and doing so would cap a fine season that has already seen them lift both the Celtic Society Cup and the Macaulay Cup.

Either way, then, when the trophy does find its way to the appropriate venue it seems likely that a party of the sort that Para Handy and his men would happily take a considerable detour to attend, will already be in full swing.