For the First Time since 1922- Well almost.
Glenurquhart 0 Beauly 1
Good result for Beauly. For Glenurquhart this was a game which created deep disappointment . But should it? Maybe, it should properly be used as a game which will wake everyone up , give a new focus to the direction of the club’s preparation and particularly focus the club on the fact that through lack of hardness, lack of focus and above all lack of confidence our forwards are struggling to make an impression on the opposition.
The facts are few and not in dispute : Glenurquhart had several early chances but failed to test the keeper. By 25 minutes, Beauly who are not by any means a poor side, began to assert themselves and having the bad luck to hit the post , were fortunate to be awarded a penalty when the ball came back off the post and struck Stewart Mackintosh on the leg.
Penalty? The ball played him? Or he played the ball? Let me say if it was the other way round and the ball had bounced off the Beauly keeper we would have wanted a penalty.
Barrie Macdonald converted the chance nicely and then within the next ten minutes had two chances to add to his score but contrived to miss them. One was harder to miss than the other and while no shinty chance is truly a sitter, Barrie is a real forward and he probably should have had one.
The second half saw Beauly play well especially with the addition on Jamie Maclennan in the midfield , and for the first twenty minutes of that period ,when the Glen would normally have expected to push forward, they found themselves hemmed in. Late substitutions made no difference and although the red and blacks attempted to push forward in the last quarter they were not able to test the Beauly defence. Best for Beauly were Maclean at full back, Simpson who was commanding in his ability to take responsibility in the midfield and the effective Roger Cormack who completely dominated the wing position. I also liked Mackay Murray while Marshall has that mixture of brilliance and daftness that makes it worth putting £2 in the collection bag whenever he is playing.
The Glenurquhart forwards had a lean time- Lewis Maclennan failed to get going as did Dave Smart :the problem was however that they were playing against two defenders with a wealth of experience who were fit enough and hard enough to knock them about. It was competitive old fashioned shinty- none of the push and run, go and give that you get with Kyles or Bute : there was an edge of menace to Beauly’s play that used to be common in the North but which National League shinty took us away from. For one, I’m glad it’s back.
Ruaraidh Cameron had some very nice touches but them got rapped by Sandy Tulloch. No complaints Sandy was booked . Sandy is aggressive and quite a hard player. He gets roused but I do not see him as dirty -merely rash. Ruaraidh has all the touches- a little more speed ,much more devil and he will handle this standard. Sometimes it is easy to forget just how young this Drum team is. Without Stewart Morrison-he too struggled to get going- the others are kids, almost. Gregor McCormack and Paul Mackintosh are in their mid to late 20s ,while the rest are teenagers or in their early 20s. Not that Beauly did not carry some youngsters them selves- Mackay Murray looks about 12 though he plays very effectively- but they had a better age balance. They also talked to each other and encouraged each other through the game. We will need to do that. But first we will have to learn to score.
What will we learn from this. Certainly we talked plenty in the pub after the match though sadly because we did not have to provide meals for the Beauly lads most of them shot off right away which goes against the spirit of the League. But then perhaps we were sp shell shocked we did not invite them down. This most certainly has to be rectified or we might as well give up and play hockey. No socialisation equals no shinty.
Still it was nice to see the Beauly spectators back in Drum. They bring a little bit of patter back to the touchline though they should share their Buckfast with the rest of us. They shout and argue in a passionate way : it beats watching National League on your own. A pity it was too cold for Black Will to come out of the car.