Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hold the Back Page! Glen Team in Victory Shock!

Glenurquhart 4 Nairn Camanachd 3

A game of two halves ? I suppose it all depends on the angle you look at it from.
There’s not much you can say if you’re a Nairn player and you have just lost a game after having gone 3-0 up. And that’s by half time too. Just keep on believing in yourself and perhaps add the thought that some days things just aren’t going to work out for you. If you start thinking there is a reasonable explanation or start being upset about it, then you are going to make yourself crazy. I don’t think I have seen a game which was so odd and I feel sorry for the Nairn boys.
Lets face it, they have some good players : Ross Macpherson should playing in the top divisions. He has a lovely touch on the ball and his opening goal showed a touch of class. A long ball over the Glen defence , he got a little space from wing back Andrew Fraser and slapped the ball home low to the keepers right. Dave Emery had no chance.
Not so the next two Nairn strikes : Stevie Munro hit one from the right which took a bad break off the uneven turf and eluded Dave Emery in20 minutes and then just on the stoke of half time Alan Sumner did the same. This time from the wing centre position he hit a long slow ball which hung in the wind then wafted past the keeper on he wings of luck. Everyone who wasn’t a keeper said “What is he playing at?” The goalies in the crowd know that it can happen all too easily.
So half time-three down- and no way back against a Nairn side with a nice mixture of youth and age. Rod Munro playing well at the back, Scott Watson doing nicely at wing centre and Ally Urquhart solid at wing back with Ross Macpherson better on the ball than anyone else.
How do you win a game like this?
Well it helps, if this is the second home game in a day and there are some unnamed first teamers nearby. The Glen pressed into service Andrew Macdonald and Lewis Maclennan who had helped the top side to a hard fought draw against Kinlochshiel (Verdict the team played better than last week . They still cannot score and this time Kinlochshiel missed the obligatory penalty , so enough said about that)
The next trick is to create some strife in the D and pick up two penalties. That is what happened in 55 and 65 minutes. In both cases the Nairn keeper got himself tangled up and fell on the ball clearly in one situation, not so clearly in the other. Astie Cameron gave the penalties in good faith- keeper goes down in the box and attempts to play the ball you will get a penalty-and Neale Reid finished them off. First one low and the keeper a little unlucky : the second a beauty.
Nairn lost a little heart then and Glen began to play with more fluidity. Many plus marks to Lucas Chapman at wing centre-he ran and worked and his hitting was long and solid. Ross MacAulay was strong at wing back and given that we were without Ewen Fraser, Chris Black, Andrew Crichton and Gary Mackintosh , the tribe played well enough.. The third goal was a well taken strike in 67 minutes with Stewart Morrison running on to a ball across the D from Neil Mackintosh : an excellent goal of a quality to match that secured by Macpherson at the other end.The final goal and the one which sealed the game for the Glen was another neat finish from Neale reid. Quick thinking by Bradley Dixon on the wing made him move a free hit accurately to Reid who ended the game by bagging his hat-trick
Ben Hosie came on in the last quarter for Bradley and he ran well and sent some crosses into the danger zone where at one point the beleaguered Nairn keeper appeared to kick the ball away. Another penalty? Perhaps should have been but Astie took pity on him. Judged it to be not intentional and the match continued to its inevitable conclusion of a Nairn defeat. They had their chances to make something of it but it appeared that they had used up their share of luck with these two freaky goals in the first half.
Best for the Glen ? Davie Stewart? He certainly was very effective. Gary Smith ?
I would give him pluses too but my money would almost be on Alastair Mackintosh who had a sticky start after having had a few minutes on for the big team earlier in the day. There were times when I think he would have wished to do things better and more quickly but he persevered and worked at it. By the end of the match he was driving balls forward strongly and that made the difference. In the end how could I not name Neale Reid as top man. He scored three goals and in the last 20 minutes was superb.
Shinty is about more than scoring goals I hear you say. I don’t agree and neither would Ronald Ross. What is good enough for Rossie is good enough for me.

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