Sunday, September 03, 2006

Good Golly , Miss Molly.

Skye 1 Glenurquhart 1
North Division 1

Where were you when Kingussie lost the Premier League for the first time in living memory? Molly Campbell was in Lahore .Your Correspondent was in Skye. He did not enjoy the weather.
It was a damp day on Skye- but not so damp as it has been on other occasions that the Glen have seen fit to tread on a park where only heroes are wont to tread . Skye have been playing well recently and have badly dented the ambitions of Lochaber : earlier in the season the Islanders travelled successfully to Drum and went home with both points courtesy of a single goal. So despite the win against Beauly, it was with some trepidation that the Foreign Correspondent of the Glen Bulletin made it up the slippery steps to the pitch side to watch the action.
Inside four minutes it was possible to paste in the phrase that had languished unused all season in the laptop’s memory- Barr hits the Bar-but the ring that it had in use was not so good as it had been in anticipation , especially in the knowledge that given our usual front of goal performance we were not going to make too many other opportunities.
However your man at the big match must confess to being pleasantly surprised because the Glen pinned Skye back for the first ten minutes but while the play was neat it did not result in a serious strike on goal. The pleasure in early pressure was undermined by the certain knowledge that the West Highland Free Press reporter , while he might give the red and blacks some credit for early dominance, would almost certainly refer to the team as “Glens”. What is that all about? Where did that extra s come from? Is there another Glen nearby that we don’t really know about? Some Fairy Glen , perhaps, which appears , like Brigadoon, every hundred years. So far as the Bulletin is concerned Glenurquhart has neither amalgamated with Glen Convinth nor Glen Moriston though perhaps we might be said to incorporate Glen Coiltie- but then no-one lives there.
These musings were interrupted by a goal from Peter Gordon in 22 minutes. The truth? A mishit clearance fell to him some distance out and he hit a shot which ,on a dry day and without a row of players to obscure his view, would have been meat and drink to The Goalie. It wasn’t - he got his hand to it but it skidded off his palm and up into the net. Skye had a lead they did not deserve.
Having said that ,Gordon is a superb player- fit, well balanced and with an experienced head. He has a Camanachd Cup Winners Medal to prove his stature-one of only 15 on the Island since the beginning of time -so when he pulled his hamstring and the only true hero left the field your correspondent put on a sad face. Inwardly he was cheering.
The rest of the first half was really end to end without much danger to anyone except when the Goalie had to save a nasty shot from Nouie Macdonald .. The Glen had the midfield which was a surprise given that Nouie Macdonald was in there. Arran Macdonald was excellent and continued his contribution for the whole match as did his side kicks Paul Mackintosh and David Maclennan. This is beginning to look like a top class midfield. Then, Graham Cameron blew for half time. As he did so the midgies came out and the rain worsened a little.
“Horrible weather,” said the Correspondent.
“No wonder that wee lassie left Stornoway to go and live in Pakistan” replied the Skye man.
He might have had a point-though it perhaps depends on how you like your fundamentalism-Calvinist or Islamic. When a blink of sun came out from behind the mist and created an intense rainbow over the Cuillins, the Bulletin’s man decided he preferred Kyleakin to Karachi- not of course that he’d ever been to Karachi.
A team pep talk was given, then news came through that Fort William were winning against Kilmallie and that Newtonmore were looking good. It was looking like an historic moment in the world of shinty. Then, suddenly the rain lifted and in the course of the next 45 minutes the Glen scored one goal and missed five. Skye too had their moments but the Goalie refused to permit them a victory.
The Glen goal is worth noting because it was a very pretty piece of play. Lewis Maclennan hit the ball over wide to the right and after it had been driven at the keeper , David Smart played it back across in the air where Andrew Corrigan smashed it in from close range. Passes, first time hitting,- all combined to result in the perfect goal. As good as anyway.
Then the Glen proceeded to dominate the last 15 minutes- Neale Reid came on for David Smart and Ally Mackintosh for Dave Maclennan- but the ball just would not go in the net. Graham Cameron blew the whistle again- the rain started once more. The Correspondent felt frustrated. Then Kingussie were confirmed to have lost. It didn’t seem too important anymore. Strange day indeed. Probably stranger in Lahore for little Molly. It’s a pity her Dad didn’t get on with her Mum. Still, at least she doesn't have to put up with the rain

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