Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dublin, Inverness, Caberfeidh, Lochaber, Race Night, Sale of Work-Everything Really!

Its half-time in Dublin and the guys are winning. All good things come to an end.
A bit like the season really-the wing centre has also run out of steam. What can you slag off when the Glen are cruising through games on a winning streak unparalleled since Davie Menzies and Billy Maclean won two Balliemore Cups back to back in 1990 and 1991.
I suppose the steam began to run out in Ireland when the squad took to the Emerald Isle for the first time since 1996. In 1994-96 the opponents were Dicksboro from Kilkenny who forged what appeared to be a strong bond but somehow or other they did not return for a second visit. In fact Dicksboro disappeared off the Glen radar until earlier this session when they turned up as Irish Champions of some league or other and were defeated by Kingussie at the Dell.
This time the host club was called “Whitehall Colmcille” and its ground occupies a piece of territory in Dublin so far north that it could have been in Belfast. That’s certainly what the journey in the bus from the Comfort Inn felt like on the Saturday of the match. As Donal the bus driver said quietly to himself as much as to anyone else “Pity you didn’t stick with Kilkenny : it would be ******* easier to get there.“
Eventually, a chap called Seamus came on the bus with us and he was even more obsessional about the stick sport than either the Wing Centre or Ron : the Chairman and DP ran him close though. It appears that Seamus had been up without sleep for at least two days taking youth teams and was apologetic that the other members of the Whitehall hierarchy were not on hand to meet and greet us. Seemingly all the other sides were playing in distant parts or due to play in big matches next day and so could not be risked or something; whatever he promised he would get a side together. So he did. Some reasonable players but in the end the score was Glenurquhart 24 Whitehall 12- so we were twice as good as them. It was nice to see the players score goals though the fact that the goals were as wide as the mouth of the Coiltie helped a little. Of course the team had cheated by being focused on the match and having had an early night the evening before. For this we must thank the inspired idea of the management to insist that the lads have their hair cut in a Mohican style. Though such a tonsure may be acceptable in Toronto or Hamilton, Ontario-in Dublin it prevents you getting into Clubs. Result a sober and focused squad and facing such opposition the Whitehall side saw their chances disappear down the Liffey in a jiffy.
Play of the day was an athletic dive and aerial cutback from Lewis Maclennan which was finished off by the man with dual nationality. What a corker!
Back to the hurling club’s wee shebeen for a Guinness and to hand over a trophy to Seamus by which to remember the humiliation of his side. The Wing Centre, who had bought the trophy at a car boot sale in Inverness, had lettered it himself with tippex but was glad to see that Seamus was too polite to comment on its tackiness. It was unfortunate that the trip was before the annual sale of work because a whole shelf of discarded trophies turned up that night, any one of which could have been substituted as a memento. They have been stored for future use.
Back to the hotel and then across the road to Delaney’s pub while the team went off as far as the management were concerned to watch a Beckett play at the Abbey Theatre. Delaney’s was good crack: it would be wrong to call it “craic” because there were no leprechauns and shillelaghs to be seen either drinking or attached to the walls. They were playing Commitments type songs on the jukebox though : it was that authentic. Next day the older generation spent the morning in the Guinness Brewery followed by a session in the Temple Bar in Temple Bar-you can’t make this up- while all the youngsters went to see the Book of Kells and visit the Dublin Writers Museum.
Next day again the plane took us back to Inverness. Then we went home and then we were sick.
From that point on we have been invincible.
We beat Inverness 7-1
We beat Caberfeidh 5-0
We beat Lochaber 2-0
The Reserves beat Kincraig 12-2
The Reserves beat Beauly 5-0
What has happened? Something has changed. Every shot Lewis hits now makes the keeper work. Arran and Paul Mac have complete control of the centre line. Master Girvan has been excellent. Mister Reid (intermediate) had a superb match against Whitehall -his under 21 experience came good there- and he has continued to be unbeatable. The forwards are scoring goals and goals and goals.
Against Lochaber we were so good we were able to permit the National side to take Goalie No1, Goalie No 2 went off to Oz while Goalie No 3 re-damaged his back against Kincraig, Goalie No 4 played against Beauly reserves while Goalie No 5 stepped up to keep a clean sheet against the League Champions. How good can it get?
Well guess what- Mr Barr played at buckshee : he won every ball. He smashed a club to pieces -he dominated the half forwards. Now that’s what the Wing Centre calls hurley.
And then we have a successful race night -though the Wing Centre’s horse fails to succeed. And the Sale of Work goes like-well a Fair. Time we were calling it an Autumn Fayre to appeal to the New Drummers-just a thought.
Not only that but we’ve still got the donations to count.
Don’t you sometimes wish we were back to winter shinty and this was just the start of the season?

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