Sunday, March 04, 2007

A family day out for Beauly

Glenurquhart 0 Beauly 0

It was like one of the old style Sunday School outings for the Beauly contingent on Saturday : Roger , Murph and Toad brought their sons over the hill for the day and the Glen team acted like generous hosts in allowing them to take a league point back home over Cul na Circ. The wing centre was of the opinion that the way his team was playing the Blairbeg committee might just as well have asked the lads in green to take their kids up to the Monster Exhibition for a look round the latest display and then finish the afternoon off with a spin on the Loch round Urquhart Bay with Captain George.
On the other hand the wing centre might equally well have been better employed having a day at the sticks and picking up bits of birch and other rubbish which had blown into his garden over the previous months : that way he might have been in a better frame of mind when he came to pen his piece.
Mind games before the match did not seem to upset Beauly : the Glen management started out by choosing for the match the Camanachd’s own brand of leather ball instead of that provided by Black Will : no way were the Glen going to allow Beauly to play with their own balls (the wing centre knows how this must sound but there is no other way of putting it ,so to speak)- and besides with Camanachd President John Mackenzie on the sidelines what else was there to do.
The assumption is that Mr Mac was there to see that the Glen spectators were being polite to referee Coke Macdonald. There was no need to worry and he had an uneventful game to keep an eye on .
The mind games did not faze Beauly however and by the end of the match they came close to taking both points. Memo to self - try a Boleskine ball next time.
Cards on the table though-on the first half showing , The Glen should have taken the lead early on . Lymburn in the Beauly goal had a couple of excellent saves and prevented Glen full forward Calum Miller from giving his side the start the crowd were hoping for. Beauly rallied however and defences were on top though the bulk of territory in the first half was possessed by the red and blacks. Yet the home forward line failed to convince . Why? Bottom line was that the Beauly defence were good : they played hard and simple and in their goalie yesterday they had a guy who stopped what was hit at him. Not that enough was hit at him. The rule of thumb in the Glen is that if you hit four shots on target you have a right to hope that you will get one goal. Calum Miller had three shots on goal and Billy Urquhart had one-and that was it. The percentage did not quite work out.
It has to be said that the Glen failed to put any real pressure on the Beauly keeper : it was a rerun of the Strathglass game; reasonable possession but on the whole not direct enough in front of goal and not for the want of trying.
Fortunately the Beauly front boys were playing from the same coaching manual as the Glen forwards and the Glen defence played the same way as the Beauly defence -simple , hard and direct. Dave Girvan had a good game despite having missed the previous week through injury and Stuart Reid did what was required against Superbarry whom , it must be admitted, looked far from super. Gregor McCormack was his own excellent self and the goalie dealt with everything that was sent his way.
He had one excellent stop in the first half and another in the second half though
Superbarry failed to connect with that one properly-luckily enough. The Wing centre prefers however that the goalie has nothing to do- the fact that he was having to get into close quarters combat with Jamie Maclennan in the last ten minutes tells the story that Beauly were in the ascendancy.
The Glen centreline which had been on top in the first half somewhat lost their way in the second half and while not being over run allowed Sandy Tulloch ,Willie Bell and young master Cormack some more possession that was comfortable for the folks on the white plastic chairs.
A young MacLean came on to the field and almost stole the match with a fierce drive which fizzed past the post. The goalie claimed he had it covered. Your correspondent is not so sure. Macleans have been playing for Beauly since time immemorial but the wing centre isn’t sure that it is sensible to encourage them.
Conversation with the crowd was mixed. The wing centre likes to have a bit of crack with the spectators and he has to say the crowd as he found them were enthusiastic yet surprisingly dismissive of the merits of the match.
Not much of a game. Not an awful lot of shinty. A dull dour match. These were some of the comments that were passed on the day.
Sort of true but not really. It was a fascinating match in its way and the problem was that both sides snuffed each other out in an attacking sense and no-one was able to come up with that touch of brilliance which would have made the difference in goals scored. There was plenty good hitting on both sides and what is more for those with the leisure to enjoy it good patter on sidelines.
As always there was the joy of seeing old friends at the match. Finlay Maclellan was back and his enthusiasm for shinty as keen as ever. Bert Loades was there too having survived the traditional West Highland monsoon which puts off the opening Kinlochshiel game of every season.
And it was nice to see a stalwart of the past among the foot soldiers in the crowd. There he was larger than life. It was none other than Angus MacInnes back from Canada where it is rumoured he’s just sold half the Alberta prairie to Chinese speculators. You can take the boy out of Strathglass but you can’t……. You know how it ends.
Still at least the second team beat Beauly. 5-2- and Davie Stewart got three crackers.
A place in the first team front line is very possibly on the cards for Mr S.
Next week the Glen are off to the west , over the bridge and into Macleod territory. Lets hope for a better result or perhaps for a downpour so we can get them at home

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