Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rennie's hat-trick bitter pill to swallow.

Glenurquhart 3 but Lovat Won

If there is any explanation as to why Lovat came out of this contest with all the points and Glenurquhart , despite having the ball in the net 5 times , ended up with nothing , then the explanation has to be that the halftime Jaffa cakes , traditionally supplied in the Glen were either too great in quantity or purchased from an inferior supplier. For the uninitiated of the outer world, who might have otherwise thought that the half time snack of choice would be a ¼ slice of a real Jaffa orange filled with vitamin C , the sophisticates of the Glen First team have a Jaffa cake and a draught of Earl Grey tea delivered to the dressing room in porcelain cups on a silver tray. The boys certainly have Premier League tastes but with one half of the management team away on the continent looking for new players , the remaining supremo had purchased Tesco own brand type Jaffa “sponges” instead of the real MacVitie and the dressing room was in uproar. Clearly John Collins managed to do the same thing at Hibs the week before with very much the same result. Upon such little hooks history hangs or something like that - and as a consequence a team which was roaring in front at 3-1 before the break, came out in a confused state in the second period and conceded a victory to Lovat which the crofters barely deserved.
It had all been going so well. Before the Wing Centre had taken his seat in the stand Andrew Corrigan had opened the scoring when he followed up on a ball which came back off Lovat keeper Stewart Macdonald. Then on the 8 minute mark Lewis Maclennan hit one of two goals he was to score that afternoon and it was an excellent strike which lifted the Glen spirits and simultaneously made President Ferguson, Johnny MacRitchie, his mam , his auntie and most importantly Jimmy Johansen, sad. It had the makings of a very agreeable afternoon and then out of the blue Raymond Rennie got the ball about 18 yards from goal and hit a blistering right hand shot past Stuart Mackintosh. Whatever way you want to spin it- and the Wing Centre certainly wishes it had spun away from “Raymondo of the Glens“ - it was a superb goal but from the Glen reaction at that point it did not look to be game-changing. Why? Because about 14 minutes after that Andrew Corrigan increased his own personal goal tally and restored the two goal difference with a fine finish.
Then the team retired for tea and biscuits which was the first big mistake.
No sooner had the game restarted and indeed while the Wing centre was buying a venison burger Rennie got a second goal. There is no point in describing it because it would only be a second hand account of the action. Ryan Ferguson got another and then it was Rennie again- and suddenly the Glen are down 4-3. Now this is history repeating itself-look to last year’s match report for a similar occurrence.
The serious point is this- Rennie is excellent with the stick and is a big powerful player who can push and shove this way into some space if he is in the mood. When he gets the opportunity of a shot at goal he can take it. So what was the second big mistake? Probably not treating Raymondo to a little more physical pressure after he had nabbed his second goal. This might seem a little blunt but the Wing Centre is absolutely certain that the two Lovat Jimmies, Messers Johansen and Gallagher, will know exactly what he means. Hindsight is a wonderful quality and the Wing Centre is a past master at it-and much else besides- but despite his Neolithic tendencies he would prefer to see skill triumph over brute force- except in a match with Lovat.
But the whole tale has not been told-some time between Rennie getting his second goal and young Ryan Ferguson bringing the sides level the Glen had the ball in the Lovat net. It happened like this. There was a clash between two Lovat defenders as the Glen mounted an attack. One of them fell down with an injury to the head-the ball popped out of the box and Andrew Corrigan put it between the posts from a difficult angle with other Lovat players trying to stop him doing so. All this time , the ref has not stopped the play. The goal looks as if it might be given then it’s ruled out. Why? A kind hearted Glen forward has stayed in the D to help the stricken goalkeeper-so he is offside. Correct decision on both counts -by player and official.
And there’s more! The Glen began to come much more strongly into the match after they had gone behind especially with the introduction of Paul Mackintosh in the centre line, back for his first game since the Cabers match. The attacks built up strongly at the shop end but Macdonald in the Lovat goal was in excellent form. He palmed away a fierce shot from Corrigan and then had to concede a series of corners as the revamped Glen forward line of David Smart and Neale Reid turned the screw ever tighter. You will recall that earlier it was stated that Lewis Maclennan had scored two goals - he did but his second one was ruled out for offside though Lewis still finds it hard to believe. Whatever, from a corner on the right he met the ball beautifully and rocketed it into the roof of the net- does he ever score a trickler or a scrappy goal? Perhaps he should try. The Ref gave it offside- and Lovat breathed again and rode their luck once more when Neale Reid charged down a low hit out and keeper Macdonald was lucky enough to be hit on the leg by the youngster’s follow up shot. The ball bounced past the post ; the fulltime whistle went; Lovat were pleased.
The Wing Centre acknowledges the gleeful Lovat supporters but does not make eye contact. As he looks after Jimmy Johansen skipping off to his car, he feels an acute pang of jealousy-he’s kept his hair, and his team have now kept two points which did not belong to them. So it goes. Unfortunately.

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