Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Billy's Goal says "Bye Bye Skye"

Glenurquhart 3 Skye 0

Two neat goals by Neale Reid put this North Division 1 League tie clearly into Glenurquhart hands before Billy Urquhart (pictured above at Monday night training) made the points safe with a typical poacher’s finish in the second half. All of a sudden the Glen have won four games in a row which should put them in the frame for team of the month if they would only bother to win the matches within the required parameters of date.
Skye, lets face it, were not at full strength- any Skye side that takes the field without twoMacdonald brothers- is not going to be the top team but truth to tell they have some good and neat players and if they can keep these young guys going and ignore the lads who would rather play pub football , they will turn into a formidable side.
The island has a big enough pool of young men nowadays to have an excellent team that can compete at the highest shinty level. Or it would have if only Eka Davidson and the WHFP would realise that football is a busted flush as far as pulling the Eilean out of the Ceo is concerned. If the island would concentrate on shinty then it has the resources to win Camanachd Cups more than once which is why it is good to see Willie Cowie helping take on the youngsters. So all power to the Morrisons -unsung in shinty terms beside the Mackinnons, MacDougalls ,Cowies and Murchisons but servants to the noble game on the Island nevertheless and much respected on this side of the bridge as well.
So for posterity the goals:
No 1 Neale Reid out beyond the D slipped away from wing back David Nicholson caught the ball cleanly and flashed it home about head height. Time 9 minutes
No 2 -this time from further out, Reid side stepped the approaching back and drove the ball high into the net. Time 15minutes.
The sides went in for half time and the Glen came out fired up as required. A Lewis Maclennan drive was stopped by keeper Angie Murchison and the rebound was pushed back in over the line by Billy Urquhart. That made it 3-0.
This is the second game Billy has been quick in on the keeper and rammed in a rebound and if he can keep doing this it will add an element to the Glen’s play which has been missing for some time. It doesn’t always work however : at Lovat recently he had followed in a shot from Andrew Corrigan but when that bounced wide after being blocked by the keeper he did not have time to vacate the D before Neale Reid smashed a beauty home. Disappointingly but correctly it was given off-side.
At Kyles however and now against Skye , Billy’s speed into the box paid off and since Lewis and Cork (Corrigan) tend to play deep even though perhaps they shouldn’t ,then the presence of Billy Urquhart on the edge of the D will be an extra item in the goal scoring tool kit.
So what did the Glen do after Billy scored his goal in the 50th minute?
If the sharn on the soles of the Wing Centres countryman shoes is anything to go by, Cork and Lewis spent the rest of the afternoon hitting shots into the field containing John Cameron’s two pedigree bulls.
Fortunately the bovines in question were about as riotous as Mr Reid ( Strathdearn medal 1977) on the rampage after a curry night - and so the wing centre was able to walk about between them affecting unconcern looking for balls amongst the bulls . Unsurprisingly, he found two (including a plastic one-how it got there perhaps Mr Bell’s Primary Squad can explain- and the Wing Centre suggests they explain things to Mr Bell fast) but others remained undisturbed in the long grass .
How did we not score more goals when Skye ,apart from one or two shots which Stuart Mackintosh in goal deal with well, barely managed to cross the centreline.
Simply because we are elaborate when we should be simple: we pass when we should put the ball on the goals. The quality of the shinty played is extremely entertaining but the return on investment is simply not high enough for the talent on display. We are masters at using possession to weave complicated knots of Celtic complexity that lead nowhere. The side will have to be aware of this because at some point we are going to need a scrappy goal to give us a passage into a final where we can play the beautiful game in front of the TV cameras to our hearts’ content.
The other point is that the front man-the man at the point of the diamond -simply has to be closer to the D, otherwise when the ball comes into Glen possession ,there is too much to do before the goal can be shot at. The players are certainly capable of scoring from distance - and of course these attempts are spectacular but let it be born in mind that Ron Fraser and Billy Macleod scored most of their goals from within 12 yards of the goalmouth- particularly latterly when the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. If anything, Big Peter Macdonald was even closer to the goal line.
In the last quarter of the game, the Glen were forced to bring on several subs when first Arran Macdonald went off after a knock to be followed by Lewis Maclennan. David “Dixon” Maclennan also came off after a smack on the hand . The replacements Ali Mackintosh , Calum Miller and Calum Fraser did what was required but did not really have enough time to effect any change on the game though Calum Miller in particular -if he can get himself a little fitter after suffering from a injured foot against Fort William in the Mactavish Cup match-looks like he can be a useful addition up front. He certainly has the strength and playing closer to the goalmouth he can help create chances much nearer the business end of the whole proceedings.
A little rant then this week but one masquerading as a straight forward report overburdened with analysis: no wonder, because the wing Centre spent the Friday night working out how Fort William would be able to beat Kingussie in the Mactavish Cup final . He got it right : all you need is better players than the other team. To some extent that is what the Glen have at the moment. The only problem is that they have to keep on proving it or everything they have done up to that point doesn’t really matter. You are only as good as your last game. Against Skye that was good enough: it remains to be seen if that standard will do against Lovat on Saturday .

Scottish Blogs