Monday, June 04, 2007

Glen Score Four in Balliemore

Balliemore Cup

Lovat 1 Glenurquhart 4
What an elusive, shy bunch these Lovat fans are! Like the roe deer that raid the gardens in Milton, you sometimes see them slipping across a fence or slinking through the long grass but when you try to take a photo of them , they melt away. Here the Wing Centre crossed Balgate with his trusty Kodak but too late. The Kiltartans proud had shot off back to their crofts- or more likely up to the Crofters Bar - to seek some solace in the demon drink- and all that was left was their droppings : a few empty water bottles, some pieces of paper and seats in the dug out still warm. It was like a scene from the lighthouse on Flannan Isle. Next time the Wing Centre will come over the night before and build himself a hide -Abriachan style- so he can get a pic of a bunch of them in the wild.
Still it was a dodgy start though. Lovat are a skilful team even if their will power let them down this time and it does not do to forget that on the last three occasions they have contrived to beat the Glen. Usually Lovat don’t give up or perhaps more worryingly ,the Glen let them back into the game, but on Saturday the counter attack did not come.
The dodgy start was down to Lovat’s Raymond Rennie. He is a superb stick player with an eye for the goals : if he trained seriously he would be - well even more dangerous. In four minutes, in the first Lovat attack, the ball was hit long into the Glen defence , crossed over smartly by MacAulay at wing forward , missed by full back Gregor McCormack and Rennie smashed it low into the net from an acute angle. He was just outside the D and the pace with which he hit the ball meant it was past keeper Mackintosh before he could react. Excellent start for Lovat :depressingly early to concede a score for the Glen.
Yet, that was more or less the last chance Lovat were to get for the whole afternoon. From that point on the Glen defence, organised by John Barr, took command while the midfield of Paul Mackintosh, Arran Macdonald and Dave Maclennan simply sealed off the border. It was a hard battle at times but the midfield dominance for the Glen was so complete that that Lovat were reduced to trying long rushed shots at goal a number of which sailed into the field behind the goal and were never seen again-in much the same way as the Lovat team itself disappeared.
Lewis Maclennan crashed home the equaliser in 10 minutes and then the Glen were denied a superbly taken strike by Neale Reid. Andrew Corrigan received a ball on the left and fired it in on target only to see his shot stopped in the air by Lovat keeper Stuart Macdonald. The ball flew back in the air out beyond the D where Reid took it first time in the air and scored - except that Billy Urquhart who had run in on the keeper following up on the initial drive didn’t have time to get out of the D.
Referee Graham Cameron-good to see him back in black and white- correctly ruled the goal off side -except it’s a pity to see such a lovely strike denied a goal. But rules are rules- and without them where would we be?
“ 2-1 up” says the devil on the Wing Centre’s shoulder but alas it was not so in real life Kiltarlity time.
That decision left the Lovat defence marshalled by James Gallagher still to be overcome - and despite some lovely pacy play by the Glen forwards with Neale Reid in spectacular form against James Whyte ,it took until 25 minutes on the clock before Dave “Dixon“ Maclennan finally put the Glen in front. He did it with a clean strike which eluded Keeper Stuart Macdonald who till that point had been beginning to look invincible.
The third goal was a penalty. Pressure on the Lovat defence- and more importantly-the harrying of the Lovat defenders to prevent them from clearing the ball led to keeper Stuart Macdonald losing his stick in a challenge with Billy Urquhart. Macdonald then played the ball with his feet which led to the award of a penalty. Lewis Maclennan teed up the ball and smashed it past the keeper ,which proved ,the Wing Centre reflected just how good an investment it was for the Treasurer to have phoned up Mr Nolan of Tanera Camans and persuaded him to part with two new forwards sticks to replace the one that L broke in the Aberdeen game. With 5 goals having come from the favoured club and having failed to persuade Lewis to play with anything other than a Tanera-the boy has expensive tastes- the Treasurer now feels honour bound to pay for them.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first- though the departure of Paul Mackintosh from the centre line not long into the second period led to some slackening of the Glen’s midfield grip for about 10 minutes until his replacement cousin Ali Mackintosh adjusted to the pace of the game. Lovat tried to cash in by switching Ewan Ferguson to full centre and moving Ryan Ferguson to half forward and for a period this caused some jitters in the Glen defence. Having lost a two goal lead in two previous matches there was some understandable anxiety on the touchline that the defence clear their lines quickly- and when buckshee back Mr B did some spectacular keepie up on the left instead of battering the ball up field roars of wrath rose from the grey beards on the side. When the ball went out of play for a Lovat shy and the resulting drive whistled past the Glen post the roars were even more wrathful. Some further footering about caused more complaints which brought about an irate remonstration from the young footerer.
“Be quiet, you old git” he yelled.
The gits looked at each other. Which one was meant? They had all been shouting- why should the young man favour one and omit the rest?
“It must be you Geordie, “said Ali Mac, “because you are the oldest.”
Geordie looked at Ali Mac and said “Aye Aye”.- so he obviously didn’t think it was him.
“No “, said the former President, “I am the oldest. I demand to be the git”
“Why should you be the git?” said the Treasurer “I have years of service and am quite capable of being a git as well”.
“Aye Aye “ said Geordie and he looked as if he meant it.
The Wing Centre knew it could not be him because he had been shouting encouragement and words of advice and besides he had only written nice things about the be-stower of gitdom.
“Perhaps if Jimmac were here we’d be clearer about the matter”, said the Treasurer, “but now I don’t suppose we’ll ever know who the git is”
“Young people nowadays”, said Geordie.
“Young people nowadays what?” said the Treasurer.
Geordie narrowed his eyes.
But the Treasurer had hit on a wheeze…
“Do you think we could make up tee-shirts with the logo “Shinty by Loch Ness- Game for Gits” on them and merchandise them at the Runrig concert for Club funds?” he said.
Geordie looked at him.
“Now you’ re proving that you really are a git” said Geordie. “Just like you proved you were when you tried to sell tee-shirts with “Shinty-Monster Sport by Loch Ness” on them.”
“That was an idea ahead of its time,” said the Treasurer. “My only mistake was I didn’t get the Rat to do the marketing.”
They couldn’t think of any more gits and so returned to the game whereupon Lewis hit his third goal- a hatrick and all the scorers were Maclennans.
“ Tell Mary Ann that Billy Urquhart got that goal” said a git.
“Teach these young guys to stop calling us gits”
“But Lewis is innocent”
But it was too late-Mary Ann was away with the wrong name and Lewis lost a goal just because the gits were thrawn.
“Two minutes to go “said Manager No 1
“We’re going to enjoy the rest of the game” said Manager No 2.
But hardly had those two gits settled down to enjoy the match than referee Graham Cameron blew the whistle early. Git!

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