Thursday, August 16, 2007

Never Mind Runrig-the Real Gig is in Oban

Skye 0 Glenurquhart 3

Goals from Neale Reid, Lewis Maclennan and Calum Miller on the park of heroes has set the Glen up for the Balliemore final but despite a flock of Bertie’s Boys spying on the hombres in black and red , the Glen are sure they did not give away any secrets. The Wing Centre has to be careful in how he words this piece because he does not wish to give anything away either and so ,not trusting himself to keep his counsel at the keyboard ,he did not go to the match but concentrated on eating a venison burger in Drum as he watched Fort William defeat Inverness in the Strathdearn.
At times he had to pinch himself because on display in the Fort William colours were guys like Deke Cameron and Willie Macdonald who had won Camanachd medals before half the Inverness side were born.
Naturally, he was on the mobile phone texting and getting reports from Portree throughout the afternoon- and when taken in concert with the verbal report of the managers at the committee meeting on Tuesday night , the Wing Centre can report that Neale Reid scored a nice goal, Lewis Maclennan scored a nice goal and Calum Miller scored a goal though perhaps it could have been Billy Urquhart Then there was a goal ruled offside ,which it probably was. Beyond that no body got sent off , nobody got booked and nobody got hurt which means that we go to Oban with a full squad.
To be fair the West Highland Free Press had a detailed balanced and sensible report on the match-occasionally they provide superb blow for blow shinty reports and this was one of their best : the Wing Centre almost felt he was there and could even anticipate the thrill of the midgie bites as he walked in words along side the pitch below the misty Coolins. What is more-the Free Press- rightly cast the Glen in the role of underdogs . As a result, anything we get on the day will be a bonus.
All is set up for the big game in Oban though the weather forecast is foul. The thought of two elite teams of North Division 1 plowtering through the gutters left by the hand to hand combat that is sure to take place in the earlier match between Fort William and Kilmallie appals . It would be a serious shame if the game were wrecked because the Camanachd Association insisted on playing two finals back to back on a West Highland bog. Mossfield is not Braeview set in the dry farming belt of the Eastern Highlands where farmers can grow grain on good dry alluvium. In fact sometimes Mossfield struggles to take one game at a time in a moderate downpour. “West coast rain won’t wet you” was a saying of the Wing Centre’s mother in law but then she had Beauly blood and could barely remember rain. Anyway. Lets hope it's raining Glen goals in Oban.
The training has been observed with a very critical eye this week-it has gone well. Trainer Laura McConnachie (pictured above at Wednesday night training with Big Bill Manager and equally Big Dave Manager) reports that the work has been done just as it has all season and the players are as good as they will get. All that remains is that they remember this final piece of wisdom. Finals don’t come along very often : the last one was in 1991. When they do come along you have to play as if this final will be the only one you will ever get to in your career. That just might be hard for a young guy in his twenties to appreciate but it is as true as the fact that Craigmonie stands above Blairbeg.
Yes we are going to miss out on seeing Runrig in Borlum. Now that’s a real shame because the Wing Centre doubts if there has been any Runrig at Borlum since the Grant Lairds threw the original crofting tenants off the good lands and forced them to fend for themselves on the heights at Bunloit. So what if we’ll not be about when there are 10,000 people walking past Blairbeg - and it’s a shame that so many of the supporters and committee guys have to work . The truth is though that they will miss the real gig.
Imagine living in Drum and missing out on the fact that you were not in Oban when the guys were in the final of the Balliemore.
Laura? You’ve guessed it. Going to Runrig. Whatever next? Before you know it she’ll be going out with a Strathglass player.

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