Young Guns Stun in the Sun-and so does Davie Stewart
Glenurquhart 7 Beauly 1
A lovely day for shinty and with it a lovely result - and to be fair a victory of this size against a competent Beauly second team could not have been predicted. Not only that but before the Wing Centre starts this report it is well worth saying that the old heads in the Beauly team ,Steven “Murph” Maclean and Roger Cormack played fair sensible shinty allowing the young Glen forwards an opportunity to play their own shinty without fear of a dirty challenge or the painful crack of a follow through. Time and again Roger Cormack at the back , at a stage in the match with a few goals against when lesser men would be tempted to frighten off a youthful opponent with aggression, simply worked the ball wide and sent it clear with a minimum of fuss - a excellent example to all of how a top player should behave. “Murph” was exactly the same : hard and old style against Davie Stewart and Iain Macdonald but the Wing Centre noticed that when the ball broke into the area of Glen youngsters Ewan Menzies and Neil Porter, the old war horse (“Murph” won’t thank the Wing Centre for calling him that) played it fair and square but still made sure the kids were all right.
Probably though Beauly did not have enough old heads in their squad to compete with the Glen. Though Beauly did have a row of reasonably experienced younger players to add to Roger and Murph, the Glen had a solid line up the middle from goalie Dave Emery, full back Malc Munro, buckshee Gary Smith, full centre Iain Macdonald and Davie Stewart at full forward. The rest of the guys were schoolboys with the exception of Ross MacAulay up front and New Zealander Roger Grant at wing back who made way in the second half for debutant Calum Smith.
The game started off evenly enough and if anything Beauly were more lively in the first ten minutes and both Malky Munro and Drew Maclennan had to be quick to snuff out attacks from the men in green but that was to end suddenly in the 13th minute when a neat ball from wing forward Bradley Dickson-who was to have his best game of the season-fell to Ross MacAulay and the big fellow made no mistake from the edge of the D.
In the next minute ,the Glen managed to double their lead when a long ball upfield from right wing centre Neil Porter was gathered in by Davie Stewart and neatly dispatched.
Beauly were not yet out of the match however because from the throw up Glen keeper Dave Emery had to look lively to block a shot from Elliot Moir down by his right post . Some slack Glen defensive play however led to a Beauly goal which was conceded in the 16th minute when Connor Ross fired a shot firmly past keeper Emery who did not manage to get enough on the ball to keep it out of the net.
The Glen defence settled after that and in particular Drew Maclennan stood out with his good anticipation and clean hitting out of defence.
The Beauly goal also served to galvanise the Glen midfield and Iain Macdonald began to pump up long balls to his young forwards. However it was his neat slip out to Neil Porter that began the build up to the third goal. Porter played the ball across to Bradley Dickson who played a perfectly weighted pass through between the Beauly defenders for Davie Stewart to finish.
In the 25th minute it was half forward Ben Hosie’s turn to shine. Always a skilful and stylish player, Hosie ghosted into the D to slip home a cross ball from the right.
It was five up before half time when Davie Stewart sealed his hat-trick after getting on the end of a long through ball from full centre Macdonald.
The young guys probably don’t get jaffa cakes-manager Henderson is more a digestive man-but they certainly deserved double strength juice at half time.
Beauly steadied the ship somewhat in the second half bringing on both Roger and Connor Cormack but nothing would have prevented the next Glen goal. That came in the 60th minute when right wing centre Neil Porter, who had an excellent game throughout, found himself in space and tried a shot from distance. It was a glorious strike and one that he and the spectators will long remember.
Despite the score ,the game swung a little Beauly’s way and a strike by “Murph” Maclean was judged by referee Graham Irvine to be a penalty after it struck keeper Emery on the leg. That it was not going to be Beauly’s day was amply proved when Connor Ross fired the ball past the post.
By this stage Manager Steven Henderson had given a first start in the black-and-red to Calum Smith at wing back and Ross Macfarlane on the wing. Neither looked out of place : Calum was strong in the tackle and quick to cover while Ross had an excellent first time drive which the Beauly keeper did well to tip over. Ross had come on for the other Glen youngster in the frame Ewan Menzies . Ewan played the first half in a difficult centreline role against an experienced Beauly player but stuck to his task and when the opportunity arose hit balls well upfield. Being moved to Wing forward in the second half allowed him more freedom on the ball and he was unlucky in this period not to hit the target .
There was one more spark to come from the Glen youngsters however when Bradley Dickson added the Glen’s 7th goal with a neat finish capping what for himself had been one of his best performances in the Glen shirt.
All in all it was day full of hope for the future of Glen shinty- and the Wing Centre who was surly at the start when told that he had to stay in Drum to take a collection and could not go to Inverness ,enjoyed the day so much that he took the above snap of the youngsters and the not so youngsters. What is more the D will make big copies for any player who would like one. There is also a rather neat shot of a slim line keeper Emery bossing his box which for a small fee -cash only -will not be posted. If the fee is not forthcoming then the Wing Centre foresees a Caption Competition in the offing.
ps The first team won with goals from Neale Reid , Eddie Tembo and two from SuperLewis. These helped the side to a 4-1 victory. That puts SuperLewis on 29 goals which is … eh… um not bad -pretty much at Ron level for a season.