Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lochcarron 1 Glenurquhart 1-but the Glen are better on paper so why didn’t they get both points?

A typical end of season affair on paper. A 1-1 draw and the Glen losing a point to a side they were capable of playing off the park , provided they can ever get them on the park that is.
“No way would I ever have let in a goal like that” was the comment by Glen keeper Dave Emery (pictured on his toes above) when Mr Reid broke the news to him at the recent shinty meeting that Lochcarron had sued for peace and asked for the Glen to share the points with them in a paper exercise to tidy up the fixtures backlog. Was the pitch unplayable? Probably but if the Glen actually ever finish a playing season-they have not done so for the past three years-then we’ll know that the Camanachd Association is earning its fees.
The treasurer had another request.
“What about the referees fee that we pay the Camanachd? Are we not due some cash back for the unplayed fixture?” he asked Mr Reid
“Where do you think you are, Treasurer? Tescos?” said Mr Reid who was obviously pleased to be finally clear for the season of having to phone up non responding secretaries and refs .
He was also looking forward to having some time alone with his Strathdearn medal.
“Don’t you think,” said Hendo “that there should be a sort of shinty group like the Pools panel to judge the results of games that have not been played and give a little credibility to the fixtures”
“Good idea,” said the Chairman “It would also be a good move especially since we now seem to be building an unfinished element into all our seasons. It would be a sign of good governance if the Camanachd brought just such a body into being.”
“I would be against having to pay an extra fee just for that,” stated the Treasurer , emphatically.
“Maybe after the AGM on Saturday that won’t be within your power to do anything about” said Mary with a hint of menace. “Not that it is of any interest to me any more” she added as an afterthought.
The Treasurer frowned and withdrew from the conversation : he pretended to have no more interest in matters and concentrated on an old bank statement. It was however upside down.
“The only problem is who would sit on such a panel” stated Alan , ever the pragmatist.
“Well for a start” said Mr Reid “there’s Geordie and Ken”
“Don’t you think the other sides might think that they would be a little too Glen biased? “ said Dave the Keeper.
“I don’t see the problem, “ said the Chairman. “They would be fine as long as there were some others there to give the panel some balance.”
“There couldn’t be anyone from Strathglass” stated Mary “Not that it is of any interest to me any more”
“Well no-that stands to reason. Strathglass don’t have anyone who knows anything about shinty anywhere in the whole Strath except Jimmac- and he is really from the Glen”
The Treasurer perked up.
“What about Coke? He’d be OK”
There was a silence in the Committee Room which seemed to last an eternity.
“Are you trying to be deliberately offensive?” said the Chairman.
“No. I just though that seeing he’s a top referee and he knows the game and he’s from the South his name should be in the frame” replied the Treasurer his glasses steaming up with embarrassment at having to defend a comment.
The Chairman and Mary exchanged looks.
Alan took out some lotto tickets and jingled the money bag about but the tension remained unbroken. Finally he said “Look. The Treasurer is a west coaster. You know what they’re like”
“So is Coke,” said the Chairman “but we don’t accept it as an excuse from him”
“Who else from other places could be on the panel?” said Hendo trying to move matters on.
“Jamie Bell for a start- he could represent Aberdeen- and his brother Davie. He could keep us right on legal matters. Burton Morrison would be another good one and young Raymond Robertson from Boleskine to represent the youth.”
“Sounds a good panel” said the Chairman “Geordie, Ken, Jamie Burton , Davie and Raymond”
“That is six”, said the Treasurer “You’ll need a casting vote if they tie 3-3”
“And who would you like to suggest?” said Mary. “not that it is of any further interest to me”
“What about Ian Macleod or Jamie Macpherson? “ said the Treasurer.
The silence which ensued was as silent a silence as the human imagination could comprehend. Not a sound was heard : not a leaf stirred.
“Look “ said Mr Reid “We have to have someone who will speak up for the Glen. I propose that the Shinty Panel should always contain a Glen player from the 1977 Strathdearn Cup winning team”
“Fine compromise” said the Chairman, “That proposal seems sound to me. All agreed. Right we’ll submit it to the Camanachd AGM”

Monday, December 03, 2007

Glittering Turn out For Glen Social Event of the Year *

On Friday 23rd November 2007, a party of over 90 players ,friends, sponsors and supporters of Glen Urquhart Shinty Club gathered together to enjoy a splendid social evening in the Clansman Hotel . Nourished by a splendid repast provided by Cobb’s master chef Mr. Dave West, waited on diligently by Rory and his staff and enticed to dance by the Ness Duo the company enjoyed an evening of friendship and reflection. It was certainly an evening to look back with perhaps a tinge of regret at a season which saw the Balliemore Cup and the League trophy come close but remain just out of reach.
On the other hand ,it was also an evening to look back on what was achieved- the under 14 side made it through to the final of the Development League and shows that we have taken some steps forward in our youth policy; on the pitch the top side played some marvellous games and -though the Kyles victory remains high on the Wing Centre’s personal list of favourites-holding Fort William to a 1-1 draw at An Aird in the Camanachd Cup must be the true highlight.
And aren’t the gods of shinty cruel : neither Lovat or Kinlochshiel -and they won the trophies which mattered -produced a performance like that this season. Still it is memories like these which give hope and focus for seasons yet to come.
Social evenings are also an occasion for giving out prizes and saying thank you to those who have served the Club throughout the years and this year Chairman Jim had at the head of his list our long serving secretary Mrs Mary Macdonald who was stepping down from the post after many years of loyal service. Obviously it would be ungallant to be precise about just how numerous were Mary’s years of work on behalf of the Club but suffice to say that they are considerable and much appreciated by all.
Also stepping down from the task of regulating the weekly Lotto is Mrs Ann Fraser and many thanks are due to her for all her efforts.
As a token of gratitude from the Club Mary received a piece of jewellery and was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
Mrs Helen Maclennan was recognised for the sterling work which she does with the young players and she in turn paid tribute to Stuart Reid who did so much in his placement in the school during the summer term to raise the profile of shinty amongst youngsters in the Glen. Thanks in this instance too are also due to Stuart Morrison who deals with the younger players and of course to Jan and Alan Bell who do much work with the Primary pupils. Alistair Mackintosh (Jun) and Neale Reid who have also done much to help were also thanked for their efforts.
The main award of the evening -that of Glen Urquhart player of the year-went to Lewis Maclennan (pictured above). Lewis had an excellent season and finished with 29 goals (30 if you count one scored in the North area trials) it would have crowned his season if he had been able to be selected for the North Squad but unfortunately he missed out on that. To be fair on him with James Clark, John MacDonald, Ronald Ross and John Stewart ahead of him in the picking order it was hard to see that dream coming true. However, young Maclennan has laid down a fine marker for the future and it is to be hoped that he will get the opportunity
After the eating and the awards the rest of the evening passed in a blur of conversation and dancing . Old games were replayed and old acquaintances renewed : it was ever thus.

For those with a culinary interest in these things the menu was as follows:

Scotch Broth
Crayfish salad masked with Marie Rose Sauce
Prime Roast of Scottish Beef
served with Yorkshire puddings, seasonal vegetables and a rich gravy
Breast of corn-fed chicken laced with a white wine & cream sauce
served with seasonal vegetables
Coffee & shortbread

As the party waited at the end of the evening to be conveyed up and down the Glen in the fine autobus provided by Mr Bill Ross of Struie, the verdict was unanimous. A good night was had by one and all.

*written mostly in the style of the Inverness Courier circa 1907

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