Friday, January 04, 2008

Sixes of the Best

The Wing Centre has detected a distinct lack of impetus in the shinty environment of the Glen over the past few weeks and even although much might appear to have been happening in the world of the caman in general, it just happens to be unworthy of comment. For those playing catch-up it is worth noting that Mr Duncan Cameron has been voted into office as Camanachd President (he is due to take over after the AGM). More exciting than that, Allan Macleod has resigned as Competitions Manager and Richard Gall has also stepped down from the Camanachd. Much has been written about these departures to which the Wing Centre will add nothing except to say that in a sport with as precarious a hold on existence as shinty has, personnel losses of this kind are not especially sustainable. It is to be hoped that both parties continue to take an active part in the organisation of the sport. For what they have done up to this point the Wing Centre would like to thank them sincerely and also welcomes Davie MacMaster of Cabers to his new post on the Executive.
With these few words the time has come to move on to a more considered piece about the recent successful Sixes in memory of Zandra Mackintosh . The Club has run these Sixes as part of the Hogmanay celebrations which have done much to make a New Year stay in the Glen a more meaningful experience for the visiting tourist as well as undoubtedly a lucrative week in the dead season for local B & B’s. Thanks are here due to the sponsors and the ladies who organise the events.
Whilst a cloud was cast on the opening of the event by the announcement of the death after a long illness of Mrs Cathy Barr , mother of Club President Jim Barr and grandmother of John, as a showcase for the indigenous sport in the Glen, the day was an undoubted success.
As usual the various districts organised themselves to raise sides to contest Zandra’s trophy and this year eight sides mustered appropriate pools of players - each team must include a veteran, a juvenile and a female-and in the end the winning side came via a penalty shoot out between the “Up the Glenners” and Lewiston.
For the record the teams were as follows :
Group A : Balmacaan ; Up the Glen: Blarmor ; Druimlon.
Group B : Townies ; Lewiston; Smiddy; Hillside.
The top two teams in each group made it thought to the semi final stage and thence on to the big game to see who would have custody of the prized trophy for the ensuing twelve months.
There was a total of at least 64 players on the Astroturf throughout the afternoon and it was a most absorbing contest but for the connoisseur of the ancient game the interest was in seeing how the veterans had hung on to their skills. Sandy Macdonald back from New Zealand for a festive break showed the neat touches which we all missed when he decided to emigrate in 1976. Chris Surtees showed good skill in front of goal and impressed the Wing Centre with his speed on the park. The Wing Centre observed Mrs S take a snap of her hubby but at the pace he was moving it is doubtful whether she managed to capture him in the frame. If she did it would be nice if she were to send it to the Wing Centre and we can run a caption competition.
It was good to see Dave MacVicar getting off the Island and mixing with normal people again. Himself and his son Neil both played well but and from their performance on the pitch it was hard to tell who was the juvenile. Neil certainly displayed a maturity with the stick that makes one hope that in future he would consider playing for the Glen with whom his heart will undoubtedly lie. As for Dave-you can take the boy out of Kyles-you can even take him across the bridge to Kyle- but when someone goes past him-and this is happening more often nowadays- he will still take them down-man ,boy or girl. We could do with more of that in the game!
Ron Fraser still has the touches though in the game the Wing Centre actually watched, schoolboy Calum Smith didn’t give him a hit of the ball. Big Mike Cameron still has his amazing skill allied to an acute awareness of position on the field -he knows where he ought to be without having to look : the only pity is that Old Father Time now inhabits his body and makes it hard for him to get to where he is never mind where he ought to be, if you catch the drift. That apart, his control and the little flicks wide were as always fabulous. Geordie and Ken , released from their duties on the Shinty results panel, played their parts - in goal for George and as Ref for Ken. Indeed Ken was so good at the decisions and so clear with his toot of the whistle that if you closed your eyes and concentrated on the taste of your hog roast bun, you would swear it was Coke Macdonald who was the ref- not that you would EVER say that to Ken.
For Ken however ,after reffing ,the best was yet to come. In the end he got a game in the final as a veteran after Ali Mac (sen) did in his Achilles tendon-ruptured is the technical term -and he had to be replaced as the geriatric in the “Up the Glen” Team. It was a role Ken filled to perfection.
In the end , the final concluded in a 2-2 draw. An opening goal from Paul Mackintosh saw Lewiston take the lead- Scott Douglas pulled one back for the “Up the Glenners” who then went behind to a superb Chris Surtees strike before Andrew Corrigan squared matters once more.
Penalties were then taken which went in favour of the “Up the Glenners” though Neale Reid’s ferocious penalty( Stuart Mac showed how sharp he was by diving OUT of the way) was undoubtedly strike of the day.
The trophy was presented to the winning captain Ali Mackintosh (Jun) by Mrs Josie Mackenzie (pic of presentation above) whose only claim to fame is that she was Ladies Player of the Tournament at the Aberdeen Shinty Sixes back in 1977. Google it if you like. The winning team is also included above.

Scottish Blogs