Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What on earth are the Glasaich up to now - and why don’t we care?

The news when it did come, arrived like a bolt from the back of Beinn na Sparra - but was it true ? Seems it was but the whole story left the Wing Centre wondering what was what. The season is about on us and after a winter speculating as to whether there would be anyone left at the Camanachd Association by the end of February who knew what a Prolam was or could agree that Tanera wasn’t an island or was aware that Heron had nothing to do with ornithology, the prospect of beating Strathglass was the only thing keeping the Wing Centre going.
All of a sudden the news was broken that the Strath had pulled out of the Macdonald Cup. Indeed they had actually pulled out of what was going to be a double header which included ,in the winner’s haul, the Highland Year of Culture Sculpture. How could they do this to us?
As may be seen from the snap at the head of this entry the two Stuarts are all dressed up in the folk costume of the Glasaich and were hoping to welcome them with a Glenurquhart “haka” and all for the sake of a little gentle mirth and then they duck out of the match. To the initiated of the inner world ,it is clear that they do not wish to relinquish their grasp on Old Macdonald’s silver cup by any means.
It is not as if- being brutally honest- we scared them off with a superb display against Fort William in our practise match although their Ally Ban squad have every right to fear Hendo’s Heroes who defeated the Crofters Kids by 2 goals to 1 over at Balgate. Glen put in a good performance in the first half, meaning that James Clark and Gordy Mackinnon came up against stiff resistance in the Glen defence where John Barr, Stuart Reid Andrew Macdonald and Davie Girvan played right out on the edge of their abilities and did well . It has to be said also that the goalie did very well too : he was quick off the mark- his greater application in training has been noted- and he has superb anticipation.
On the other hand while the centreline held firm the forwards posed little threat to the Fort defence-but given that few Premier sides posed them any problems last season either perhaps one can expect too much.
Tiny Macleod, Big Robertson ,Rodgers and wee Robertson are quite good - at least in the Wing Centre’s opinion - and on the day they proved good enough to stop the Glen scoring ,though Andrew Corrigan had some nice bursts through the line and looked extremely pacey.
The second half was where Fort’s experience told of course : Mackinnon opened the scoring with a shot that he was lucky to get over the line -off the keeper’s foot or something ,and into the net by way of Balnain.
“A goal and half that” said the Wing Centre to young Master Mackinnon after the match was done.
“It went in like a Gaelic song” he said and laughed. The Wing Centre was disconcerted by the simile and wondered if Gordy had divined a blas of the west in his accent and was in fact “at it” but he seemed genuine enough and so it would appear that the Fort have a poet in tune with his Highland roots. Gary Innes is obviously not alone at the post match ceilidhs.
James Clark notched the next two- rasper A and neat finish B -although for B he was abandoned to take his time- and then Bryan Simpson finished matters with a well taken goal. The Glen came on stronger in the last quarter but sadly, it did not come to pass.
After the nets were taken down - the Wing Centre likes to watch Geordie and Peter working as a well drilled team at this most irritating of tasks -your correspondent went down to the Blar for a conversation about the game and to await the triumphant return of Hendo and the Heroes.
In the course of the afternoon the “S” word came up again.
“What are they up to?” asked the Wing Centre of the Manager-which Manager it is now hard to remember with any certainty - but the reply was clear.
“They are off to Hampden for a training session” said he (or perhaps it was the other fellow who said it)
Given that Strathglass are one of the most ancient of clubs and cling to the purest most evangelical of shinty faiths- indeed they are much like the Glen in this - it was too much for the Wing Centre to take in.
“Never” he said “They would never be seen to train on a football pitch far less the very home of football .”
In the Wing Centre’s mindset - and it must be confessed in the mind set of all true Glenners- shinty is in a state of permanent war with football - and so all who collaborate with it should be cast into outer darkness for ever.
“Tell us it’s not true , Manager . Tell us they are off to play golf or even that they have gone shopping with their wives. Tell us that it is part of Geddes’s cunning plan to disrupt our pre-season training schedule” The Glen Greek chorus were aghast and disbelieving. How could the Glasaich be so untrue to their Highland roots?
“I don’t blame them for being scared to play us,” said Big Ron “That’s only natural. But you’d think they would come up with a more believable story”
“Oh it’s true enough “ said the manager. “Seemingly Lovat were offered to go down but they refused to go and said they would rather play shinty against Lochcarron”
The Blar went silent at the thought of Lovat having higher principles than those of Strathglass. After all Lovat are nearly in Ross-shire.
“ I cannot imagine the Carrie being in favour of it”
“ I believe he was the man behind the whole thing. He thought it up - him and Gordon Smith at the SFA”
The Blar was unanimous in agreeing that there must be some devious benefit in this action to Strathglass even if it was hard to work out exactly what that might be.
“The Glasaich eh? You’ll never be up to them” said the Vice President.
“Of course its all a Clan thing” said the Goalie.
“How do you mean?” queried the clientele of the Blar
“Well its obvious. Their Frasers just want to annoy our Frasers. It all goes back to a boll of meal or something”
And that’s about as close as the Blar came to making sense of Strathglass’s day trip to Hampden.

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