Friday, May 02, 2008

Talking and Playing Rubbish in Beauly

Division 3 (North)
Beauly 0 Glenurquhart 1

MacTavish quarter Final
Glenurquhart 3 Skye 0

A good weekend for the Glen in the realm of shinty - if only all weeks were such. Of course the top side made it past the men from the Inner Hebrides to reach the last four of the MacTavish Cup for the first time since 1987. Extraordinary isn’t it- that a generation of Glenners have come and gone and the team has never made it to a MacTavish semi in all that time, so the youngsters have a chance to move closer to immortality when they play Kilmallie in a week or so at a venue as yet to be decided.
However more of that later, because at the top of the page you may observe a picture of Matthew Clark. Why so ? Well, in the estimation of the Wing Centre , out of two games and despite the wonderful hat-trick awarded to Cork on Saturday, Matthew’s point winning long distance power drive against one of the three traditional enemy teams was goal of the day.
It came in two minutes -a long try from the wing centre position (where else are goals of the game scored from?) which flew, one hears, straight and true past the Beaulac in between the sticks.
Now the Wing Centre says “One hears” advisedly because even although he was present in Beauly for the game he had several chores to do and several distractions to fulfil and as a consequence did not actually see the goal. Beauly is always a place of pilgrimage for the Wing Centre and the shinty is only part of a rich and varied day.
The Wing Centre always starts with a walk around the square; he reads the names on the Lovat Scout memorial to see if any new ones have been added since he was last there; then there is a peek into Iain Marr’s window to see if there is anything, not too over the top, that might perhaps be usefully used as a bargaining chip with Mrs Wing Centre should he blot - as he inevitably will in the course of a normal shinty season - his copy book. This last was a tip he passed on to Big Ron but he appears not to have paid it any attention. But then if you’ve scored in a Camanachd Cup final you don’t need to pay any attention to mere advice .
Anyway, to lengthen a short story it is up to the field and over to the take away at the pavilion for a cup of tea and a blether with Innes’s Mam who is always cheerful and in no way appears to be hostile to the Glen. It is always best to see the nice side of Beauly before you go up to the touchline to receive stick from the diehards and the ladies in the pavilion make you feel that there is hope for Beauly after all.
This time the Wing Centre had brought some of the club rubbish to dump in Beauly, specifically at the bottle bank where he was charged with getting rid of the multitude of empty bottles of Chateauneuf du Pape that the managers consume with their Roquefort cheese at half time whilst the plebs in the stripes are eating their jaffa cakes. Truthfully, there were quite a few bottles…..
It was as he was holding an empty bottle up to the light to see if it was clear, brown or green that the Wing Centre was spotted by Davie Mackay . None of that rubbish in Drum - the Wing Centre just horses them in the one skip but over in Beauly you have to be careful. There they sift through the rubbish so you have to play by the rules.
“Dumping your empties in Beauly so your neighbours won’t see what your drinking?” said Davie with all the malice of a Lewis policeman who has just caught a Barra man parking his boat on a double yellow line at Stornoway harbour.
“No”, said the Wing Centre “ I am merely dumping my rubbish in Beauly since I am sure it will never be noticed here”
“Talking of rubbish,” said Davie smoothly switching gear, “Your team isn’t up to much-you’re one down already” and Davie laughed.
So the Wing Centre took Davie at his word and when he asked some Drum worthies what the score was they simply said 1-0- and so when Big Ron arrived and asked the same question the Wing Centre said “Drum are losing 1-0.”
So Davie had his sweet revenge - the Wing Centre and Big Ron spent the rest of the match in an unhappy losing frame of mind- and when you saw the game you wouldn’t wonder why. Glen spent the match in the same way Rangers spend UEFA Cup nights- giving ground , getting booked , always outnumbered but never quite outgunned.
The Manager even had to play and how well he did. Back and fore , up and down, fetch and carry : he was a lesson to us all and living proof of the health benefits of red wine.
It truly was a game won against the odds : Beauly were awarded a penalty-controversially because the claim was that they had not retreated 5 yards at a free hit but then it was missed. Then they had late in the second half a ball in the net which was ruled offside by young ref Daniel Macrae who made the brave decision and stood his ground.
Towards the end of the second half the Glen came on a little stronger but when Beauly threw “Toad “ Maclean up front for the last 10 minutes it was all hands to the pumps and credit to backs Malky Munro, Gary Smith and Calum Smith and full centre Iain Macdonald for keeping the ruffians at bay. Up front youngsters Bradley Dickson and Ewan Menzies put in a good shift against hard tackling Beauly backs.
Then “Panda” Crichton had to come on and he had a chance to equalise as the Wing Centre thought at the time , but the shot went past the post. Finally, the President himself had to take off his red boiler suit and don the garb of old Glen.
It was only when the final whistle went and Hendo and Russ were threatening to go home to dance in the streets of Pitkerrald that the Wing Centre tumbled to Davie’s wheeze. The Glen had been winning all along. The news was broken gently to Big Ron who had also spent a depressed 80 minutes convinced of defeat.
They ought to do something in Beauly about that Davie Mackay. Telling lies like that, he’s bound to be a worry to his mother.
Nothing to say about the game in Drum against the pride of Portree. The Glen were able to score : Skye were not able to get the better of an excellent Glen defence. Without David Girvan, Gregor McCormack and above all Arran Macdonald - out with the flu- the team played well enough especially in the opening period where the shinty was fluent and quick though apart from Cork, the finishing was not.
The Wing Centre can do no better that quote from the WHFP - nobody -not even the Wing Centre could say this better.
It was Corrigan, the former Scotland under 21 international who took all the scoring plaudits last weekend.
His first goal came in the 14th minute. Receiving the ball fully 35 yards from goal Corrigan arrowed a shot high into the roof of the net to leave the stand in keeper beaten all ends up. A quarter of an hour later from a similar distance and position Graham was beaten again by Corrigan -with the ball cannoning off the top of the goal keepers stick and in off the inside of the post. The game ended as a contest with 17 minutes remaining. This time Corrigan peeled away at the back post to latch on to a corner before dispatching a crisp low drive into the corner to complete his treble”
With all that arrowing, latching and peeling, one would think that Cork would be worth a photo. Well confession time- a snap was taken of the Winestopper Kid in action but he was moving so fast that all that could be digitally developed was a blur!
However, let’s hope for tomorrow’s game - and it is a big ask- Cork repeats the same performance at Kirkton against Bertie’s Boys and then all the WHFP will have to do is cut and paste.

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