Friday, May 23, 2008

Whatever would Sir Fitzroy have said ?

Camanachd Cup- First Round
Glenurquhart 11 Strachur 0

When the Wing Centre was a lad he met Sir Fitzroy Maclean at the side of the pitch outside his house in Strachur. Sir Fitz was walking with the aid of two sticks presumably after having been given a plastic knee or hip to replace those he damaged in the service of his country when parachuting into the Balkans during the War. He was quite welcoming to the Glenners as they wandered off into the undergrowth to change in the henhouse . Indeed so dark it was it may indeed have been the dungeon.
The Glenners , of course , are hardy sons of the soil who have never been beholden to authority ever since the Laird persuaded some of the more conformist of their number to give themselves up after the ‘45. Those who did so were deported to Barbados where their shinty skills were turned to cricketing purposes but it is from those who hid and lived rough in the woods of Polmailly and Glen Coillty that the present Glenners are descended. They are therefore fierce and independent and as a result were relaxed in the company of this august Highland Chief.
“Hey man, “ said one of the company. “You’re not allowed two sticks to play in a shinty match. In the Glen we just have the one each ”
Sir Fitz took the jest in good part and made a pretend swipe at a pretend ball.
Without exaggerating too much, that is just what his son’s tenants were reduced to last Saturday at Blairbeg - having pretend swipes at a pretend ball as the Glen ran up a large score against Strachur in the Camanachd opening round match at Blairbeg.
Truth to tell the problem for Strachur was that they had played very few games in the early part of the season due to appalling weather in the Heartland. The result was that they did not have the legs to compete with what is a good Glen side but let’s not be too big on it - the Glen have been on the receiving end of at least one defeat of just such a magnitude so there is no room for either complacency or triumphalism.
The first half was a tighter contest although it took the Glen just 4 minutes to go into the lead. A foul was awarded to the Glen up on the left and Neale Reid managed to slip the ball across to Gregor McCormack and he finished off the move with a sharp strike past keeper Donnie “Doughnut” Macdonald who despite some second half lapses had a fair game overall though doubtless he will not see it that way.
The next strike of note came after a nice move from Andrew Corrigan sent the ball out wide to wing-centre Dave “Dixon” Maclennan but his powerful shot was well saved by Keeper Macdonald. Within seconds Glen goalie Stuart Mackintosh had to look lively to parry a long range Strachur effort but the Argyll men were slow to follow up and the chance to equalise was lost.
The Glen’s second goal came in 13 minutes after some fine play by Lewis Maclennan put Neale Reid in possession in front of goal and he finished off the move at the second attempt, his first having been thwarted by keeper Macdonald.
The Glen’s third goal game after a some delightful interplay from the Glen forwards. Arran Macdonald drove the ball wide right where it was picked up by Lewis Maclennan who slipped it over to Corrigan who finished with a well struck shot into the roof of the net. There were 27 minutes on the clock
So far - so Kinlochshiel but , the Wing Centre thought ominously “Why no more goals? If there are not any more, does that mean the Glen will let them back in the game? “
The answer to the lack of goals was of course that “Doughnut” appeared to be in inspired form. Nice interplay between Gregor McCormack and Neale Reid resulted in a shot which was blocked by the big keeper ; some chances were fired past and then just on 45 minutes some artistic interpassing between Neale Reid and “Cork” Corrigan came to nothing -in a goal scoring sense that is because the custodian was at his reactive best once more.
It was of course to be a game of two halves - and for the record ( and with due apologies to the boys whose goals are thus dismissed because there is not enough band width to do them justice) the goals were as follows:
Lewis Maclennan 47- “a fine drive” attrib Mr Reid.
Gregor McCormack 48- “a deft touch into the corner” attrib Geordie Stewart
Neale Reid 61- “a superb shrike” attrib ex-President Bell
Gregor McCormack 64- “a beauty” attrib Gregor McCormack
Gregor McCormack 66- “unbelievable goal, unstoppable” attrib Gregor
Billy Urquhart 73- “a neat finish” attrib Chairman J
Calum “Rhino” Miller 79 - “round one man, slipped it past the full back , then rolled the ball precisely into the net. ” attrib Managers 1 & 2
EJ Tembo 82 - “a goal” attrib Calum Duff ( referee)

With the exception of Calum , the rest of the guys are describing goals in Blogspeak quite naturally. It has now become impossible to work out who wrote last week’s piece on Aberdour- and the Shopkeeper wasn’t even asked for a quote.
So there you have it - 11 Glen goals. Given that Gregor McCormack scored four goals and that he is like the Strachur team - and like this weeks referee Coke Macdonald- of an Argyllshire origin , he gets the honour of being the POD for this week. Keep your game to the fore, Cork, and you could - nay - will be next.
For the record, Sir Fitzroy would have said the same this time as he said last time to the Wing Centre. “Good luck in the next round -and make sure you shut the gate behind you on your way out.”
He wasn’t to know that DP, who was there on that day in front of the big house at full centre for the full 90 , never left a gate on its hinges in his entire life especially when he was going through it.
For the record, the Wing centre saw Sir Fitz’s gate up behind DP’s house the other week. It’s time he was taking it in to Dodo Johnstone.

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