Saturday, June 28, 2008

An off night for Beauly- and Smack nods off!

Beauly 0 Glenurquhart 5
This was a league game following the MacTavish final defeat back from which it was important for the Glen to bounce. It was played on the Wednesday because the Glen had a free Saturday to host a skills/6 a side tournament for Primary kids and the Glen are grateful to Beauly for playing the game because folks in their village were still reeling at the tragic death of Tony Tillman. He was shinty player of note in his day as well as being a past president of the Beauly Club. Tony’s heyday was in the “good old days” when Beauly played at the Ferry Park and a fine team they had too with Alan Simpson, Clickan Maclennan and the late , great Sandy Mackay - and it was fitting that the match was preceded by a minute’s silence observed by both sides in his memory.
However once the game got under way it is doubtful if these old Beauly boys would have struggled so much in a game against the Glen as the Braeview lads did the other night.
Certainly the men in green had a good opening spell but considering the Glen were minus John Barr (suspended after the MacTavish) and “Dixon” Maclennan out with a muscle strain , they should have cashed in. Roger Cormack did have the ball in the net early on but it was ruled offside and from then on Beauly did not seem to want to shoot. Barry MacDonald and Sean Stewart are two players who can hold their own in most company but Wednesday was certainly not their night. At the back it is clear that they miss Martin Davidson-out with a broken kneecap- and while they have plenty youngsters who are coming through they are short on experience.
The real damage to Beauly was caused by Neale Reid who followed up a solid performance in the MacTavish with a blistering display against a Beauly defence who found him too pacey to hold.
His first goal came in 16 minutes when , after Beauly had tamely wasted a free hit, Paul Mackintosh , Glen full back for the night, cleared mightily and Reid outpaced the home defence and fired the ball into the net. He repeated the feat in the 20th minute, again passing the keeper who took him down, but as he fell he knocked the ball into the unprotected net . The third goal was the best of the lot for having received a high through ball from Andrew Corrigan , the youngster fired it home having without letting the ball touch the ground.
At 3-0 the half time whistle went and the Wing Centre spotted two Newtonmore spies in the camp - manager Norman Macarthur and Norman Campbell- so there will be no doubt that young Master Reid will be tightly shackled when it comes to the Camanachd Cup quarter final in July. (It is worth noting that until today’s win over Kingussie the ‘More forwards appear to have found it hard to hit the net. Certainly the 4-0 scoreline sounds good but it appears that Ronaldo was not playing so perhaps that result should not count)
The second half continued with Glen dominance and Beauly in their few breakouts were seemingly unwilling to shoot. The Glen made various changes in the second half - off came Eddie Tembo and Gregor McCormack. It was clear the pool was suffering because of hard fought games against Kilmallie , Kingussie and Lochcarron - but the Beauly defence still looked vulnerable and eventually some nice stick play between Corrigan and Reid left a shooting chance for Calum Miller who blasted an unstoppable drive past the hapless Lymburn. By this time the Glen had two more walking wounded in their ranks - both Lewis Maclennan and Stuart Reid were sporting head bandages (wear helmets, guys!!) but still red and blacks continued to press and Reid earned his forth goal after a neat exchange of passes with Calum Miller. It is worth noting from the Glen point of view that Miller , lively in his spell up front, as well as Billy Urquhart and Andrew Macdonald who were on the bench for the MacTavish all performed well. Also making his debut in the last quarter was young Drew Maclennan who came on at right wing back and performed nicely against Sean Stewart .
There were two other points of note : one was that Andrew Corrigan had a run that would have gone down well in the all-Ireland in which he burst through from his own half right into the attack keeping the ball up on his caman all the way ; the other was a lung bursting run from Neale Reid which ended in a blatant body check by keeper Lymburn and should have led to a penalty. The Wing Centre is not sure if these two events are linked but suspects that they could be : if it were a Glen team in the 70's down 5-0 then they certainly would have been , if you catch the Wing Centre’s drift. So perhaps guys when it comes to games against Skye and Newtonmore (two crucial matches upon which the future happiness of the Wing Centre and that of the both bits of the Glen -Up and Down- depends) then simplify the shinty, shoot more often, forget the beautiful game and win at all costs.
As for annoying Beauly-it is a dangerous practice. Given the Wing Centre’s family connection with the village - on the distaff side he hastens to add - such Beauly baiting has been forbidden. Though look at the pic. Here we see Smack , asleep at his post the other night. Testament perhaps to the lack of perceived threat from the Beauly attack. Never! It will not be like that against the Island, Stuart -so keep your eyes open but good to see you've still got both hands on the club.

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