Friday, August 22, 2008

Shock! Horror! WHFP claims Glenurquhart well worth their victory

Kinlochshiel 2 Glenurquhart 4
The forecast was wrong . It was supposed to rain all morning and then pour all afternoon : it didn’t, though perhaps the Shiel faithful could feel it gently raining in their hearts for the duration. The result was certainly right as far as it went. The truth is that the Glen on their first half performance simply overwhelmed Kinlochshiel and a score of five clear goals in front should have been the minimum expectation by half time. It wasn‘t though there was a fair shout for a penalty in 43 minutes when Shiel keeper Kennedy appeared to Glen eyes to smother the ball on the ground but the call wasn’t given and the first half came to an end with Shiel facing a severe uphill struggle to salvage some self respect after a nightmare first half for their defence.
It was a game however that the Wing Centre and the former manager were a bit unsure about as they travelled up Glen Moriston and over Cluanie to the land of hearts desire. It is beautiful in the west but with five players missing from the squad the omens were not good. Paul Mackintosh, Billy Urquhart and Arran Macdonald were sidelined with muscle pulls while Davie Girvan and Gregor McCormack were unavailable. With Iain Macdonald pulled in at fullback to hold the back line the management looked at the thick Shiel grass and the slope with the wires running across the field. This was no park on which to run the ball but, defying all logic as usual, the Glen forwards ran it to great effect. They posted their intentions right from the throw up where a ball was quickly pushed forward to Neale Reid whose snap shot was saved by an alert keeper Kennedy with his feet. Andrew Corrigan then fired a shot on goal only to see it float past the post. The opener however was not long in coming. Calum Miller found himself in a tussle with full back Paul Macrae out on the left, with the big Shiel man having come off the sawdust. Miller pushed Macrae off the ball and slipped it to Neale Reid who fed Lewis Maclennan. Maclennan worked the ball back across the face of goal where Andrew Corrigan was on hand to stick it home for a stylish opener.
Five minutes later and with a desperate Shiel defence conceding a number of free hits outside the D, the ball was worked back to Lewis Maclennan who rocketed home a trademark drive with keeper Kennedy helpless. Shiel settled for a bit but still struggled to cross the centreline where Eddie Tembo, Ally Mackintosh and an uncompromising Dave “Dixon” Maclennan had a tight grip of matters. Steven Callender and Finlay Macrae are fine players but under this sort of relentless Glen pressure they struggled to make progress.
Up at the road end the Glen pressed continuously and Lewis Maclennan was unlucky to see two strikes flash past the Shiel post. Then in 27 minutes the Glen struck once more. “Dixon” Maclennan grabbed the ball in midfield from Finlay Macrae and fired it forward where Calum Miller threw off Macrae’s challenge and fired the ball into the net to put the Glen three up.
The next goal followed soon after, again showing skilful improvised forward play from the front men. Neale Reid played the ball up to Miller who once more held Macrae at bay before slipping the ball to Lewis Maclennan who made no mistake with another clinical strike.
An injury to Ally Mackintosh at this point upset the Glen’s rhythm and when the injury proved serious enough for the youngster to leave the field then the Glen had to revamp their approach. Ewan Fraser came on against Shiel’s internationalist Gordy Macdonald in the centreline and for the remainder of the half had the upper hand.
A few minutes before half time there was a strong shout for a penalty after it seemed that goalkeeper Kennedy had fallen on the ball and smothered it at his left hand post. The claim was dismissed however and the Glen went in for the jaffa cakes and camembert a little less than fully satisfied.
From a Glen point of view the second half was an anti climax. The injury and the reshuffling caused the Red and Blacks to lose their momentum a little and while they had a number of forays to the bottom goal , the finishing was not as sharp as it had been in the first period.
With much of the play in this half being confined to the middle of the park with occasional attempts to venture forward, the game lost some of its compulsion though Neil Fraser showed that he is his father’s son with two well taken goals with more or less his only two hits at goal. There is one thing you can say about Fraser - he appears a true shinty predator inside the D and if Shiel could give him more service on the deck and earlier then their goals for tally would be greater. To the disappointment of their fans however, too often they were tempted into trying hopeful drives from distance which flew high and wide. The only note of discord came late in the half when Lewis Maclennan and Gordy Macdonald became involved in a tangle for the ball which ended in both players being booked. Also into the book went Scott Maclean for getting involved. The foul went with the Glen but with Shiel almost finished their fixtures the cardings don’t matter for them. However, for Maclennan with a serious number of games to be completed before the end of the season, these five points on his shinty licence could be a problem. Let’s hope not.
In the end, Glen will feel that they annihilated Shiel : in the record books it won’t look like that. It will show up as 4-2 - no more no less. But then you can’t believe everything you read in books or in the papers - though for the WHFP this week there should be an honourable mention despite the uncharacteristically tiny report on the game.
Anyway here is a picture of the Boss. He is well pleased - no wonder.

Scottish Blogs