Friday, September 26, 2008

Skye left feeling blue-but Glen will need to lift their game to kill ‘Mallie off

Glenurquhart 4 Skye 3
A game of two halves - well not really . There was an opening first half hour of tremendous quality and then there was the rest of the game most of which was very hard on Glen nerves. Not that the Wing Centre was present at the occasion. Having failed to see the last match against the Islanders -the game that presented them with a cup final place in the Balliemore- it was only fair that he keep away from this game in case he put the “buisneachd” on the boys. If only he could put it on the Kilmallie lads -vain hope!
Naturally the phone was red hot and when, after 20 minutes or so, the news came through that the Glen were 3-0 up and playing excellent shinty - without Lewis Maclennan too it must be said - then the rest of the afternoon trawling round the wool mills of the Trossachs was tolerably easy to do.
A call to the manager at the end of the match and a long answer message from the retired Presidential figure told a more scary story . The Skyemen had pulled themselves back into the match before the end of the first half and if it had not been for some smart scoring by the boy who bears the very name of the Glen, then perhaps this weeks match up against Kilmallie for the dubious privilege of Premier League status would be a much flatter affair.
So what happened ? The WHFP gives a version of the truth - there is no truth in shinty reporting of course, only the moody accounts of witnesses - and naturally this account will tell what happened through the prism of black and red specs.
In the first half hour the Glen played superb shinty and looked likely to sweep Skye back up into the Enrick. According to Jimmac this Glen played some of the best shinty they have ever played - an opinion that was supported by the fact that, inside two minutes good movement up front led to Andrew Corrigan firing the ball into the net from the right. Some quick interpassing amongst the mobile Glen forwards saw Billy Urquhart thump home a second. By the 16th minute the third goal had been added when Gregor McCormack was on the end of some good play to finish from close range. Meanwhile Nouie MacDonald , in goal to help out the Islanders defence - the WHFP gives a list of Island players who missed the match - pulled off a string of superb saves to deny the Glen the chance to add to the goal difference between them and Kilmallie.
Then Sorley happened - twice! A bit of footering about in the midfield and defence and the ball was into the postage stamp in 38 minutes . Two minutes later and the boy from Braes did it again . He is an excellent player-there is no doubt- but the reports say that the Glen had switched off at this point which is what they are too liable to do when they are leading again. Last season it happened against Lovat and Kinlochshiel -this season there were signs of it against Inverness and also up at Shiel where a superb first half ended with a fortunately successful second half scramble to hang on to the points .
By good luck Billy Urquhart was on hand just before the interval to pop in a goal which ensured the Glen had the relative security of a two goal lead at half time. Nice to note that the Sunday Post credited the strike to Lewis Maclennan and him in Brisbane at a wedding ! Knowing Lewis, he will want to claim it to ensure he ends up top scorer this season.
The second half was filled with chances at both ends but the Glen were inaccurate in their strikes and young John Moir had an excellent game at the back. He is - if reports are to be believed -only one of eight teenagers in Ally Morrison’s side and that being so the future must be bright for Island shinty.
Games are however won in midfield and while Eddie Tembo - always forceful in moving the play forward - had a superb match the other lads did not enjoy the midfield dominance they have had in other matches. Skye did score through Ally Maclennan but the report that filtered through to the Wing Centre made more play of the fact that the Glen defence should have dealt with the occasion much better before it was a goal , so to speak.
In the end the day went with the Glen and now all that matters is the next game against Kilmallie who appeared to have had their own troubles in overcoming Cabers 5-3. That 3 is important because it implies that there is a way past Bochy MacNiven and that way is even more accessible when young Sunny Rodgers is playing up front. Whatever way they line up Kilmallie are good - though Skye have beaten them when it mattered.
In the end, it’s not about Kilmallie - it’s really all about the Glen and only about the Glen . The trick will be for the players to play with as if they really believe it
A picture? Who are you kidding? This game is much too serious for that. The effort that went into the headline should be enough for you.

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