Friday, October 10, 2008

Glen Give 'Broom The Brush-Off

North Division 3
Glenurquhart 9 Lochbroom 1
With only three games left in this division, the Glen have an excellent chance of putting another piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet. The main stumbling block will of course be Boleskine who took points of f Hendo’s Heroes in Drum earlier in the season. Hopefully young Raymond will be on the hill shooting stags for the next few weeks and with him out of the way the chances of Glen success are the greater. It would be extremely ironic if Geordie & Hazel’s next door neighbour from Pitkerrald Road in Drum were to put the kybosh on the Glen winning a trophy - so no pressure there Raymond!
This game most possibly had a score which in the end was a little hard on the lads from Ullapool. For one thing they had struggled to put out a team the previous week - stalking duties are not confined to Strathglass or even Boleskine - and when they arrived in Drum, the Broom Boys were without both eminent full back Mr Fraser and equally eminent full forward Mr Cameron Macrae. Indeed Lochbroom had a very young team on the park - always remembering that two of their very good young players are now attached to Kinlochsheil – while the Glen had a much more experienced outfit on show.
The Glen started very quickly and within ten minutes were two up through strikes from veteran Stuart Morrison and teenage forward Ben Hosie and no doubt would have gone further ahead were it not for an excellent display between the posts from Lochbroom’s Ruaridh Hughes who must have stopped at least five goal bound shots in this period. It was not totally all one way traffic however and crisp hitting from the Lochbroom centreline put the young Glen defence under pressure at times, especially when the tall figure of Josh Talbot got on the ball for ‘Broom. Garry Mackintosh in the Glen goal however, despite feeling pressured by the presence of regular keeper Dave Emery on the touchline, was a commanding figure between the sticks and at no time in the early period did the Glen defence look like conceding a goal.
Any hint of anxiety was lifted in 33 minutes however, when Morrison bagged his second goal and when Davie Stewart finally put a shot in the net in 40 minutes the game was well and truly in the bag except for a little flash of ‘Broom brilliance when Josh Talbot first timed a cross ball past Mackintosh to open the West Coasters account.
It was too late and was always going to be too little as the second half was soon to reveal. Having introduced Ross Macfarlane at wing back in place of Ewan Menzies who was due to play for the north under-14s the next day , Hendo insisted the forwards lifted their game and they responded willingly. Ben Hosie rapidly reached his hat-trick with two excellent strikes in 49 and 59 and Davie Stewart was quick to join him on the three goal mark when he hit the net twice in 64 and 70. The final Glen strike came from Andrew "Panda" Crichton who rammed in his effort in 72, and truth to tell, if Hughes had not been so outstanding between the posts there was every chance that Morrison would also have managed three goals to his account - though one can never be sure.
In the end the Glen did what they had to do and possibly more - but for Lochbroom there is every hope that as their youngsters develop they will be more and more successful. In the end as every shinty manager knows it is all down to scoring goals - and if Lochbroom can manage to produce another goal scorer like Neil Fraser – and hang on to him then the future should be brighter. The secret is to keep going.
Certainly "keeping going" is what the Glen hope to do against Inverness in their next match. It is not a game that Hendo will take lightly and one would expect to see an experienced side take to the field, despite the fact that the top team will be in Kilmallie for the last game of the season.
Summing the match up it is fair to say the side all played well - even if they were not under the most intense of scrutiny. Calum Smith, Ewan Menzies and Ross Macfarlane were comfortable in their positions. Brad Dickson played nicely and Ben Hosie’s goals speak for themselves. The bulk of the fetch and carry work however was done by Ross MacAulay and David Smart , while Donald Fraser, stepping in for a guest appearance at half back was extremely effective. Calum Fraser played his part well while Matthew Clark at full back was solid and always had the better of his man.
The picture - minus Ewan Menzies who had gone to get changed - has been taken and presented because it was the last opportunity to snap the guys at home this season. Here’s to a successful end to the season!

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