Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lets Just Call That A Wrap, Shall We?

Ardnamurchan 0 Glenurquhart 8
So the heroes finally made it to the podium and it is now official-the Glen have won every league they have entered this year. How good is that? Well very good and we should enjoy it while it lasts because after a month or two it will all have to start again at a much higher level.
If Kilmallie last week gave an insight into the intensity of competition at the higher level for the first team, then Hendo must be aware that he will not be playing teams of youngsters like Ardnamurchan each week in the next league up. Not to take anything away from the Strontian side because, like Lochbroom the previous week, they were more or less a team of under-17s and in that context were good players especially the goalie who was excellent and the full centre who sadly was dismissed for a second bookable late in the second half.
The Wing Centre also admired the little full forward who came on in the second half against Garry Mac because despite being up against a player who was bigger than him the little fellow stuck at it and never shirked a tackle. Indeed the Ardnamurchan lads were denied a goal only because Dave Emery made a superb save from a penalty strike- a well taken one too- so it was not a day on which the Glen were going to yield anything to anyone.
If there was one disappointment it was the fact that none of the local community-bar one gentleman taking snaps for the local newsletter-turned up to watch the local youngsters at their shinty. One assumes the ’Murchan kids have interested parents; one also assumes that not everyone else on the peninsula was at the Mod and they certainly were not in Kilkenny, if the TV pictures of the pathetic crowd at Nowlan Park are to believed.
A good crowd of Glen supporters came all the way down in a bus- and it would have been nice if the Ardnamurchan folks had bothered to give a bit of support to their youngsters who were involved actively in sport on a Saturday rather than in hanging around on the croft corners bothering the sheep. If the Ardnamurchan lads keep at it and as they mature there is every chance that , like Lochbroom they can go on to better things in shinty. The basic ability is certainly there.
The game itself took place in good bright conditions which was very much different from what was experienced on the long run down from Drum via Corran and the Glen gave notice of their early intentions with a shot in 4 minutes from Ben Hosie which was well saved by the home keeper.
In 5 minutes however the breakthrough came when Hosie was awarded a free hit. He quickly took the foul tapping it through on to Stuart Morrison and the old Silver Fox made no mistake from close range. There then followed a period in which Ardnamurchan forwards made a determined assault on the Glen goal but found the red and black defence in resolute form and truthfully they brought out two fine stops from keeper Emery which the visiting fans were relieved to see.
However in 20 minutes Bradley Dickson who was playing neatly on the right wing followed up on a ball which rebounded from the keeper and finally managed to squeeze it over the line for the Glen’s second counter.
Eight minutes later the Glen went three up when a nice piece of shinty from Ben Hosie allowed Stuart Morrison to scorch a drive into the net from the edge of the D.
The Glen then finished the first half with two more goals as Calum Fraser made a belated attempt to win the “Glen Goalscorer of the Year” trophy: the first was a nice drive in 41mins and the second came when he ran through the home defence to slip it over the line in 44mins.
The second half was a slower affair, the most notable early moment coming in 60 minutes when Ardnamurchan’s Liam Thornton had his penalty well saved by Dave Emery. The shot was well struck and heading for the keepers top left hand corner when Mr E fully justified the vast expense of his keeper’s caman by deflecting the ball over and past for a corner. The Glen used their subs at this point with Ross Macdiarmid, Ewan Menzies and Roger Grant coming on for a run in the last match
Within a few minutes the young Ardnamurchan penalty taker was dismissed for a second bookable- his frustrations was understandable- and the Glen had a comfortable run in to the title with the three remaining goals coming from Calum Fraser in 70mins, 80 mins and 82 mins. The only piece of bad luck was that young winger Ross Macdiarmid took a gash above his left eye in a tackle but, after being patched up he came back in to finish the game strongly and might have added to the Glen’s tally but for the fact that his drive flew just over the bar.
With the game in the bag, the cup suddenly appeared and was presented to Captain Emery and the rest of the Heroes. Hendo had in fact asked all of the players he used to come along and most were able to make the journey-though Iain Macdonald (still with a bad hand since the Lochcarron game) and Garry Smith (working) were unable to make it.
Afterwards the pictures above were taken and the medals themselves were presented to the players who were present by Dodo Macdonald, Lewiston who has been an ever present supporter at 1st or 2nd team fixtures this season. The snaps taken are as follows-Och you can see them for yourselves!!
Well done to all!!

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