Friday, April 03, 2009

Maclennan Boys make it a Happy Birthday for Dolly.

Glenurquhart 3 Inverary 1
Hendo’s Heroes 1 Glengarry 1
Shewglie Frasers 2 Rest of the World 0

A busy and successful afternoon at Blairbeg and the Wing Centre absent: Oh dear; What a pity! Never mind. The main thing is that the senior side picked up their first win in the Premier League and more to the point Lewis Maclennan got back in business with two goals. Lewis was runaway top scorer in the club two seasons ago and he was also the guy who sank the penalty which took us to the MacTavish Cup final last season which is why it was disappointing that this season he has found it hard to get off the mark. Anyway that is all gone now- and with two goals to his name he's a top scorer again.
Not that the match against Inverary was an easy win - indeed for the first 15 minutes or so the Glen defence found themselves under a bit of pressure and that wasn’t lifted until in 25 minutes Lewis Maclennan, back to full-forward for the first time in ages, pulled a long ball from midfield out of the air and smashed an unstoppable shot past newly restored Inverary keeper Graham Macpherson.
Inverary were quick to break back into the match and in 35 minutes international forward Gary Macpherson brought the teams level when he pounced on a ball that broke from the Glen defence and finished with a well struck shot past keeper Stuart Mackintosh.
The second half belonged more clearly to the Glen although Mackintosh still had to be on his toes to thwart a number of Inverary attempts on goal. It was the Glen’s other Maclennan, “Dixon” who thrilled the spectators in 50 minutes with a truly spectacular strike from the centreline that flew into the net to put the Glen back in front. This strike was no fluke - time and again the Blairbeg faithful have seen Dixie get the ball on target from distance and at least one of his strikes made the difference against Kilmallie last season.
Lewis Maclennan finished the game off as a contest 20 minutes from time again with a well taken strike, this time following up on a rebound from a Neale Reid shot. A timely and well worked win then for the Glen with the best players on the day coming from the midfield trio- superb work from the wing centres Ally Mackintosh and of course “Dixon “ Maclennan, while Arran Macdonald returning from injury impressed at full centre - and when he tired Paul Mackintosh took over to contribute well in that berth.
The next match will be against Glenorchy down on the farm. Not an easy gig – Glenorchy seem to have some nice young players up front and behind that they have the Brothers Mackechnie about whom a whole motivational manual could be written. Then again we have John Barr.

The win against Inverary was a happy 90th Birthday present to Dolly Fraser too, a gracious lady who has been at the forefront of Glen Shinty since the team was revived after World War II. Dolly’s late husband Danny, for many years Chieftain of the Club, was involved in the resurrecting of the game in the Glen in 1948. Dolly still attends every match and in her honour a match was played between the Shewglie Frasers and a Rest of the World select headed by Alan Bell (73 years old and never even been kissed by a Fraser) Geordie Stewart (married to a Fraser but couldn’t get into the Fraser side) Mr Reid (once had a pint with a Fraser but that didn’t seem to count) and Donald Paul Mackintosh ( one son going out with a Macdonald / another going with a Chisholm - never going to be in a team of Frasers)
As was only natural on Dolly’s big day, the Frasers won. The score was 2-0. The first man to hit the net was Stuart Fraser and the second was Calum “Jock” Fraser. It was fortunate for the rest of the world that the ref. blew his whistle when he did because
that saved them from losing a third goal to the predatory caman of Russell Fraser.
It was all in all a successful event and much enjoyed by all especially the lady herself who was presented by the Glen Club with a lovely bouquet of flowers to mark the happy occasion.

And then there were the Heroes. They dropped a point - hold the back page!!
Having said that Hendo probably had his mind on Dolly’s match because it appears that he qualified for the Shewglie team, one assumes, because not only does he actually work at Shewglie but he also has a Fraser mam.
The Heroes played well but struggled to break down a tough Invergarry side which refused to lie down. Indeed the absence of Garry Smith probably was a telling factor though equally important was the physical strength of the Garry boys. The Glen goal was a well taken one through David Smart in 22 minutes and with a bit of luck the drive from “Jock” Fraser which came off the inside of the post would have made the match safe but it was not to be.
Spare a thought too for young Ewan Brady who put in a tough shift in the black and red whilst in the other team were all his known relations. Still the youngster coped well with the pressure – and if he sticks with the Glen then hopefully things can only get better. Best player though was Iain Macleod though Drew Maclennan won the award for breaking the most sticks belonging to an opponent- three from DD Cameron: Ian Macdonald fractured a fourth. There must be a moral there but the Wing Centre can’t for the life of him think what it could be though perhaps it could be that the Glen were hanging on a bit in the last part of the match. Certainly it was a disappointment to lose a goal to Glengarry’s Ken Henderson three minutes from the end of the match with the points all but safe. Still that’s shinty for you. There’s always the next match. Too bad it’s against Kilmallie.
A tough prospect - but you cannot expect anything else in this League. Hopefully Gary Smith will be back for this one.
The pictures are of course Dixie and Lewis – the Maclennans. Sometimes one can see the Clearances in a good light. If Arthur Balfour hadn’t cleared Strathconon of Maclennans in the 1830s then Inverary might have won although that is not to say that the Clearances were altogether a good thing. At least the boys can smile about it now!
The other picture is that of the Birthday Girl herself. Many Happy Returns Dolly!

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