Glen beats Glen: an everyday story of shinty in the Highlands
Glengarry 0 Glenurquhart 3
“I see you’ve not put anything up about the Garry game” remarked Mr Reid as he stopped by to collect the lotto money at the Astro the other night. “Mind you if all you are going to do is to annoy them about the pitch, it’s probably just as well. The Glen have very happy memories of the Garry; after all it was at the Garry in 1977 that we picked up the Strathdearn, so you had better not be winding them up”
And with these words of wisdom and warning, Mr Reid disappeared off to the West End Garage for a ceilidh with George.
Now the Wing Centre, whatever others may think, does not regard himself as one who is content to let the grass grow under his feet and he did have in his notebook some rudimentary details about the game. It was after all a resounding triumph for Hendo and the Heroes, if not really adequate revenge for the early season defeat in the Strathdearn. Some of the oomph had gone out of the win for the Wing Centre seeing as the League had been well and truly won at Cabers two weeks before though he and the tribe still made the trip down to the Garry in a rainstorm.
The pitch was in splendid if somewhat soggy condition, though the turf was perhaps a little heavy for the youngsters to show off the free flowing shinty that marked their performances at Blairbeg earlier in the season.
The game opened with a clear intention from the Glen that they wanted to finish off the Garry right from the start and some early chances fell to Dave Smart and Calum Fraser but they failed to convert, the closest being Fraser whose drive just cleared the Garry bar. Shortly afterwards a long ball forward from Arran Macdonald found youngster Ewan Menzies who slipped the ball wide to Ewan “Boo-Boo” Fraser but his shot once again drifted over the bar on the 14 minute mark.
The breakthrough came in 29 minutes when the ball was released wide once again to “Boo-Boo” Fraser and this time instead of firing the ball in on goal, he dribbled through the Garry defence past full back Michael Brady to score a welcome opener for the Glen.
It was however by no means one way traffic. Garry have a fair team and one player who stood out was “Dee Dee” Cameron at full centre who gave Iain Macleod a busy afternoon. Cameron is an inspirational player and a good hitter but his strength is that he will run until he drops and never does he admit defeat. Also on his game was big forward Philip Gregory whose pace gave full back Iain Macdonald bother in the early part of the first half before the supply to him began to dry up. However, the Garry posted their intentions in this period and indeed won a series of corners particularly up on the road side ; fortunately for the Glen however these incursions came to nothing thanks to good defending from Macdonald ,Calum Smith , Drew Maclennan and Gary Smith.
Just before halftime, Glen doubled their lead as another through ball from Arran Macdonald found its way to Calum Fraser and he finished well to make it 2-0.
The second half turned out to be a dour frustrating struggle for the Glen midfield and forwards. Young Ewan Brady had an excellent game throughout and he had a difficult opponent in former Glen player Matthew Clark but despite all the youngster's efforts the attentions of the Garry defence on him in particular meant that he failed to find the net.
The third and final Glen goal came from youngster Kelvin Mackenzie who came on at left wing forward and his winning goal was probably the best worked strike of the whole afternoon. A ball up from the centreline was blocked by the Garry defence and fell to Ewan Brady. He fired it out wide and the onrushing Bradley Dickson steered the ball back across the D where Mackenzie was on hand to knock it home from three yards. It was most certainly a well worked goal and one well worth the long wait in the rain.
Mackenzie, who played a neat game against strong defenders, had two further chances- and indeed could have ended the day on a hat-trick but in each instance he pulled his shot wide at the crucial time.
Captain Ross MacAulay who has been out since the Kingussie game with a broken hand came on for the last ten minutes and was then on hand to accept the trophy from Fort William President Richard Gall.
The pic shows all the Glenners with Drum based sponsor Donnie Macphee of Mardon Ltd after they have accepted their medals and the trophy.
Now there are only two games left in the season the first team v Inveraray but with the rain falling as it is we may be waiting some time!
There is also the under-17s who have managed to get themselves through to their own big final, the London Shield, with a win on penalties against Oban Camanachd after a Kelvin Mackenzie strike saw them through to a full time draw. Calum Smith netted the decisive penalty. Glen’s opponents are Skye under 17s who beat Lochaber in their semi.