No Smiles from Kyles or The Great 5-0 Victory of the Currachd Ruadh over the boys from Kyles on 30th May 2009.
It’s been a lovely weekend -and the weather’s not been bad either. The Wing Centre driven inside because of the Sunday sun, was flicking through that great book “Shinty: A World Compendium” by HD when he realised that it used to be a tradition in the Glen and in other parts of the Shinty world for a verse or two to be written to commemorate particularly fine instances of the indigenous sport played in all its competitive majesty. In fact HD’s book is full of little ditties, duans and odes-one of which – incredible as it may seem -is actually of Glen origin.
The Wing Centre, given that the position of Prof of Poetry at Oxford is now vacant once again and aware that it is invariably filled by those who could be classified as belonging to a minority, feels that as a shinty loving Highlander he falls into the category of being a member of an ethnic minority - and as such all he requires to do is submit a poem to be considered as a candidate.
A full twenty minutes of planning and the use of a Rhyming Dictionary which his late Auntie won at school was enough to give him a start and inspired by the peerless play of Barr’s Band of Brothers and indeed filled with the divine afflatus, the following verses were quickly noted down by his amanuensis. Had he been able to access opium like many 19th century poets there is no doubt that “the metre might have been sweeter” but who really cares?
Ref Cameron throws the ball up true:
From the very first the Glen burst through.
It seems they have the Kyles on toast
but EJ’s shot flies past the post
For the first half-hour, Glen are in charge
while Kyles defenders push and barge
they win nothing-then from young Reid
a blistering drive-Glen take the lead.
On the dust stands big John Barr
a back who hits the ball quite far
and close beside him strides The Boy:
they foil the Kyles at every ploy
But careful, here comes Dunky Kerr
He fires a shot but Smack is there
He drives the loose ball up halfway
Where Bill and Ben come into play
As the half time break draws near
Kyles attempt to up a gear.
But what they do seems incidental
while at the side big Norm goes mental
The whistle blows, then out of the sun
to the pavilion Glen now run,
where on Jaffa cakes they soon are fed
while the managers both sip claret red.
But the mood inside won’t quite be rightie
till twinges are put right by Whytie.
The guys will only take the field again
After listening to Menzies and Maclean
While young Cork gallivants abroad
old Cork carries twice the load.
He’s got the water bottles right.
Now let’s knock Kyles right out of sight
The second half has not gone far
when Irvine pops one o’er the bar.
The Kyles support begins to rave
not at EJ’s drive, but Kenny’s save
But soon there’s cheering in the stand
when Hosie, Ben on his right hand
slots neatly home a low fast ball
to give the Glen its second goal
No Kyles attack can quite get through.
They’re blocked by young Maclennan, Drew
or else The Boy comes into play
and simply slips the ball away
Now’s the time that Glen hold fast.
With Girv and Dixon none get past
while Ally Mac does just the same
one more goal will kill the game.
The goal soon comes: Glen are on song
when Lewis hits a ball quite long.
Will EJ score? He looks quite set
but Bill it is who finds the net
Old gits sit cheerful in a row
Of course we call them “legends” now
Fraser the Manager’s in the stand
Noting Glen glories in his fair hand
And at his side-not much to say
is former man in black, DA.
But wait-now Rhino’s on the park.
He’s sure to light another spark
He gets the ball out on the side
Kyles have nowhere left to hide.
He fires it over in the air
Even Girv can score from there.
Girv takes it down: he pops it in
Some girls dance round the kitchen bin
Another drive this time from Tembo
Goes over the bar en route for Embo
But finally ,it’s left to Gregor
who feeds on “D” scraps like a beggar
to nick the final glorious goal
and make five up the final total*
Now black and reds are wreathed in smiles
for such a win against the Kyles.
If it wasn’t before, it’s now quite sure
That Kyles have heard of the Currachd Ruadh
So there we have it, a genuine praise poem and match report rolled into one! There is of course no other possible photo that can illustrate the spirit of the Glen than that of Girv himself, goal scorer, role model and of course farmer. The other is of course Fraser Mackenzie, Scotland Manager. He’s only in here because he has some Glen blood coursing through his veins. DA? He is a real Fraser isn’t he? That’s OK then. Wee Billy and Hendo are of course there as of right.
By the way, it wouldn’t do to get too carried away with one win though even against a side like Kyles. Sean Nicholson of Lochaber scored three against Strathglass and while that in itself might not be a bad thing, it does make him a bit of a danger to the Glen next time out.
*goal/total- this rhyme might appear barbarous to those unfamiliar with the dialect of English which has replaced the ancient Gaelic tongue among the modern inhabitants of Glenurquhart and indeed the whole of the Aird. Both words consist of two syllables and in the second, the “t” is omitted and replaced by a glottal stop. Thus we have “Go-ahl”/To-ahl” which is in essence a perfect rhyme, in a manner of speaking.