Friday, April 23, 2010

On the Ran Dan

Glenurquhart 7 Skye O
Two goals against the Caranachs and now two goals against the Sgiathanachs: young Daniel Mackintosh is proving that he can put goals into the net every bit as well as Uncle Garry can keep them out but he still does not qualify for a snap on the blog. That honour goes to Dave Smart who hit a double hat-trick up in Lochcarron though it has to be said that the rest of the squad dispute the mathematics of that particular achievement.
Whatever the truth of what actually transpired up on the Battery Park, last Saturday’s performance against Skye at Blairbeg was a competent affair and kept up the momentum which had begun the week before.
The game opened with the Glen very much on the offensive and certainly looking for goals but as the minutes ticked by without an early score the fans began to get a little uneasy. After all there was a strongish wind blowing across the pitch favouring the home side slightly and as all in the packed stand at Blairbeg know, the Glen wind can change without warning. If any criticism is to be made of the front men it was that in those early minutes in the eyes of the Wing Centre, they were inclined to overplay the ball in front of goal. However on the 15 minute mark Glen took the lead with a quality strike when Gregor MacCormack flicked a ball through and Daniel Mackintosh neatly first timed the ball past Skye keeper Ross Graham.
Glen went two ahead in 24 minutes thanks to another nice move this time stemming from Ewen Menzies who won the ball in midfield and played it through the centre to Dave Smart. Smart turned his man and his ball forward was well finished off from close range by youngster Ewan Brady.
With Glen two up the Skyemen began to lift their game and there was a lucky escape up at “Sandy Whyte’s” end when Angie “Borve” Macdonald came close but there was no doubt about the next goal which came via the caman of Ewan Menzies after he had been set up for the strike by a smart Ewan Brady pass.
Starting the second half three up it appeared to the Glen faithful that everything was in the bag. Not so and it was not long before Garry Mackintosh in the Glen goal proved his worth with a superb stop from an Angie “Borve” piledriver- and for the next period the Glen were somewhat on the back foot as the Sgiathanachs piled forward. The Glen defence stood firm however and the influence of old heads Gary Smith and Iain Macleod was invaluable in keeping the Islanders at bay. The influence of Ewen Fraser in the centreline too should not be underestimated as he put in a power of work on the far side.
Eventually, the breakout from the beachhead came in 57 minutes, against thanks to an excellent piece of combined play once again starting with young Menzies. He fed the ball through to Brady who pushed it over to Daniel Mackintosh and he played it across the box where Gregor MacCormack squeezed it past the Skye keeper from an acute angle.
Hendo and Mike Cameron put on the subs at this point- and it was not long before one of them, Kelvin Mackenzie, made it 5 for the Glen with a determined finish and then an excellent drive from Ewan Brady in 75 minutes put the Glen further ahead.
Final goal of the day belonged however to Daniel Mackintosh. After watching Uncle Garry pull off yet another fine save at the “Shop” end , he ran on to a through ball from Ewan Brady and made it 7-up for the Red & Blacks with a solid strike which left Graham with no chance.
So there we have it – a fine win by a larger margin that could have been reasonably expected and without Donald Fraser and big Ross MacAulay too, the latter because he had to head to Oban with the top team where he turned in a good defensive performance by all accounts.
Back at Blairbeg apart from those already mentioned it has to be said that the team overall gave a good account of themselves but mention must be made of the other youngsters who played their part in the win - so well done to Drew Maclennan , Ross MacDiarmid, Calum Smith and Euan Lloyd.
The result in Oban was in the end a disappointment though the performance was much better from the Glen than that of the previous week. Three was more commitment and the general consensus in the camp is that the side were unlucky to lose out since the chances were there to get a result. However, the cause was not helped by two injuries to key players at a crucial stage in the match. First Dave “Dixie” Maclennan took a whack on the foot and had to leave the field of play with what was thought at the time to be a broken toe and then forward Neale Reid took a blow on the kneecap which also put him out of the game. The fact that the Referee was unsighted did not help to ease the irritation of the Glen management with the fact that the offender stayed on the field.
Glen did of course hit the net though Calum Miller but Oban’s Iain Macmillan (he certainly has a name that resonates in the history of Oban shinty) hit a hat-trick and must be a forward with some degree of ability to get past both John Barr and Smack.
If there was a highpoint in the match for the Glen it was in the play of Arran Macdonald who put in a first class performance. There was a sending off in the match - that of Oban’s Daniel Macintyre which the Glen sadly were unable to turn to their advantage.
Did Dan deserve to walk? Not really. In the eyes of the Glen camp he got a hard deal being involved in a dispute which amounted to not very much - but then that’s showbiz. Talking of which, when the Wing Centre asked Chips to pose with the car, he told him that he had sold the car three days before and so no car in the pic - just the six goal hero himself.

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