It’s been a while..........!!
It’s been a while since the Wing Centre has put forward his thoughts about Glen shinty but somehow after recent events shinty didn’t seem quite so important any more. The appetite will come back and the truth is that the games have still gone on – and despite rumours to the contrary the Glen as a club have been doing rather well. Hendo’s Heroes have managed to get themselves into two semi finals- the Strathdearn (Mr Reid is scared they will win and take away the glory from the ‘77 squad though truthfully it was won in 2002 against greater odds) and the other week Fort William went down to the Glen in the Sutherland after extra time and at An Aird too. Well done to Ruaraidh Cameron who hit two goals and of course to Ewan “Boo-boo” Fraser who got the other. Now that was a result.
So was the home win against Newtonmore on penalties- and it is good to see youngsters like Daniel Mackintosh and Kelvin Mackenzie hitting the net with regularity though to be fair the old guys are still doing the business as Boleskine found out earlier in the month.
The only fly in the ointment-or midgie to be more accurate- was the League result away against Glengarry where the Heroes were less than heroic. The Garry are a hard team to beat and if Michael Brady would like to consider a black and red jersey in the future then the Wing Centre would like to think that the Blairbeg door is open. It’s long past time that boys in the Great Glen won some real medals at a higher level and if young Mr Nicholson would care to apply for Glen membership that would be good too.
On the horizon however is a resurgent Kingussie second team in which Kevin Thain is doing the business ,as is Michael Clarke and at least one of the geriatric Borthwick boys- plus assorted former first teamers. So if we ever have to face up to them in a serious game ,then with Iain Macleod possibly doubtful due to a hand injury which happened against Newtonmore, it looks as if Iain Macdonald (Balbeg) will be required to come down on to level ground to keep the hems on Mr Thain – seriously!
The game which was worth reporting- and would have been reported if things had stayed the way they were- was the fine 2-1 win over Lovat in the Camanachd. Played in glorious sunshine it was the usual tough tense local derby-the peaceful scene of the boys waiting for the start could lull the unwary into thinking this was never going to be a passionate affair-and the Glen just deserved the victory although it took them until extra time to do so.
Eddie Tembo scored first for the Glen in 42 minutes when he ran through the Lovat defence to slip the ball home from close range but two minutes later Lovat were awarded a penalty. Youngster James Macpherson stepped up to the mark and held his nerve when asked to retake the penalty. His second strike was every bit as good as his first and with the game level, referee Deke Cameron blew the whistle for half time. The game continued in the same see-saw fashion throughout the second half with neither team able to score the goal that mattered until finally in the second half of extra time a drive from Stuart Reid was deflected by Lovat defender Lorne Mackay into his own net past Stewart Macdonald . Macdonald- like his counterpart in the Glen goal Stuart Mackintosh- had an inspired afternoon and he looked pretty upset with the way things turned out. The Glen fans were happy but relieved – and the result, though it merely brings the Glen a clash with Kingussie in the next round (at home though!) ought to have put new heart into the Glen.
Did It? Not if you went with the result against GMA who managed a 1-0 home win at the end of a traumatic week against a team weakened by the absence of Eddie Tembo and Neale Reid. OK so GMA have not been playing well but the side that played Lovat over at Balgate not so long ago were not a push over and the suspicion is that they simply suffer from the same problem as the Glen and Lovat- a lack of penetration up front.
Why this should be in the case of the Glen makes no sense since the players are precisely those who picked up points in the same league last season and with close results against Fort William , Kyles and Kingussie not to mention the opening day’s draw with Newtonmore then there should be no cause for worry. Glen have also picked up 3 points out of 4 against Lovat and should have done better against Oban Camanachd at Mossfield.
Anyway what is important is that the guys just get on with it and dig in- they have the talent and have worked hard to make it up to the top division. A little bit of positive grit and commitment particularly in the home games will keep us there. Not only that we are still in the Camanachd too-with a home draw and it’s only against Kingussie. We could just be warming up for a re-run of ‘88