Thursday, September 08, 2011

Glen miss out on Strathdearn Cup win

That’s the thing about headlines. You need a context for them to make any sense.This one is true though in the normal context provided by the “D” this headline would only have been useful for the the match which ended the Glen’s interest in the Strathdearn several weeks ago and that finished in a score that dare not speak its name. It is useful here in this case to point out a disappointing result for the Glen that did get through to the final: Glengarry lost out by 3-2 in a match in which they will feel they should have done better - especially in front of goal in the second half. So what if the TV suggested their first goal had not quite gone over the line. In the facts of the day, it did-and there never has been a recorded case of a result being overturned because of a refereeing decision being reversed. In the end Newtonmore did enough to get through and Sean MacQuarrie kept out the Garry forwards when he was required to do so.
Feelings? Mixed really. Remember when you were a sub and on the bench. Deep down, you actually kind of hoped that your team would lose or, at best, that someone would have a terrible game and you would get on in their place. Well that’s the kind of mean spirit the Wing Centre wanted to watch the match in. He kept waiting for them to take off the Garry and put on the Urquhart –but it never happened. In the end he was won over by some of the skill on display though he has to admit that he missed all the goals.
Why? He was on the gate that’s why and since himself and past President Mr Bell were extorting cash from the public until at least half time and all the goals came at the start he only saw them on TV so that was a downer for a start. Yet being on the gate wasn’t such a downer as watching the Glen play sometimes.
Indeed there are occasions when the Wing Centre feels it might be better for the Club not to bother with Shinty at all, but to branch out into events management. Certainly that was the feeling he was left with last weekend when the band of brothers and sisters put on High-Vis vests, erected a stockade around Blairbeg and requested the public to part with money to watch the Glengarry v Newtonmore in the Strathdearn Final. The pitch was certainly in excellent condition and had been lined by Mr Reid in a tasteful shade of red. His original idea had been to complete the lines in alternate metres of red and black but somehow in the rush of events this intention slipped, as intentions often do. The grass had been trimmed into a state of precise perfection by the ground staff– and Russ had even put a rope right round the pitch to make sure the players stayed on the field once the game had started. That by the way seems to be a Camanachd Association rule.
To make matters official a policeman even turned up at the gate, which must have been the first appearance of one of Highland’s finest in his uniform at a game since big Norman was posted north to Alness. A few months ago Chief Inspector Andy Maclean was seen to mingle with the crowd but since he once ruled the whole of Inverness-shire and was wearing mufti and had also won a Camanachd medal back in the day, he did not count as a real policemen.
This constable pleaded to be allowed to park his panda car inside the field, a request which was, albeit reluctantly, granted. Mr Reid, who was allegedly directing the cars to parking plots, was visibly taken aback at the appearance of the noble figure in uniform but whatever his private reasons for unease, he recovered his wits sufficiently well to ask him how Skye were doing.
“Fine” said the policeman looking puzzled and went off to hunt for neutral fans from Beauly to stand beside, though not appearing to realise that the very term was an oxymoron, he was bound to be unsuccessful.
“Mr Reid,” said the Wing Centre impressed, “how did you know he was a Skye supporter?”
“Easy,” said Mr Reid “He has Gaelic written on the car door”
And Mr Reid was right-there was some Gaelic written on the door.
“Alec Salmond will put a stop to Skye policemen writing Gaelic on their panda car doors when he creates this new super policeforce for the whole country,” said Mr Bell. ”In fact I doubt if we’ll see a real policeman again or Gaelic written on doors. Ever. “
Just at that point a text came through from Skye. Strange how sometimes when you talk about something, other things just happen which seem at the time co-incidental but are in fact probably part of some overarching plan. But clearly not a Glen plan though, because the text was from Hendo and it was to say that after a promising start in which the Heroes had taken the lead on the Field of Zeros , the cunning Islanders had recovered enough vigour to be on the point of winning the match. The phone was immediately switched off.
“Let’s not spoil a happy day,” said Mr Reid “we can read the gory details on the Skye Camanachd website if we have a mind to.”* But however much they tried to keep their spirits up the day remained slightly tarnished. It continued to be so even after a radio ham from Divach came into the Loch Ness Inn to claim that he had heard Hendo being interviewed on Cuillin FM.
“That’s not a radio station” said Mr Reid who appeared to know.”That’s a beer. If Hendo is being interviewed on that, it must have been a bad result in the end.”
“How did he sound?”
“Upbeat. He said the Glen still need to get something out of at least one of their last two games.”
“He has a point,” said Mr Reid.
But the Glen unfortunately didn’t – and they still need one.

The photos show the Blairbeg ground staff as they fixed the field up for the Strathdearn. The second one is of the Care Centre staff (Shirley Lyon, John Reilly and Sandra Wield) who completed the Great Wilderness Challenge.They are displaying a cheque for £200 from the Shinty Club which their efforts earned them.

*An extract from the Skye Camanachd Website is also included here. To be fair the article was a bit bigger but it has to be cut for reasons of space and also because the Glen public can only take so much of the printed word. The Wing Centre is not sure if Lewis will be happy or sad.

Despite playing into the breeze in the first half, Glenurquhart had the better of the opening quarter hour as they began to dominate in midfield.
It was no surprise when the Glen opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Scotland U17 player Fraser Heath ran unchallenged from midfield and played a neat one two with Billy Urquhart before dispatching a lofted drive into the roof of the Skye net past the despairing hand of keeper John MacLeod. Then, Glenurquhart lost defender Callum Smith after he picked up a leg knock. Glenurquhart then began to take a grip of the midfield and they fashioned a number of chances with first Lewis MacLennan firing over from distance and then Ian MacLeod forcing a save from John MacLeod in the Skye goal after a quick free hit from Lewis MacLennan. Glenurquhart still posed a threat however and Lewis MacLennan will still be wondering how he missed from inside the D after a quick Ian MacLeod free hit. Glenurquhart were well served by Lewis MacLennan.

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