Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Avoiding Astie

Glenurquhart 4 Aberdeen University 1
Kyles won Glenurquhart one

There are things that the Wing Centre tries to remember to be very grateful for when the world seems cruel as it did on Saturday at around 5 o ‘clock. Firstly he could have always been brought up in Lairg or Tain and then not only would he have had to live there but he wouldn’t have known anything about shinty at all. Alternatively, supposing he had been brought up in an ordinary place, his mother might have been a dancing teacher and he would have had to go to ballet lessons on Saturdays instead of the shinty- so there are always different scenarios possible. What made this particular Saturday difficult was the fact that there is always a ritual scene at the end of it when the Wing Centre has to phone in to Astie Cameron and tell him the result. There are times when you might look forward to speaking to Astie: there are times when you might not. This was a time of the latter kind- and so after sticking for some time in parts of the village where the phone doesn’t work- Garry Mac will tell you all the locations-it was back out into the reception again. Sure enough Astie did phone. He seemed irritated as if he had been trying for a while which was in some measure a result though the truth is there are just certain things you would prefer to tell Rachel.

However there are only two conclusions to be drawn from Saturday’s results:
1) The school team aren’t quite ready for the Premier League.
2) Boy, aren’t Kingussie in trouble now?

Otherwise the result of the day in Monsterville was the Glen’s 4-1 home win against Aberdeen University. Given that so many of the youngsters had been hypothecated for the top side it was true to say that there was a little uncertainty about how this match would pan out. In the end it was OK though it took a while for the pattern of the match to settle down.
Glen started off the match with manager Iain Macleod having juggled his personnel around somewhat from the layout in the match against the Garry. Ewan Menzies was slotted in at wing back and James Hurwood started out up front while big Donald Fraser who has had an outstanding spell at full back recently was missing due to work commitments.
Glen pushed forward right from the start with the front line being led particularly well by Calum Miller recently returned from injury and it was not long before ‘Varsity keeper David MacFadyen was in action having to make a series of saves not the least of them from his cousin Glen front man Calum Fraser .David has had a lot of experience picking the ball out of the Kilmory net but for a while on Saturday it looked as if he would be keeping it all out of the ’Deen net all afternoon.
However, Ross MacAulay in the Glen centreline was particularly effective and in 20 minutes he brought another fine save from MacFadyen which earned Glen a corner. Miller then sprinted past the defence but the ball ran out of play before MacAulay tried another drive which sailed over the bar.
Aberdeen conceded a shy which MacAulay sent over into the danger area where Miller latched on to it at close range but MacFadyen was once more on hand to smother the ball at the post and force it past for yet another corner. Immediately afterwards however in 29 minutes Glen made the breakthrough when Miller played an angled ball to the right of the “D” and Fraser fired home from the narrowest of angles to put then Glen into a well-deserved 1-0 lead.
A few minutes later James Hurwood who had pushed forward for a spell first timed a cross ball right on target but MacFadyen was once again equal to the task. This time however from the resulting corner the ball was worked to Jack Hosie and he ran it into the net to put the Glen two up.
Glen’s third came shortly afterwards when a through ball from player/manager Iain Macleod found Miller free and the big man fired an unstoppable drive past MacFadyen to make the game safe. The fourth arguably the best of the day came just before the interval when some neat interplay between Fraser and Miller saw the ball pushed across to Daniel Mackintosh on the right and his left hand strike flew into the roof of the net.
It was not of course all one way traffic but fortunately for the Glen Cameron Maclennan was in form between the Glen posts and by the time the half ended he had two fine stops to his credit. The bulk of the Aberdeen attacks however were stopped by Ewan Fraser and Drew Maclennan while Dunc Fraser had a sound game in the middle.
The second half was by contrast a bit of an anti-climax from a Glen perspective. An injury to Ewan Fraser before the break meant he had to come off and then a tendency crept in for the lads to ease off despite some patches of good play. Aberdeen also lifted their game somewhat and Steven Mackenzie in defence made some important interceptions which meant that the students as befits quick learners eventually stopped the Glen from adding to their score and indeed in 81 minutes they pulled one back when John Sweeny ran through to score- and truthfully it was no more than they deserved. An additional disappointment for the Glen was that just before the end of play teenager Jack Hosie slipped and tweaked a muscle which effectively ruled him out of the second match. However with a goal keeper and full defence all under 20, you can't really complain.

The Kyles match is one into which not too much should be read. Much has been made of absences on both sides but on the day Glen opened strongly and both Ruaraidh Cameron and Lewis Maclennan had quick shots on target before Kyles’ Rupert Williamson had a drive from distance which went over the bar. In 9 minutes some neat play by Brad Dickson and David Smart set up Lewis Maclennan and his rocket shot brought an out of this world stop by Kenny Macdonald in the Kyles goals. Glen continued the pressure with Maclennan once again getting a shot on target though gradually Kyles came back into it with Robbie Macleod in the centreline looking especially fit. The visitors forced a series of corners and in the aftermath of one of them Macleod tested Glen keeper Stuart Mackintosh with a fierce drive but he was up to the task.
Glen then suffered a blow when in 27 minutes Liam Girvan had to leave the pitch with an injury. This caused some reshuffling in the Glen defence and inexperience at the back allowed Ewan Campbell a free shot for the Kyles opener in 27 minutes.
Glen then settled down and held their own for the next period – and in 40 minutes were awarded a penalty which would have allowed them to level the game. Lewis Maclennan did not connect with the ball and his shot went past the post. Have to say that from where the Wing Centre was placed big Kenny looked to be a yard off his line- as he should be if he could get away with it-but no retake was ordered. Moments later another half chance presented itself but this time the ball went over Macdonald’s bar.
Glen confidence ebbed and inexperience again at the back allowed Kyles two more scores which even Coach James Perlich could hardly believe they deserved- and so the Glen School team went in at half time 3-0 down.
The second half was another strange experience. Glen performed reasonably well mounting a number of attacks but with Fraser Macdonald in particular outstanding for Kyles at buckshee the forwards got nowhere- and Kenny Macdonald dealt well with everything else that came at him.
A breakaway in 70 minutes gave Kyles a fourth goal before the Glen finally got their name on the score sheet after James Hurwood and finally David Smart pushed the ball over the line in the 76th minute.
Late defensive errors allowed Kyles two more strikes including one from Peter Currie who had promised before the season not to play because he was emigrating. Still despite it all the Glenners wished him well at the end of the game as can be seen from the picture included.

So there you have it- six Kyles’ breakaways- and you can’t read much into a single result. Hopefully! Not only that but a lot of kids got to play in the top team which has to be good.
The other pics are of winning Glen manager Iain Macleod, Cousins David MacFadyen and Calum Fraser. Thanks to Gillian Currie for the snap of Peter. But what’s he got to smile about: now he has to play for California!
Finally Kyles’ other scorers were brothers Thomas and John Whyte who will probably feel annoyed that their goals were barely mentioned. If this were a Kyles blog the headline would have been “Glen caught in a Whyte-out” but it’s not, so it isn’t - but you can have it for free and use it on your own website when you write up the game, guys.
Just a final though-what are these two Lochaber guys talking about in the background of Iain's picture.Do you think they're going to say something to Astie?

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