Double Wash out
Beauly v Glenurquhart – Cancelled unplayable pitch (MacTavish Cup)
Glenurquhart v Kingussie –Abandoned at half time (North Division 2)
What happened to summer shinty? This was not supposed to happen-but we all know the reality. You’re liable to get a washout and games cancelled in any season of the year in the Highlands. Certainly the problems more usually occur during the winter in the west but cast your mind back and you will recall that no longer ago than August 20007 horrendous rain in Oban caused the cancellation of the Balliemore Cup Final between the Glen and Kinlochshiel. Not only that but there was no way the game could have been played in Drum or elsewhere in the east on that occasion for that was the weekend of the Runrig concert at Borlum, when cars got stuck in the mud and the river rose causing the specially installed footbridge across the Coilty river to be closed off.
It was a bit like that last weekend when heavy overnight rain caused Braeview to be ruled as unplayable thus causing the much anticipated MacTavish Cup-tie to be put off for another week. The seconds game at Blairbeg however despite similar amounts of rain went ahead with the field just playable at 2.30. The match lasted until half time with the continuous rain making conditions more and more hazardous until at half time ref John Matheson after consulting both sets of managers decided to call it a day. A sensible decision indeed what with youngsters-and some oldsters- slipping and sliding and the ball at times getting stuck in some of the longer pools which were beginning to appear on the surface of the park. The bottom goal mouth in particular began to resemble a garden pond – and doubtless it was only a matter of time before the heron who usually spends his time up at the Ivy Bridge came down to perch on the bar and try his luck at the fishing.
What was seen of the game was interesting enough with a young Kingussie side bolstered at the back by Rory Fraser and John Gibson playing some nice shinty, moving the ball in the time honoured Kingussie fashion. The Glen defenders-especially Donald Fraser at full back – were up to the mark while the forwards in particular Jack Hosie and Ewan Lloyd played equally skilful stuff themselves though they did find it quite hard to get by the experienced spine of the Kings defence . Lloyd in particular looked forceful and more than once he tested the Kingussie keeper. As the half wore on however Kingussie began to dominate more in terms of sending balls from midfield down into the Glen defence which the wet conditions hindered the home back line from clearing decisively. Manager Iain Macleod brought himself on at full centre to stem the flow switching Drew Maclennan to half back and there was some evidence that the move was bearing fruit as the supply forward diminished somewhat.
It did not stop completely though and in one of the later attacks of the half Kingussie were awarded a penalty when the ball got stuck in the mud in the D at the shop end- and a Glen defender was judged to have kicked it. The shot however was saved by Glen keeper Cameron Maclennan though it was to be said that the lad who took it (who shall remain nameless in order that he can continue to live without notoriety in Kingussie) was certainly hampered by the wet and cold as he took his strike.
By that stage in the game inadvertent sliding tackles were becoming extremely common and with lots of youngsters on both sides being in danger of slipping into the swing and perhaps picking up an injury the match was stopped at half time.
Will Blairbeg be playable next weekend? Only if the rain stops –and at the moment it does not look as if it is going to.
Photos ? Obviously the pitch at its watery best.
There are three pictures- the Glenners, the guys from Dicksboro and then finally the lads from Tullaroan who are wearing green. Also included is an article from the Scotsman of the time (31/7/94) by an old friend of the D, Brian Denoon. You can double click on it, make it bigger and see how well you played.
Enjoy a wallow not in mud but in nostalgia!