Friday, April 13, 2012

Lewis saves Glen’s day with a “Butey”

Glenurquhart 1 Bute 0
It should have been expected that in a week given over to reminiscences about the loss of the Titanic and indeed on the very day that a swimmer with a grievance disrupted the Oxford/Cambridge boat race, that Bute should have staged their own boat race incident last Saturday. How come?

Well the Wing Centre and all his mates headed down to Blairbeg for the match with the Islanders scheduled to start at 2.30pm (as per the Camanachd website)only to find the match well and truly underway- and in fact running on to half time. Fortunately the score was at that stage 0-0 for it would have been a shame to miss out on an actual Glen goal seeing as they are so rare-but that might be another story.
“When did the game start?” was the natural question to goal judge Billy Macleod.

And so Billy told us the whole story- that Bute had turned up about 1 pm at Blairbeg for a 1.30 pm start only to find the field of broken dreams unoccupied by red and black players. Bute need the early start in order to escape back “doon the watter” to their island home because in the 21st century the ferry stops too early for them to take part in an away match up in Teuchterland scheduled at the normal time. Anyway the fiery cross was put round the Glen and so the guys assembled early and the game got underway shortly before 2 pm thus giving the Bute lads a more sporting chance of winning their own boat race home.
What happened? A mix up- a bit of poor communication- no big deal except that some fans missed out on at least half of what was an interesting game. Or it might have been an interesting game. All Billy said was that for the 35 minutes or so played unseen, the Glen were on top but that Bute had a couple of chances and that “Smack” Mackintosh in goals had made two nice saves-but then Bill was goal judge at the bottom end where Smack was custodian and so he was bound to focus on that.
Perhaps The Buteman had a guy there? Sadly not because all that was dug up on its website was the following “Bute’s first team remain without a league win so far in 2012 after Lewis MacLennan’s 73rd-minute strike gave Glenurquhart a 1-0 win at Drumnadrochit in the Orion Group Premiership on Saturday.” It’s succinct certainly but does not really give a flavour of the game.
The Skye website was no help either
“Crucial points were at stake when second bottom Glenurquhart played draw specialists Bute at Blairbeg. The Islanders were just a point better off than their rivals before the match after drawing three of their opening four games. Neither side has been particularly potent in front of goal in the league this season and it turned out that way again as only one goal separated the sides. The man who got the all-important goal was Lewis MacLennan and his 73rd minute strike gave Glenurquhart both points. Glenurquhart now leap-frog Bute in the table as the Islanders fall into the relegation zone.”
And the Wing Centre? Not much more use. Why? Because most of the second half instead of watching the game he was involved in explaining to spectators why the match had started before they arrived. The rest of the time he was accosted by tourists asking about shinty (it was a busy Easter weekend in Monsterland) and as is well known he does go on a bit.
In between times he saw bits of the match and for what it’s worth this is what he saw. Arran Macdonald had an excellent game-good hitting and excellent long shies of the type remembered from the play of a youthful Michael Clark. The Glen’s defence seemed sound on the whole and Bute did not especially threaten though one black point was an unfortunate accidental injury to his left hand suffered by defender Paul Mackintosh which has left him in plaster for the next five weeks or so and so out of commission . He will be a big loss.
Elsewhere Ali Mackintosh had a sound game in defence as did David Smart in the centreline. Neale Reid always looked dangerous and effective. Beyond that there was little between the sides except in as much as Bute playing Hector Whitelaw in defence directly against John Barr were set up to hold out the Glen and it has to be said that they did so effectively enough though on a number of occasions there were chances which were not taken. If the games was won anywhere it was won in midfield where certainly in the half watched by the Wing Centre the Glen trio –Smart, Tembo and Macdonald –had the upper hand.
Bute? They are missing Brian Liddell (damaged ankle) and Donnie MacDiarmid and if they could get Hector Whitelaw up front sooner then their chances would be transformed. As it is they are a stuffy side that can keep opponents out but so far are struggling to find the net. They have a lot of good players on paper but luckily for the Glen perhaps they don’t play on paper.
Glen’s goal coming in the 73rd minute (the time at least is accurate recorded as it was in Deke Cameron’s notebook) was as good a goal as the Glen have ever scored. David Smart coming down the left towards the shop end picked up a short pass from the Glen midfield and chipped the ball high over the Bute defence to Lewis Maclennan coming in at the back post. He took the ball first time as it dropped and volleyed neatly and at pace past the Bute keeper Kevin Queen for the goal of the day.
Just before the end Glen had an opportunity to extend their lead when they were awarded a penalty for a Bute infringement in the D. John Barr took the strike, kept it on target but it was saved by Kevin Queen in the Bute goals. Sadly, Liam Girvan coming in on the rebound was unable to convert the second opportunity.

Verdict- a very necessary two points but what are we going to do in July and August when if things carry on the way they are just now we’ll have no home games left having used them up in March and April.

The pictures - Arran after a tough shift- while David Smart and Lewis Maclennan are apparently about to start their own idea of what constitutes a tough shift.

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