Friday, June 15, 2012

Flame of Hope burns bright in Glenurquhart

Glenurquhart 3 Kingussie 1 (MacAulay Cup)

So little time-so many questions- but after a win like Saturday who cares if they get answered. Of course, the existence of a question does not imply that you will find an answer, though you won’t get a Kingussieman to agree to that.
From a Glen point of view the obvious question is “why didn’t we play like that last week?” From a Kingussie point of view the query would simply be “why?”
 To the Glen question there is no answer-quite simply that is the way it is and always has been. For our visitors from above the snow line the answer may lie in the fact that on the side-lines Barry Dallas and his injured hand were interested spectators while Lee Bain was suspended and Martin Dallas did not seem to be included in the party at all.  Despite that the notebook states that Kingussie had the early pressure and that Stuart Mackintosh in the Glen goals had to deal competently with some attacks that were not out and out top-drawer but did invite punishment had  Smack hesitated or seemed uncertain. He didn’t and wasn’t, so they didn’t either.

At the other end Glen have their own opportunities – a free hit worked to Neale Reid goes  past the post, a drive from Ali Mackintosh is saved by King’s  keeper Andrew Borthwick, a chance falls to Ruaraidh Cameron and is sent wide as is a good solid strike from Dave Maclennan- and while all this is happening the crowd on the side and packing the stand  shout a whole lot of random stuff to put Ronald off because they know that if he gets the ball in the net it is a goal.
 John Barr plays him tight- and generally restricts his chances but marking Ronald is like playing with petrol-competitive petrol. He is always liable to explode into action and grab the golden goal. Still for the moment he has taken his cue from the Glen crowd and is shouting random things at the ref in a plea for either justice or favouritism depending on your perspective. For the moment he doesn’t get either- and then Neale Reid scores for Glen at the other end. A first shot on goal is blocked by Borthwick and Reid turns and fires the ball back home through a ruck of players.
Now scoring against Kingussie can either be a good thing or a bad thing, for all that it’s become safer to do so in recent years. You might provoke them-and it certainly seemed to be like that for the rest of the period up to half time. They came roaring back and the Glen defence were tested by a series of corners after one of which John Barr was booked for a tangle with Ronald. In the end however the defence held, the centre held-Arran Macdonald, Eddie Tembo and David Maclennan competed fiercely and the side just about made it to half time intact.
The second half? Kingussie just went flat- and after Glen had grabbed a second via Neale Reid just after the restart and James Macpherson was given space to rap home a third in 67 minutes, it has to be said some of their lads lost their composure a little.
For that 30 minute spell Glen had Kingussie under pressure and as the visitors mask was slipping it ought to have been a time of further goals but instead in the 80th minute it was Ronald who scored.
A ball was hit out to the right of the “D” and under severe pressure and close attendance from at least three Glen players he had the instinct to fire it precisely past Glen keeper Mackintosh for what turned out to be a consolation goal. Kingussie mounted some further attacks but they lacked precision and then Ronald found himself being booked near the end of the match for what one assumes was protesting a decision too vigorously.
In the end Glen won because they probably needed the win more. After the disappointment of losing to Newtonmore on penalties in the MacTavish – and more especially losing to Skye in the Camanachd-this victory has basically saved the Glen’s season. Without it we might as well all have gone to the hill lochs until Games Day in August.
Now the Glen must  face Fort William in both League and Cup- and after last week’s crazy Kilmallie result (one doesn’t like to second guess but no way could Hector have been on the field) then Kilmallie could be back in with a shout of putting Glen under League pressure. That we can do without.

Suddenly, just at the end of the match the A82 filled up with police-a tremendous number of police. There were buses full of them; they were on the beat; they were in cars and on motorbikes. The vans indicated that while some of them were of Highland origin; other vehicles proudly bore the logos of Strathclyde and Grampian. Foremost amongst them however were a group of tall strangers with, as far as one could make them out ,Stornoway accents. They were, according to their uniforms, the proud representative of the Metropolitan police.
“Surely they must have been expecting crowd trouble if we beat Kingussie- but haven’t they taken it all a little too far,” said the Treasurer somewhat afraid that the club would be billed in some measure for the presence of such a variety of constabulary.

“Maybe they think that after the match Kingussie will need a police escort past the Drum Hotel-I see there’s a few of these wild Munros  and Borthwicks going home in their car past the crowd now,” said the chief goal net taker-downer, “but it’s more like we need police protection from them.”
The President as always took a more rational view and berated the twosome on the fact that their obsessional interest in shinty had blinded them to other goings on in the wider community.
“Don’t you read Tony’s local info website? It says there that the Olympic Torch is going past the field and its being carried by young Rodger Watt who used to play shinty for the Primary 7s. It’s got nothing to do with Kingussie. You guys need to come into the real world and smell the Coco-cola.”
And just at that point, right on cue a Coco-cola bus came past with the police and a shower of girls wearing the light blue of Caberfeidh and started dishing out bottles of special Olympic coke to the grasping horde of mothers and toddlers lining the road.
“You wouldn’t expect girls wearing Cabers strips to be dishing out Coco-cola, “said the goal-net taker downer. “You would have thought they would have been on the Carlsberg bus”
The President was about to explain about sponsorship and its vital role in modern global sport but he held himself back when he realised  that, as usual, no-one was actually listening to him.
“Let’s go and give Rodger a cheer” he said instead.

They did so- and when the circus had finally left town, off the three friends went to the Loch Ness Inn, light of heart and step, each in in his own way looking forward to a bus trip to Oban but at the same time aware that bad Lochabermen lay in wait ahead hoping to wreck the future happiness of the Glen as they had done so many times in the past.

Pictures? Well there were no real snappers present but the pics show the boys are pleased and tired after the game. Keen supporter Ina Wilson is also pleased. Kingussie get a police escort out of the village as the Glen bosses look on and boo. Finally Rodger comes past with the torch.

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