More too strong for Glen in Sutherland Semi
Glenurquhart 1 Newtonmore 4
Given that the Wing Centre has been absent on the Prairies for the last while, he has found it somewhat hard to keep the blog up to date. Out here the debate is about whether physical contact should be allowed in kids ice-hockey a debate fuelled by the fact that the best outfielder of his day the Nova Scotian Sidney Crosbie has just missed a season and a half as a result of suffering serious concussion from being deliberately fouled in a match. Of course the guy who did it got a ban but not a life ban because over the years the culture of ice hockey has been too accepting of the fact that big strong guys can deliberately foul more skilful guys out of the game.
Fortunately these days are behind us in shinty - and as a result we have a contact sport which ought not to put off parents as ice hockey is clearly beginning to do in Canada.
The report on the match was provided by Glen Manager Iain Macleod - and as such it consists of his own view of matters as they occurred in the game. Should further info come in over the course of the next day or two the "D" will be amended as and when.
"I was pleased this semi final was at the Bught because it gave the whole squad the experience of a big match played at a good venue. Glen were without Bradley Dixon who has been one of our best players this season and also Calum Smith who would have made a big difference in a game of this type. Ewan Fraser was also unavailable. We all knew that Newtonmore would be a very strong side and we would have to be at our very best to win.
In fact the game was won by Newtonmore in the first half hour. They were strong, physical and played very well as a team. Glen went 3-0 down in this period in the game through pressure and good finishing from Evan Menzies and Calum Stewart . They were fast up front and we did struggle to control them. The end of the first half saw us fight to get back into the game however and we had a really good spell with Jack Hosie scoring to make it 3-1. Their keeper also had an excellent save from Euan Lloyd which would have made it a far better half time score for us but it was not to be. We went in at half time 3-1 down but we felt that for that final period in the first half we played well.
We spoke at half time how important it was to score early in the half to get ourselves back into the game but despite everyone fighting for every ball at all times we were unable to score. They scored again unfortunately and that won the game for them. We had periods in the second half where we were on top but they defended well and soon pressed up the pitch again. They were strong throughout their whole team and I struggled to see a weakness to work against.
Cameron Maclennan throughout the game played well with some good saves and he will be disappointed as keepers always are to lose goals We are delighted with his progress this season and the work he puts in at training. Donald Fraser, Drew Maclennan and Ross Macdiarmid all played well against a strong and fast forward line and gave their very best the whole game.
Duncan Fraser found himself up against a very fast opponent but he gave his all as did James Hurwood who is just back from injury.
Euan Lloyd and Ross Macaulay both played well at wing centre with Euan pushing up into attack quite a lot too. There was a very high work rate from all the centre line for the whole game. All the forwards fought hard too trying to make use of the service they were getting but the Newtonmore defence were very strong and so kept us from scoring to get back into the game. Jack Hosie though took his chance well, once again showing good composure in front of goal and he finished well.
We are all disappointed to have lost this game and not proceeded into the Sutherland final but as much as it hurts me to admit we were beaten by a better team. Everyone fought hard for the whole game and never gave up right to the end which pleased me. We will learn from this experience and keep going in the positive direction in which we are going. Everyone was positive throughout and after the game and it pleased me also how everyone supported each other on and off the field.
Drew Maclennan picked up a yellow card for a late swing but he was against a physical player so had to be strong in all his challenges against him. Despite Newtonmore being older, more experienced and physical I felt we stood up to them and challenged them for every ball. A lot of work still needed to be put into this squad like I said at the start of the season but I am delighted so far with progress.
A positive response to a disappointing day certainly ,but having seen this Newtonmore side at Drum a few weeks or so ago then getting past them was always going to be a big ask.
Let's hope for better luck next week for the seniors against Fort .
Special thanks are due to Donald Cameron of Inverness for the pictures. .