Monday, March 18, 2013

Glenurquhart too strong for ‘Shiel

Glenurquhart 4 Kinlochshiel 1 (North Division 2)
 A bitterly cold afternoon but a Glen performance to warm up the spectators though you would not have bet that it would turn out that way if you based your judgement on the first 15 minutes of action. In that period visitors Kinlochshiel seemed a smart outfit and they caused no end of panic in the Glen defence and all for no obvious reason. Glen welcomed Garry Mackintosh back between the sticks this week to stand in for the injured Cameron Maclennan who had such a fine game last week – and he was supported by the defensive quartet of Donald Fraser, Calum Smith, David Girvan and Stewart Reid. Yet that group which are as good a back line as a North Division 1 side could muster took a little while to settle on what was admittedly a sticky surface.
A composed finish by Jack Hosie which put Glen into an early lead and then an accurate high dipping attempt by Ewan Lloyd which the ‘Shiel keeper did well to keep an eye on were the only relief for the black and red spectators at that early stage.

Garry Mackintosh then had to work to parry a fierce ‘Shiel drive with his hand before for some strange reason, almost as if someone in the pavilion had thrown the “on” switch ,the Glen sprang to life and began to build up pressure on the ‘Shiel goal.
Key to this success was the unselfish play of full forward Calum Miller who brought the youngsters round him into the game at all times with little flicks and runs off the ball, including one outrageous dummy which caught the visiting full back by surprise.

A fierce drive by James Hurwood flew past the post and the ‘Shiel keeper played well to thwart Jack Hosie as he ran in with the goal at his mercy. Glen pressure continued unabated though with balls coming in from the Ross MacAulay, Arran Macdonald and Ian Macleod in the centreline. Eventually in 30 minutes the breakthrough came when a ball from Hurwood came through to Miller and he glanced it out left to Lloyd who raced inside his marker and kept his head to tuck the ball home with precision into the corner of the net. It was as sweet a piece of shinty science as you could ever see- and at that point it looked as if the Glen would go on to build up a big score. A corner on the left gave Hosie another chance but his shot was smothered at the post and then on 40 minutes some further neat work on the wing saw Miller have a drive at goal from just outside the “D” but his connection was not precise and the ball bounced agonisingly past the post. The first half finished with Lloyd driving narrowly over the bar from about 20 yards and ‘Shiel were grateful to have survived the ordeal without further loss.
‘Shiel are not a team to lie down however, and their energetic running soon had the Glen on the back foot at the start of the second half. Confusion in the defence saw ‘Shiel’s Duncan Macrae get a goal back from a defence which could have cleared its lines simply by putting the ball out of play but fortunately that incident woke up the Red and Blacks – and though the remaining two goals took a little time to come, the tide had definitely turned. Ross MacAulay had come on to an excellent game by this stage and was driving the ball forward  and the defenders, in particular Calum Smith, had begun to get their long hitting going.
The third goal came courtesy of Cairn Urquhart– he replaced the injured Calum Miller - whose determination in the tackle and fierce shot had seen him pose several serious threats to the ‘Shiel defence. Finally in 82 minutes, a through ball from Daniel Mackintosh saw him burst past his marker and finish well from just inside the D. Then with just 5 minutes remaining, Ewan Lloyd was on hand to put his seal on a fine performance with an emphatic finish from all of 15 yards. So there you have it, after a troublesome start, Glen have posted their second victory in a row.
And the other game?
The Wing Centre did not see it- but the guys were not happy with the result and the manner it came about. A goal lost in the last minute and that was after having more than enough of the play to have won comfortably. However, that now means that Glen has lost three games by a single goal which seems more than a little careless to say the least. This also tells the Wing Centre that while the defence is solid enough goals are not going in at the other end; Bute were very much the same last season-very hard to beat but not so good at scoring. It’s all down now to a test of character-but then isn’t it always?
The pictures today are back to the bad old days: there are no professional shots ‘cos neither Tina, Neil nor Donald came to the match-so the old camera phone came out for illustrative purposes.
We have Jack and Calum Miller after the win, Cairn is doing his warm-down, Ross and Ewan also at full time while we have back views of the defence keeping the ball from reaching Garry.
What about a pic of Garry? He was moving too fast. We couldn’t keep him in shot.
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