Saturday, April 13, 2013

A week is a long time in shinty: three weeks an eternity.

You are away for three Saturdays and then when you come back the whole shinty world is in turmoil- and that just applies to the Glen, never mind anywhere else. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the electronic signboard seems to have decided to stop working. If there were to be an analysis of the good that the shinty club has done for the community two things stand out above anything else: the first  is that by providing a pavilion the club has gifted the youngsters of the village  an area to call their own on dark evenings. There they may “socialise” as it were without the interference of the passing public – and since we no longer have a local bobby merely highway patrolmen-without reference to the law and its requirements. The second thing is – or rather was- the electronic signboard with its red and black messages of exhortation or encouragement, its occasional birthday greetings and of course the lotto results texted in by yours truly every Wednesday night. It was a symbol of the club in the community and kept Astie in touch with shinty matters as he commuted from the Fort to Alton Towers every morning. Now it does not work: it must be an omen that there is something wrong in the world of shinty
On the face of it- for the moment-things could have been worse. The senior squad having lost their first three games by a single goal have continued to bump along the bottom by drawing 0-0 with Lochaber beating Oban Camanachd 2-1 and last week drawing 2-2 with Fort William. Given that Lochaber and Oban are the two newly promoted sides in the Premier and that Fort William came to the Glen with a crowd of schoolboys, these results are of marginal comfort. The big problem would seem to be that the players are getting thin on the ground. Injury and work commitments has reduced the ranks of the available players at senior level and while Glen might have been expected to get the three points from an under strength Fort William side last week, the reality was that the Glen were equally short. Amongst those missing was full back John Barr: a modern Glen side without John Barr is like a Bute side without Hector Whitelaw or a Newtonmore side without Norman Campbell-simply not as good or as focused a team as it would normally be. Last week David Girvan had to step in for his first senior game in two years while youngster Ewan Lloyd had to be pulled off the bus to Tayforth at the last minute and drafted in to help the cause. Ewan is a fine player and he put in an excellent shift. Glen ought to have nicked a winner but unfortunately they failed to do so- and so an opportunity was lost.

Tomorrow the team or rather a team travels to Inveraray and the way Inveraray are playing ….well… defies belief that anything positive can happen. This season things are really tight with little between the Premier sides so anything can happen- and it frequently has. Kyles have lost twice-‘Shiel continue to win somehow. One day Lovat will play to their full potential.
The seconds have also had their trials with injuries and absences-goalie Cameron Maclennan has missed a couple of matches and with Garry Mackintosh not available last week’s custodian against Tayforth in the Sutherland was recent transfer David MacFadyen from Kilmory who has taken up a new job in Inverness.
Best result for the side was a 4-0 win at Fort William. Glen started strong and fast and quickly scored through Cairn Urquhart. This settled the side down well and they took control of the first half with our centre line providing plenty service for the front men. Daniel Mackintosh at half forward had a superb first half and he was next to score with a very good strike from just outside the box from a worked corner. Calum Miller then scored a third and by half time the game was beyond Fort William.

In the second half Glen continued where they had left off and were soon four nil up with a tidy goal from Ewan Lloyd.
With the game comfortably in the bag Glen were able later to use all their subs which gave the youngsters some game time an important consideration especially when so many players are involved-though at the rate injuries are being accrued, it won’t be long before the bottom of the pool is reached.

The second round of the Sutherland has also been reached on penalties. Congratulations to Cairn Urquhart and Daniel Mackintosh for getting the side through. If Glen want to win anything more players will have to seriously commit to the cause. That such a problem is more widespread just might explain the fact that at least three of last weekend’s first round Sutherland ties, a National competition, were called off because clubs could not raise enough players to travel. This is not the place in which to make a comment on the National boorach-there will be another occasion but for Glen residents curious to know why the Wing Centre was absent from his writing desk for the past week or so the answer lies in that he was part of a Glen delegation which was present at the inauguration of a school library in the village of Muththtettuwegama  in the country of Sri Lanka.

The building of the library was the retirement project of Mrs Josie Mackenzie who left her post as acting Head at Glenurquhart High School in December 2011.
With the help of the whole community she devoted part of her final few weeks of service to raising a sum of money significant enough to build and equip a school library in a country which has only recently come out of a 25 year civil war.
The shinty pics are from Neil Paterson( -Lochaber game and the Fort game: the Sri Lanka pics show the plaque being unveiled- and the official party after the occasion which took place just before the Sinhalese New Year.
The guy on the left in the front row is former Kinlochshiel player Andrew “Titch”Mackenzie who won Sutherland and Strathdearn medals with ‘Shiel in the mid-1970s. tumblr hit counter
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