Wednesday, May 08, 2013

News of Battle

Glenurquhart 2 Kingussie 1 (Orion Premier Division)
To the surprise of the Wing Centre, and doubtless to the surprise of everyone in Kingussie, Blairbeg dried out in time for the scheduled Orion Premier League match to go ahead, though the corresponding fixture for the two second teams fell victim to the weather. The Dell along with about 12 other pitches, was unable to cope with the heavy rain which inundated the north and west on Thursday and Friday: Blairbeg was wet but it dried up quickly overnight and by the time the Wing Centre went down Balmacaan Road to pick up a paper on the Saturday morning, the ground staff were putting up the advertising boards and checking the nets. The game was on-which was more than the sign was – but that, according to the Chairman, is in hand.
Kingussie were well in hand too- for the whole match- as they no doubt will be happy to acknowledge though the score, a mere 2-1, gives them the illusion that they actually competed in the game.
The Glen opened strongly in the match and more or less kept the ball up in the Kingussie half for the first 7 minutes continuously though their attempts to finish were disappointing. The Kingussie defence were tenacious however and when they did get the ball up front and had an attack of their own there was always a feeling in the Glen support that they would not pass up a clear shooting opportunity. Fortunately they did not get one.
Fraser Heath drew a good save from Dawson in the 15th minute and when Neale Reid managed to wriggle out of the clutches of full-back James Hutchison, he had an opportunity to open the scoring but instead he bumped his shot over the bar from just outside the D.
Glen were now in totally dominating the game – and the Kingussie defence conceded a number of fouls in a desperate attempt to stem the tide of attacks. They were undone however in the 36th minute when a ball across field by Andrew Corrigan was played across by Reid for David Smart to open the scoring from close range. Glen kept on the offensive and though they came close on a number of occasions the Kingussie defence managed to keep them at bay until just before half time when they conceded a foul on the left. From here the ball was played across to Ewan Brady and he fired the ball precisely past goalkeeper Craig Dawson to send the Glen in at half time with a 2-0 lead which should at the very least have been one goal bigger.
What’s to say about the second half?
Glen kept control of the game with less conviction than they showed in the first period- though Neale Reid was cheated of a goal when he fired in a drive which smashed off the post. Youngster Euan Lloyd came on and performed well- and then right at the death Kingussie were awarded a penalty. It was a penalty certainly courtesy of a kick- and Thomas Borthwick kept his nerve to mishit the ball well enough to confuse Glen keeper Stuart Mackintosh and give the rest of shinty a false impression of how close the match was. Still Glen’s
grabbing of two late goals against Newtonmore in the first game of the season had the same effect.
Maybe Thomas didn’t mishit it after all but whatever he did, it gave the Glen supporters cause to wake up and remind themselves that the side need to convert pressure into goals-simple as. Ref Innes Wood had a busy afternoon: he booked three Kingussie defenders James Hutchison, Louis Munro and James Maclean as a consequence of their desperate rear-guard actions while Andrew Corrigan and John Barr were carded for Glen.
A win then and necessary for the sake of the points won but ultimately an unsatisfying game - probably for both sides.

 Better news on the Home Front came yesterday with the announcement that Stuart Reid has been appointed by the Women’s Camanachd Association as coach of the Women’s International squad. The announcement was made yesterday and the Wing Centre had a few hours’ notice of that momentous event when the organisation asked him to dig up a snap of the bold boy himself. Since the only one he had showed Stuart in the Strathglass change strip he had to hand the gig on to Neil Paterson. However in the interests of inter-glen harmony the readers of the “D” can have a swatch at that snap, first used in February 2008.
According to the press release from the WCA, Stuart will take the reins from 2012 coaching team, Sarah Corrigall and Laura MacKay, and train a squad of 20 selected players to take on the Irish opposition this autumn.
The WCA know that Stuart brings a wealth of both playing and coaching experience to the post having played Premiership shinty with Glenurquhart for many years; representing Scotland from u/16 through to u/21 level and coaching the very successful Robert Gordon University women’s team.
As an Active Schools Coordinator in Aberdeen, current strength & conditioning support for Aberdeen Ladies Football Club and qualified sportscotland tutor, the WCA are confident that Stuart has the capacity to apply his very broad knowledge of sports, fitness and coaching to the post coupled with specific shinty experience.
As the man himself says “I’m very proud and excited to be offered the role of Women’s International Coach.  I’ve been very impressed with the quality of players I’ve observed over the past few years, and I would hope to be able to use my skills and experience to help develop both the players and women’s shinty in general. Last year’s squad performed superbly to win over in Ireland, and the challenge now is for the women to raise the standard even higher this year, in order for us to have the best possible chance of success.”
Well done to Stuart –and isn’t it good to reflect on the fact that both the Women’s International side and the Men’s International side have Glen supremos.
Neil Paterson provided photos of the Kingussie game. The photo of Stuart is from the archive.
Nice pic too of Ross County’s Premier League Keeper Michael “Ikey” Fraser in the crowd: he is getting some tips from Smack on how to put off the forward when he’s taking a penalty. Not surprised he looks a little puzzled at Smack's antics!
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