Fadgy goes Radge- and then Glen go quietly
It is difficult to know where to begin, except to note that with the hot weather this village is beginning to smell like it is in Spain. The bins at the shop are honking and there is a drain halfway up Balmacaan Road that smells somewhat Latino as well. There is also a very positive result to report from a second team game or two- one being a narrow loss away against Lovat and the other a nice 4-1 home victory against Fort William. Both of these results were obtained against the odds- at least 12 recognised players were unavailable for the Fort game and about 8 were absent against Lovat which tells us that a large player pool is required to float summer shinty successfully. Certainly work ,holidays and other activities play their part but the killer for the Glen this season has been the long term injuries to key senior players that would have bolstered the backbone of our seconds and been able to step up to fill senior gaps when required-so hats off to Davie Girvan, Paul Mackintosh and Calum Fraser. Glenners did not really appreciate you until you’d gone.
Even reduced to a crowd of youngsters the Glen did well against Fort seconds. Right from the off in the first half they controlled in the middle of the park. As a result of some neat interplay a very good Glen took the lead through a good strike from Ben Hosie. Domination continued and deservedly Glen went two nil up through Calum Smith, who had taken to the field even though he was carrying a shoulder injury. Despite the pain and his unaccustomed position up front Smith played some lovely balls through into spaces for the other forwards to feed off, but this time shot himself high into the net, The defence of Donald Fraser, Duncan Fraser, Rory Maclean and Drew Maclennan dealt with the Fort's attacks very well in the first half and David MacFadyen in goals too had a couple of nice saves dealing with things well. Cairn Urquhart then put the Glen 3 nil ahead with an excellent strike from distance and at this stage of the game it looked very possible that the Glen would rattle up a big score. Unfortunately the red and blacks lost a bad goal just before half time when MacFadyen let a free hit run into his net but in actual fact it had taken a slight deflection on the way off Donald Fraser so the goal stood.
MacFadyen was not pleased to say the least and let both his goalposts and the referee know the extent of his displeasure.
The second half was somewhat of an anti-climax however and sadly even ominously in the light of what was to happen in another game later in the afternoon, Fort William got back into the game and began to create chances. However this Glen side defended well and did not allow them to score. Calum Smith dropped back into defence to help shut the door and manager Iain Macleod brought on James Macpherson at full forward for the last fifteen minutes. His first attempt on target brought him into the Glen’s “Hall of Fame” because he hit the shop with his attempt. He now ranks alongside Lewis, Arran and Donald Paul in his ability to strike Drum’s one genuine piece of ‘60s urban architecture. However a few moments later James controlled a cross field ball from Daniel Mackintosh and fired home a fine goal low into the net past Garry MacKay in the Fort goals. With only 10 minutes to go, this lifted the game beyond Fort William and the Glen gratefully picked up both points.
Credit too to the Fort lads who played well - they had 7 under 17s in the squad- which should bode well for the future. Of the other players Sean Cameron and Johnny Cameron both put in good shifts and Peter Woods certainly drove his men on all afternoon.
After all that the Camanachd Cup tie was a real downer. Fort William were not expected to win and after the way they have been playing this season you would not ever have bet on them beating the Glen at Drum- nor should they have. Ok so Glen were down four players- Andrew Corrigan and Ruaraidh Cameron at work while David Smart and Lewis Maclennan were suspended. Add to that the three lads mentioned at the top of the article and obvious replacements like Andrew Macdonald and Stuart Reid out with injuries then you could argue that Glen were caught in the perfect storm. But Andy Murray has taught us not to make excuses for failure but to cry instead- and grown men would weep to see the amount of territorial possession and pressure the Glen had in the first half of the game without really troubling Paul Mackay in the Fort William goals. A string of early corners came over- Ewan Brady had a shot on target, Dixie Maclennan had one over the bar. Mackay batted three away then Neale Reid had a sharp strike that came back out- but at no point were the Glen forwards able to cash in on the rebound balls.
One glorious chance was taken away when Dixie Maclennan went past Neil Robertson and squared the ball to Neale Reid who was alone in front of goal. Robertson was lying on the ground and the game was stopped for a head-knock (it wasn’t as far as the Wing Centre could see) and the resulting throw up was taken over at the bowling green side whereas the ball had actually stopped on the edge of the D. However the Fort defenders were smart enough to move it out there and the danger was past. Dixie was then booked for taking a ball in the air rather harshly and Stevie Stewart came through the back of Brady’s leg and roused the ire of the crowd but not of the ref. Some older Glenners though, it must be admitted, have a different view of this and feel that young Ewan put his foot in front of the stick.
The Wing Centre does not agree but the ref – and the older Glenners are entitled to their own opinions. He obviously thought it was a head knock and the rules are clear enough on that. Otherwise the ref had a good game: he didn’t listen to the sideline gaffers and was his own man. Even so, Glen should have made more of their pressure. The best Fort men were those you would expect - Gary Innes and Gordy Mackinnon.
As for Gary Innes- when the ball went up to the shop end he seemed to be always on hand to make a bad situation for the Glen worse- and he was to carry this bad habit on into the second half.
Glen had the most of the second half too but then in the 82nd minute after a Glen attack had been repulsed Fort moved up to the top end and a shot from Daniel Stewart came back off Stuart Mackintosh into the path of Gary Innes and he put the Fort one-up. Sickener but always bound to occur if you don’t finish off teams when you have the chance. Two minutes later with the Glen still trying to believe what had happened careless defending allowed Ryan Campbell to finish off the Glen’s interest in the Camanachd for yet another year.
All that was left was to be noble in defeat, make up excuses and live with losing. It is not a very nice feeling. Anyway we are in good company being out of the Cup- the Lovats, the Beaulys, Kinlochshiel and the Cabers are all left to ponder on learning curves and cup failure. Hmm…..
Gary Innes makes a rare appearance for Fort and wins them the game: Kyles can hardly buy a goal- and then knock in 7; Ronald comes back from Wimbledon and beats Kinlochshiel all on his own with a walking stick. Looks to the Wing Centre that the result of the day was the Cabers’ one.
Any sensible betting man would back ‘More for the double no matter who they draw in the semi: you can have that tip for free. Pity Glen play them on Saturday.
Iain Macleod’s squad is off to play Skye. With two sets of the Skyvers playing at home they will probably be up against it.
The pictures are all from Neil Paterson (www.neilgpaterson.com/)
except for the snap of Drew looking for the Camanachd Cup in the grass. That comes from Donald Cameron. His photos of the match are at http://www.photoboxgallery.com/noremacpix/collection?album_id=1973600390
The link isn't live so you will have to copy and paste it into Google though other search engines are allowed. Picture 3 shows two of the lads who missed out because of injury-Stuart Reid and Andrew Macdonald.
Clearly there are other pictures one cannot use-the snap of John Barr doing a wheelie in Lewiston on his motorbike. Firstly how come John has the energy to do that after a match when he really should be exhausted- and secondly the young lady on the back , Ms Iona Maclean may well have been delighted to have picked up a job in Aberdeen but that is no reason to be seen in the company of Mr Barr. At least she was wearing a crash-helmet and given that her dad, former Glen manager ,Billy Maclean is out of the country this weekend there is a fair chance that the D will have another post up by the time he gets back and he will never learn what Iona has been up to. Nice one Iona-stringing along J B and your dad. Class!