Thursday, October 31, 2013

They think it’s all over ; perhaps, it isn’t yet.

While Johnny B , Smack and Drew went gallivanting off to the Emerald Isle to play shinty/iomain/hurling-the Wing Centre forgets which- back in the Glen of Monsters the clock was ticking down to the annual Sale of Work not to mention the AGM and the Dinner Dance. The Treasurer hates this time of the year, not because of the fact that he has to go round the doors and put out leaflets but because he has to insert adverts into the Highland News and the Courier and since no one in Scotland below the age of 65 reads genuine “paper” newspapers any more, nobody actually sees them. Still he gets grief if he forgets to put them in. As a consequence, this year he sent them in so early that even if anyone did see them they would surely have forgotten about them long before the actual events were held. The only thing that still keeps him sane is the Lotto which has now mounted up to the sum of £2,000 after last night’s draw in the Benleva Hotel did not provide a winner. Mr Reid is equally pleased.
Pleased too is Mr Reid’s son Stuart who has been tasked with preparing the Scotland Women’s shinty team for their clash with the Irish representative side this Saturday at the Bught Park.

Stuart took on the task earlier this year and has put in a power of work since then and with the general increase in standards of Women’s shinty over recent years the Saturday’s match should be an excellent one.
As for Stuart, he has been a stalwart for the Glen for years and it’s a great pity that his employment has taken him out of the shinty heartland where his knowledge of the game and coaching ability could be put to more effective use. Still being based in Aberdeen is a little better than being based south of the border where he used to be. It was also good to see that local Glen firm Loch Ness Gifts came up with the sponsorship for the girls. Good on them.
 Hurling/Shinty International Series First Test
Ireland v Scotland, Croke Park

Ireland 4-12 (24)   Scotland 2-12 (18)
Given that the “D” is a shamelessly Glen-orientated blog it would be very much to be regretted if there was no mention made of last weekend’s International clash of the codes at Croke Park. The Wing Centre always takes an interest in such cultural exchanges and given the Glen involvement it would be remiss not to put a word or two down on screen about it. The problem was always going to be the pictures. A word with his old friend Crofter snapper Neil Paterson soon elicited that Neilac wasn’t going across the sea to Ireland and nor was he able to go to Dalcross International Terminus 1 to see the guys off.
What to do?
“Get the Glen international players to take a “selfie” at the airport. Don’t bother asking Drew though ‘cos he’s just so not there” said the young Glenner  wearing the Dr Dre Beats casually slung round his neck when the Wing Centre asked him how to get out of the bit. So having been tutored in the photographic art of “selfies” and the taking thereof by the youngster with the skateboard before he shot off down Balmacaan Road, the Wing Centre texted Smack and JB.
What he got was nothing from the airport but this from Croke Park: JB and Smack smiling at the camera.
“What do you think of this for a “selfie”?” said the Wing Centre to the young Glenner when he saw him the day after.
“Cool, “he said “but it’s not a selfie. Perhaps JB and Smack just aren’t there either. No skooky faces, no mirror behind them, too much clarity of focus and the clue is in the name, they are not taking it themselves. I reckon only EJ would have got it right-or maybe Corky since everyone knows he’s good with a mobile phone. Never mind.”
Selfies aside, Scotland did sort of OK in the Croke Park match though they will have to be really and literally on the ball in the gutters at the Bught this Saturday. Last weekend’s affair with its three Macraes, three Newtonmore guys, three Crofters, two Glenners, two Kingussie guys plus boys from Beauly, Oban, Kilmallie,Lochaber and Kyles did make it into the press and the consensus would seem to be that if Scotland apply themselves then they have a chance to turn round the two goal deficit and win the trophy for the first time in five years.
In Dublin they lost two goals very quickly and when they did get back into the match with  nice goals from Liam Macdonald and Finlay Macrae they again fell down to a further two quick Irish strikes , the first through an unfortunate clearance error and the second to a rebound after a free hit  was saved by Lovat’s Stuart Macdonald. If that underlined anything it was that the Irish lads were quicker to the second ball than the visitors and unless this is addressed then turning round the result is unlikely. Doubtless it will be addressed.
Scotland had a simple but effective game plan –work the ball wide and forward along the ground using shinty skills-and because the guys did not panic and stuck to it they gave a gutsy performance especially in the second half which pulled back the points. In the first half the dark blue forwards were playing behind their men: in the second half they sorted this out. Finlay Macrae had an excellent game but was wasteful of chances early on though the fact was that the Irish players were allowed away with a good deal of holding and spoiling certainly contributed to his misses.   
As the match continued the Scots grew in confidence and by the end they had managed to reduce the deficit further when Finlay Macrae popped over a dead ball for a two pointer and in the end, Scotland finished the stronger hitting the bar and adding singles from John Macrae, Glen Mackintosh and Steven Macdonald.
By the end the gap was reduced to two goals and with a bit more luck and less paint on the woodwork the gap might have been smaller still.
At halftime in the Aussie Rules match- a non-event if the size of the score and the smallness of the crowd was anything to go by- a Scotland select faced an Irish side in the new sport of Iomain with the new clubs made by Alan Macpherson, son of former Glenner Alan (team of ’77 with Mr Reid). As far as anyone has reported the game seemed all right, though from the shape of the stick one would imagine the hurley players to have been at the greater disadvantage. Will it catch on?  Who can say but if the pics of JB here are anything to go by it looks like shinty and if that helps to spread the shinty gospel, then go for it.
He ought not to be holding his opponent’s stick though.
For the meantime  a win against Ireland by any score would do for the Wing Centre so let’s hope Drew’s side go for it as well.
Pictures-the non selfie via Smack, the Glensome threesome via Mrs Drew , Stuart Reid and the sponsors via Tina Marshall  , the Scotland squad from the Camanachd and of course from the same source Drum school’s own Lee Bain.
“You have to put Lee in,” said Mrs Wing Centre,” because he went to Drum School.”
 Indeed when you think about it there’s a case for Lee being the most successful sportsman ever to have come out of Drum school. Rowan Shepherd might have played rugby for Scotland; Ikey Fraser may have been Caley and County goalie but Lee Bain won a Balliemore medal  with Strathglass and then went on to win senior medals with Kingussie. Now he’s got a Scotland cap. You can’t argue with that.

No you can’t and what is more you don’t argue with Mrs Wing Centre- so Lee goes in right at the top.

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