Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jack’s a hat-trick lad…

Glenurquhart 5 Beauly 0  (Marine Harvest North Division 1)
Only one game for the Glen this week-a second team clash with Beauly which was switched from Braeview because Kilmallie were switched north as a result of their home pitch being unplayable.
There had been a debate amongst the Wing Centre and two or three of his wee pals about what sort of team the Glen should put out since they had at least 7 players available from the first team squad if they were to go by the letter of the law. In the end the choice was to take youngster Euan Lloyd and Stuart Reid who in fact only played second team games last season- and that was fair enough. When the Beauly lads were knocking around before the match it was clear that apart from Mackay Murray and big Kenneth Mackenzie, their manager Iain Morrison had nothing but a bunch of bairns in his side - 16 year olds with maybe one or two older-and why Mackay was not with their first team baffles this spectator for one thing.
The Glen’s team list was boosted by the return for this first time this season of offshore worker Calum Smith who lined up at full centre. Otherwise with the exception of the two other lads listed earlier it was very much the same side that faced up to Kingussie the week before. The most notable exception was of course manager Iain Macleod who confined himself to the sidelines in order to give a game to as many of his large squad as he sensibly could.
The pitch which had certainly been subjected to some heavy rain during the week was playable but squishy in one or two parts and in the absence of a Beauly goal judge ref Bobo Morrison, whose own fixture had been put off helped out ref Ron Kennedy and home line judge Billy Macleod.
Glen were quickly on top of this inexperienced Beauly side and when Jack Hosie cut a ball back across the face of goal Raymond Robertson was able to whip in a sharp shot which found the roof of the net for the opener in 4 minutes.
The green and whites were very much on the back foot for the next period and Robertson got his second after neat play between Hosie and Euan Lloyd left him with clear chance in the 10th minute. Eight minutes later it was 3-0 and Beauly were looking distinctly ragged when Robertson knocked the ball across the goal and Hosie was able to rap the ball home from close range.
Beauly settled down somewhat after this whirlwind baptism of fire and they gradually began to find the pace of the game. Daniel Mackintosh came on up front for Glen and Rory Maclean came on in the middle but with a back line which included big Donald Fraser, Paul Mackintosh and Stuart Reid the Beauly youngsters were always going to find it difficult to get on the score sheet.
The Glen however seemed to run out of ideas in front of goals for most of the second half and whenever they did manage to get a shot on target young Beauly keeper Josh Grant was pretty efficient at stopping the attacks.
Glen finally grabbed a second half goal in the 76th minute when a corner was knocked over and Mackay Murray for once missed his first time swing to clear. The ball dropped to Jack Hosie who kept a cool head and ran the ball in to grab his second of the afternoon.
Jack Hosie was soon on a hat-trick - the first Glen player to get one this season -when he finished off a move in the 85th minute though the Beauly keeper did managed to block two attempts to put it past him. That strike made it 5-0 and while Glen can be pleased with the outcome not too much should be read into the result given that at least three of the sides in the frame to challenge the young Glenners are first teams. Jack did not even get the match ball.
For Beauly who seem to have lost a pile of players in the close season, either via defection to other clubs or from sheer lack of commitment to the cause, it looks as if it will be a difficult season. They should take heart over the fact that one day their youngsters will no longer be youngsters but it would help if there were some older heads aboard to help steady the ship.

There was little else worthy of note on the day except to remark on the figure of Ross County’s Premier League keeper Michael Fraser who was present in the St Drostan’s Stand. “Ikey” has been in hospital having suffered a sudden burst appendix which has probably put the kybosh on the rest of his Premier season. It could not have come at a worse time given that he was first choice keeper at the time of his illness. Mike has certainly lost a bit of weight but he’s on the mend now and everyone at the Club wishes him all the best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Elsewhere the news broke that Ronald Ross is to take on the mantle of Scotland manager. It was not an appointment that the Wing Centre had seen coming since he had assumed that there were other guys who had served with the National squad who might have been interested. Perhaps not. He was aware though that the job has become in present days a bit of a poisoned chalice for serving Premier Managers given the obvious disparity in resources between the GAA and the Camanachd Association. Given recent results Ronaldo has a bit of a job on his hands though the presence alongside him of Kingussie’s Jim Gow will be a comfort.
This weekend Kyles will be up in Drum - the game was apparently switched on Wednesday afternoon - and that means that the seconds will face Skye earlier in the day, provided the weather actually permits.

The pictures are courtesy of Sheena Lloyd. Enjoy.
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