Friday, July 04, 2014

Just another Summer Saturday

Newtonmore 2 Glenurquhart 2 (Orion Group Premiership)
Beauly 1 Glenurquhart 3 (N Marine Harvest North Division 1)

A point off the League leaders away from home!  As bounce backs go it wasn’t a bad return to some sort of form from the Glen especially when compared to the dismal performance the week before in the MacTavish final. Now Lovat must be loving us because the door has been slightly left ajar for them to pick up a first ever Premier Trophy though to be fair to them and to everyone else Lovat still have it all to do- and how well they do will really depend on injuries and suspensions which as we all know are starting to catch up soon. Lovat also have to beat the Glen which we all know they can do- but they cannot afford any slips ups.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw at the Eilean, it has to be said, was somewhat unexpected but when the lads came back they said that they could have won the game. One of the Newtonmore penalties was dubious while the Glen forwards also felt they should have had one at the other end. Further questioning however elicited the information that Newtonmore had wasted a number of good chances early on- and there is a lesson in that for as all. Sometimes you can waste a few early chances in shinty and in life and get away with it: other times you will regret that and the chances will run out. Obviously in life that is a serious business so it’s best not to waste any chances at all- if only you could get that through to youngsters who are profligate with their talent and don’t take it seriously but we’ll will not go down that route. In shinty you are best not to waste chances either; sometimes as Kyles found out in the Celtic Society Cup more will come along and you don’t need to live with your regrets. Other times as Newtonmore discovered against the Glen on Saturday, more chances don’t come along and all the good work of a complete season is put in jeopardy.

James Macpherson grabbed an early goal for the Glen - he is always liable to do that and that will be about the 5th vital goal he has scored for the Glen this season - and then Norman Campbell got back with two penalties. The last penalty Norman took against the Glen he hit the Drum shop: this time, with no shop to distract him as a target he sank them both. But should they have been given?
One was for a kick by youngster Euan Lloyd who looked to have dragged the ball with his feet so that was fair enough: the second was against defender Lewis Maclennan who flicked the ball away with his stick as he was on the ground. Some refs will give this as a penalty if they feel the player on the ground is putting himself and his opponent in danger.


Others give it every time - and with any rule which has some leeway for interpretation the beholder is the decider. The squad did feel however that a penalty up the other end was merited on one occasion when keeper Mike Ritchie had lost his stick but still appeared to participate in the game. Equally Glen might have lost Dixie Maclennan to a red early on in the match when he injured Fraser Mackintosh with a careless swing for which he received a yellow only but Fraser Heath picked up a nonsense booking for apparently stopping a ball within five yards when the ball actually struck his stick due to a mishit Newtonmore free as he was running away to get back in position with his back to the player. He was well over five yards away but the ref went with the shout. In the end things might even themselves out but it’s human nature to remember the ones that go against you - and to accept without comment those that go for you.

Anyway Neale Reid who has had a lean time of it in front of goal recently grabbed an equaliser in 84 minutes – and Newtonmore probably felt it was coming because for whatever reason the Glen are able to give Newtonmore a closer game than most other sides, Kyles excepted, at the moment. Why? They all just seem to be up for it. It has to be said though that Newtonmore have struggled with injuries this season: Rory Kennedy has yet to lift a stick while Danny Macrae is not replaceable however much you put a brave face on it. Add to that a number of other lads who have suffered injuries and have come back: it takes a few weeks to get back on top of things and clearly ‘More are not quite there yet.

Lovat?  They had a bit of a struggle getting past Lochaber and had to rely on two strikes from ex-Glen under 17 player Graham Macmillan but given that they have a run of home games to win if they are to pip Newtonmore they will have to score more goals in matches like the above if they are to do the biz. They are a capable side but they cannot afford any more injuries or silly cards and while they cannot do much about the injuries they certainly have boys who could pick up cards and wreck it all. Let’s hope they don’t.

The Glen second squad picked up a nice 3-1 win away in Beauly on that same afternoon.

Paul Mackintosh taking a break from his normal full back berth nabbed his first goal of the season for the Glen, Raymond Robertson nabbed a second while Dunc Fraser scored another of his trademark brilliant finishes.
A rebound came back off the Beauly keeper and Dunc first timed the ball past him to win the match comfortably. James Cameron marked his return to the Beauly side with a goal.

This weekend sees the visit of Newtonmore second side to Blairbeg for the Strathdearn Showdown, while Inveraray, if they can make it through the traffic on the A82 should appear for the Camanachd Cup Quarter final. No predictions or previews. Let’s hope, as the Camanachd Association’s  new President elect, the Glen’s Jim Barr is required to say , that “Shinty will be the Winner” Suppose!

The pictures are from Sheena Lloyd (Newtonmore game) and Donald Cameron (Beauly game) Thanks to both for their stuff. The opening picture shows 'More's Tarzan and the Glen's Ali Mac at the Eilean -for some reason they were not playing but in Beauly , Drew MacNeill and “Storky” Maclennan were still defying Old Father Time at Braeview. They  played well too.

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