Glenurquhart2 Lochaber 0 (Orion Group
Glenurquhart 1 Newtonmore 1 (Marine
Harvest North Division 1)
Why the delay in posting the
story of the Lochaber game? Well, truth to tell, after the high drama of the
last two weeks there was more excitement in the midweek Lotto draw than there
was in the whole Lochaber match. In fact it was a surprise to the Wing Centre
that it was on at all as he fully expected that the death-and indeed the
funeral on the Saturday- of the late Mrs Toal, mam of that superb Lochaber
stick player the late Joe Toal, would have occasioned a postponement and that
would have been acceptable to all, however loud the cries might have been for continuity.
The game went ahead however-hard on the heels of a very competitive second
string match against Newtonmore (of which more later, if you pardon the pun)
but Lochaber did not seem to be up for it. Not that this betokens any pattern
for this week’s Camanachd Cup match at Spean where the home side will be much
more prepared and competitive.
Lochaber seemed to be a few
players short-Zander Ferguson was certainly absent as was Neil Macdonald-and
they got off to a shaky start when a saved shot from one of the Glen
forwards-too far away to be seen and in the aftermath of a dull game the Wing
Centre was too bored to ask who actually played the ball- came back out to
James Macpherson who slammed the ball home from close range. There were just 4
minutes on the clock. You have to hand it to big James; he can strike a ball
and this was yet another of the vital goals he has nabbed for the Glen this
season. The Courier got it wrong though-he was not signed last season: he has
been playing in black and red since season 2011-2012 and has been linked with
the Glen long enough to qualify for a council house in the area if such a thing
still existed. In case anyone forgets, as Mr Reid is keen to remind us, his
father Alan gained immortality as one of the Strathdearn Cup winning side of
Speaking of Mr Reid it only
came to light a week last Wednesday at the Lotto draw in the Steading that he
is as blind as a bat.
Young Glen Macdonald drew the balls and as you can see from
the picture, Mr Reid is struggling to actually see the number. Yet he seems
quite capable of cutting the grass at The Nessiedome without it appearing to be
uneven. Remarkable really.
Back at the game Lochaber struggled to make
progress and only big Shaun Nicholson, well marshalled though he was by Fraser
Heath, looked really to have the skill to get through a Glen backline where
Lewis Maclennan was superb with his tackling and first touch.
John Barr is
carrying a little niggle and was deployed up front leaving the rear to be
policed by Lewis, Fraser Heath, Euan Lloyd and Stuart Reid. Considering the
absence of Mike Brady, Ally Mackintosh and Andy Corrigan the surprise was that
Lochaber could not quite get into swing and keeper Stuart Mackintosh was not
really bothered all afternoon. EJ Tembo received a nasty head injury after 25 minutes
and he was replaced by Billy Urquhart who moved up front with Dave Smart dropping
to full centre .Fortunately, EJ was able to re-join the game after some
patching up from trainer Alan Corrigan.
The Glen made the points safe
in the 53rd minute when John Barr laid a ball across to David Smart
and he swept it into the net for the winner. Glen deployed Jack Hosie, Billy Urquhart
and Ross MacAulay later in the match and they all performed well which means
that over the last few matches a good number of second team lads have had to
turn out in the senior squad and thereby gained some experience. Glen continued
to create chances and Neale Reid was
particularly unlucky not to score.
Lochaber did have some ball with their
forwards later in the game but never really threatened to score and only had a
single shot in the 90 minutes. It was particularly pleasing that centre man Arran
Macdonald had his best game of the season by some measure and his consistent
long shies were a real asset.
In the context of coming on the back of
two very intense games, this was overall a good result; Lochaber are a decent
team but they did appear short on confidence.
The hope is that their confidence does not return in the next week!
Such is the nature of the
intensity of this Premier League that few sides will be playing with the same
set of guys that they began the season with back on March 1st.
Glen are not the only side to
suffer like this. Newtonmore seconds played in Drum earlier in the day and it
was clear that they too were struggling to find a full set of players for their
first team to travel to Kyles apparently to inaugurate the pitch by playing the
opening game of the season on the Tighnabruaich Park. How that can be happening
as late as the 24th of May is a mystery to this writer but there we
The Newtonmore North Division
1 match was however a very competitive and enjoyable affair which the Glen
really should have won.
Glen took an early lead through Jack Hosie who tucked
the ball into the net in three minutes and then had an opportunity to double
their lead when goalie Owen Fraser was judged to have caught the ball when
attempting to sweep it by.
Fraser however redeemed himself when he saved the resultant
well struck spot hit from Raymond Robertson. Glen youngster Liam Robertson had
to leave the field with a nasty hand knock as did one of the Newtonmore
youngsters - these kids need to wear gloves or learn to keep the blocking club
vertical when they tackle (see pic with Paul Mackintosh above) - and the balance of the game swung then a little to
Newtonmore. Chris Sellar evened up the score in 48 minutes with a simple strike
and for the rest of the afternoon the sizeable crowd were treated to an entertaining
match which either side could have pinched. A draw was probably the fairest
Best for the Glen were Ewan
Menzies and Raymond Robertson who were always on the front foot though
youngster Lachie Smith was not far behind them.
Drew Maclennan also put in an
excellent shift as did Brad Sneddon and Jack Hosie while Liam Robertson until
the moment of his departure was also putting in a tremendous performance.
This Saturday sees the
Lochaber youngsters coming to Drum for a Strathdearn tie and once again the
Glen will have to be on top form to make progress. The majority of the good
photos - indeed all of them are by Donald Cameron. There were unfortunately no
real snappers at the Premier game so the camera phone snaps will have to do.
The most memorable is of Lewis Maclennan having a wee rest at the end of the
game. The Lochaber game pics are only interesting in that if you big them up you can see how bonny the sky was-which is really the only reason for putting them in.