Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Day of Mixed Fortunes

A disappointing day and then a day of relief - that just about sums up Saturday’s afternoon entertainment. The Glen seconds - woefully short - managed to play reasonably without completely capitulating and the top team were able to rescue a point when it mattered. What does it say about the rest of the season? Probably too much and at this stage it is not going to be said.
Glenurquhart 0 Kinlochshiel 2
This was always going to be a most tricky afternoon since ‘Shiel are more or less back to business with a full team while Glen were short. Short? Don’t mention it to Glen second team boss Iain Macleod because when the top side are down then his side, particularly in the circumstances of Saturday, struggles to exist. Doubtless it is not a situation which affects the Glen alone.
Enough of that. Glen played as well as the players on display could without really having a cutting edge. In the absence of Paul Mackintosh- off to Kirkton –the full back was youngster James Hurwood and he certainly put in a shift. He showed excellent touches that on another day could have been put to more effective use further forward. Also in the picture was new signing Connor Golabek, a former Glen under 17,  and while he struggled a little at full forward against the experienced Kinlochshiel full back, he came into his own more when he was pulled back to the centreline and certainly showed good movement and positional awareness.

It was always going to be an uphill struggle though and a defensive mistake allowed Chris Townsend through to score the opener for Shiel in 37 minutes, a loss the excellent David MacFadyen in goals did not really deserve.

Glen brought on the experienced Donald Fraser at full forward for the second half but although he dug in and put in the challenges, his touch was off and the few chances that fell in the Glen’s direction, and there were several, were unable to be converted. It was even enough at this point but a nicely worked goal from Shiel’s Fergus Dobson just after halftime put the game out of Glen’s reach. Glen then came back into it for a period, pushing towards the traditional shop end but despite causing occasional panic in the visitors’ defence the goals would not come.

A highlight of the game was the performance of the Glen youngsters: Jamie Maclennan had a particularly good match and stuck to his task despite taking a knee knock in the first half. His second half performance and particularly his fitness were impressive.

Fergus Robertson on the wing also played well against an older opponent and of course David Macfadyen in goals was his own secure self. For the Wing Centre however the Glen man of the match was Cairn Urquhart. You can’t really go wrong with a boy whose name is the same as that of the team. Cairn worked, ran, chased, harried and never gave up: at the end of the match he was exhausted, with nothing to show for it but the respect of the old guys watching. He gave everything and now the Wing Centre is going to use Sheena’s photo of him as the screensaver on his phone, replacing that one of Billy with the Cup!!
Positive? Yes. This was as good a result as the Glen was ever going to get considering the inexperience of the team. Will we do better? Yes. Will we do worse? Depends on who we play, in every sense.
Memo to Dunc Achtuie: when you get a knock fall down on the field of play. That way Archie the ref will have to stop the game. Go off the field with your injury and your mates have to carry on a man short. It’s not really cheating!

Kinlochshiel 1 Glenurquhart 1
While the home game was going on there was a background mood of insecurity since the news had come down from the west that Shiel were leading. Goalscorer? Unsure but the guess was a Macrae. So in a sense the crowd was prepared for loss and considering the absence of the experienced players then truthfully folk were thankful it was not more. Then came the equaliser from Heathie, via twitter it would appear and a collective sigh which was as much a cheer as could be mustered, ran round the stand.
How did the game go?

Have a read of what the Skye website says:

 Shiel were still without the injured Duncan “Ach” MacRae. Glen’s John Barr was free of suspension but work commitments ruled out Andrew Corrigan. Keith MacRae put Kinlochshiel ahead with a goal after 13 minutes. The goal came from a free-hit on the ‘Shiel left. John MacRae played the ball off to the right and Keith MacRae hammered it into the roof of the net from around 20 yards out.
However Fraser Heath rescued a point for the Glen with his third goal of the season just 8 minutes from time. Glen were awarded a free-hit when Heath was fouled. The Scotland U21 international initially looked to take it himself but left it for Ewan Brady. Heath ran wide before cutting in towards the centre of the edge of the D and he latched onto Brady’s ball into the D before tucking it past ‘Shiel keeper Scott Kennedy from close range to make it 1-1.

And that appears to be pretty good as far as it goes though there is no mention of the other three Glen absentees - Euan Lloyd, Billy Urquhart and Stuart Reid which is not a surprise as managers don’t usually broadcast their weaknesses.
Next week it’s the MacTavish v Beauly over at Braeview. Let’s just wait and see.
The pictures are from Sheena Lloyd and those atmospheric ones from Kirkton are from David Win who put them up on World of Shinty. Thanks to both.

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