Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Taking a philosophical view about the old game.

The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel would have written the following if he’d come from Drum.  “What experience and history teach is this -  that shinty teams have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it." Though Hegel did not come from Drum - and he was merely talking about governments and nations and not about the real business of a well lived life which is shinty and how to fund it, he still called it right. How fortunate he was that he never had to flick on his computer and watch a Glen team run around aimlessly hitting the ball relentlessly up the middle just low enough to be stopped and at the same allowing loads of space to the only uninjured forward left in Badenoch. The arguing was a rerun of the obvious too. At the end of the day all Hegel would have had to say was “Thank goodness for John Barr.”
It was all such a pity after the Kyles game in the Premier where there was a real competitive spirit, allied albeit to some wayward shooting. One supposes that the clues were there in the Beauly game when a good goal from Billy Urquhart was all that the Glenners could muster to progress to the next round of the MacTavish. Things will have to get better, though facing up to Inverness without several key players is not the ideal scenario.
Still the game against Kyles in the Sutherland was a good one from a Glen point of view especially when like all Glen supporters “ Yours Truly” has had to learn to deal with disappointment over many decades.
“Kyles are the holders” said the Bodach.
“They certainly are,” said the Treasurer. “Indeed it sometimes feels as if they have been the holders ever since they won it off us back in 1987. Dear old innocent days in the Glen when the Lodge called itself merely a Visitor Centre and Campbell Matheson in the Benleva sponsored the team without needing his name on the jerseys. “

“We chucked that one away,” said the Bodach.” 7-5 to Kyles after extra time: you tell the story of that game to people nowadays and they won’t believe you. Yet there’s a lesson from history in the narrative of that game”
“And that is?”
“The Glen are good at chucking away finals, even when their opponents make it hard for them to do so.”

The Bodach said nothing more and turned on his heel to watch the game. The Treasurer shrugged but inside made a mental note of the fact that sometimes not everyone in the green Glen was quite up to speed with his ability to comfort himself with the despair of expected disaster- and the game which unfolded at Blairbeg turned out to be a very positive experience indeed which just shows you that there are no lessons to be drawn from history at all…ever.
The game started on an uneven note with Kyles managed by Peter Mobeck and John Blair taking the game to the Glen but with Davie MacFadyen in super form making the usual spectacular stops and also sweeping the wee sneaky ones away, Kyles were unable to score. Paul Mackintosh at fullback and James Hurwood at buckshee really had to work hard to keep the men in blue at bay.

Then came a gem of a Glen goal courtesy of Dave “Dixie” Maclennan.

Iain Macleod at full centre swept a long ball down forward and Dixie picked it up and fired a peach of a shot past the Kyles custodian for the opener (as the Dunoon Observer & Argyllshire Standard will no doubt fail to say).

That was it for the rest of the first half except that James Hurwood took a knock on his ankle and Liam Robertson also came off. Of those that were left on, there were many that did well but for the Wing Centre the most hardworking and whole-hearted was Cairn Urquhart.

He simply ran himself into the ground. Also effective were Jamie Maclennan, Ryan Porter and Brad Dickson but apart from a super save by MacFadyen there was no serious action until after the break.
Connor Golabek and Andrew Young came into action in the second period and both played well lifting the tempo of the match and helping the Glen look more menacing though had the holders scored - and big Roddy MacColl certainly put in the effort forcing a series of corners - then the result could well have been different.

In the end however it all turned out OK and young Ryan Porter repaid his manager’s faith in his ability when he dispatched with aplomb a ball which broke to him on the edge of the “D” as the Glen played towards their favourite shop end.
Cairn Urquhart finally got the  reward for all his efforts when he fired home a cracking  goal three minutes from the end and put the Glen through to a second round tie with Lovat who had just defeated Boleskine by a goal or two.

“Lovat again,” said the Treasurer. “You could get fed up with them entirely. To pot with sharing the gate with them. They should give us half the money they will have saved by not having to take a team bus to Tighnabruaich.”
“I doubt if that will happen, “said the Bodach who was back on form again and taking a sneaky delight in seeing the Treasurer in a state about money.
“Harrumph!” said the Treasurer and he slipped off up the road leaving George, Ron and the Billies to take down the nets and the advertising boards which seems only fair because he had to go home to count the collection.
For the game itself the pictures were taken by Sheena Lloyd. The old ones are by Anon and the big point of interest is that Young Chris really was young back then. If you look carefully beyond big Mike you can see Peter Mobeck peeping over from the Kyles side.
As the Cailleach said “What a bonnie wee boy he was.”

By Monday morning though the victory against Kyles had been put into some perspective when the news came through that one of our former players Kenny Mackintosh had died at his home in Balmacaan Road. The Club website carries details of the funeral arrangements on Saturday morning and the fact that the times of this weekend’s fixtures have been adjusted to take account of this. It is worth while putting up the pic of the team of 1960. Kenny is third from the right in the back row.

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