Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spell Bound

First things first- after yesterday’s defeat to Inveraray in the Camanachd, Glen know where we stand and where we must focus for the rest of the season. There is first the MacTavish final which has been reached for the third year in a row and then, beyond that there is the business of consolidation in both leagues for both teams.
After the heady experiences of the last few years it is disappointing to be back down to earth with a bump especially when with a little bit of bite up front another day in the sun or at least in partial sunlight was beckoning.
What happened to the cheery note that used to run through the “D”?  Life intruded perhaps but for “life” in this instance read Inveraray. After leading the first half by a goal which sneaked through the Inveraray’s goalie’s legs-he’ll be glad the TV cameras were absent-Glen lost out in the second to a fine strike from Davie Macpherson and another from Ewan McMurdo after the red and blacks had wasted a pile of chances in front of goal. And that result came about despite the fact one of their top front men Grant Griffin found himself side-lined with an injury. How come their old guys can score better than our young guys?
“Oh dear, how sad! Never mind” as the late Windsor Davies was prone to say to the moaners in his troupe of entertainers in “It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum”. Mr Google will help with the reference if you’re baffled. There are much bigger things to be concerned about.

One of these for instance is the subtle change in the spelling of this Glen. A while back Roy the Glasaich asked about the appropriate spelling of this particular geographical location.
“How do you spell the name of the Club?” he said.
“Why do you want to know? “said the Wing Centre suspiciously because you know that when one of the Glasaich asks a question of a Glenner there is definitely an ulterior motive. Roy came out with some flannel about a sports editor at one of the Inverness weeklies wondering in a spirit of genuine enquiry what the definitive spelling was.
The Wing Centre was unwilling to commit. After all the sports editor guy only had to go onto the Camanachd website to find out that it was spelt/spelled “Glenurquhart.”

That set the Wing Centre to wondering though what was the correct way to spell what required to be spelt/spelled.
Have to say that was a fine way to waste a weekend. The first point of reference was MacKay’s “Urquhart & Glenmoriston” (pub 1893). Interestingly while running Glenmoriston together he spells Glen-Urquhart thus. The late Prof. Peter English in his book on the Glen (pub 1985) refers to both Club and Glen as Glen Urquhart while a programme for the Glen Highland Games (1985) says “Glenurquhart”. “Glen Urquhart High School” appears on a sign adjacent to “Glenurquhart Primary School”.
 Hugh Dan in “Shinty” (pub 1993) says “Glenurquhart”. A host of programmes (not really a host- for how many cup final programmes do the Glen really feature in?) switches back and fore between GlenUrquhart, Glenurquhart and Glen Urquhart-MacKay’s hyphen having dropped out of the running completely it would appear.
The earliest to hand is one for the Frew’s Trophy, Saturday 30th June 1973 and it says “Glenurquhart”

But here’s a thing- the Wing Centre was of a mind to claim that Glenurquhart had become the settled, definitive spelling of the people as the 70s, 80s and 90s moved into the noughties. Gradually he became aware that the website had taken on a “GlenUrquhart” flavour though the www. bit still retained the “”. Then he checked up on the MacTavish posters: in 2008 we were Glenurquhart; in 2013 we were Glenurquhart but by 2014 we see to have defaulted back to Glen Urquhart.

What will this year’s MacTavish poster be like? Glenurquhart? Surely not GlenUrquhart!  A word with a capital in the middle seems bizarre. Much better to give us back our hyphen and revert to MacKay’s original Glen-Urquhart.  Who is behind all this shape shifting anyway? No doubt the Camanachd President will have a view – at times like this the temptation is to move to Fort Augustus, a place named by two words and totally without any controversy. Or should that be Kilcumein?

The other big thing of a controversial nature is why should the bowlers drive over the pitch to get to their green? You cannot imagine bowlers being allowed to drive over the Eilean or the Dell to get to the rink, though the surface at An Aird might well be improved if bowlers were actually to be allowed to drive over it. That last is perhaps a little unfair though because the word on the street is that Fort have taken over the maintenance of the park for themselves and no doubt it will come on in leaps and bounds.
In GlenUrquhart, Glenurquhart or Glen-Urquhart though, bowlers seemingly are able to exercise some ancient “droit de seigneur” and take their vehicles across the grass at the A82 corner while they would appear to have a perfectly good parking place at the Druimlon side.
Enough already-the Wing Centre is getting roused over trivialities when the real thing that is annoying him is the defeat by Inveraray. Grrr!
Donald Cameron's pic of Neale Reid accurately sums up just about how all Glenners felt after the game.

The other illustrations are chosen from amongst Sheena Lloyd’s snaps of the Skye match and the programmes are from the Wing Centre’s heap of rubbish in his “room” which his good lady keeps threatening to throw out unless he can prove he has a genuine research based reason for keeping them. This piece should prove his case-for the time being.

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Friday, May 01, 2015

Skye must not be the limit !

Semis of the MacTavish or a win over Oban Camanachd? Go ahead - you choose. Well, the Wing Centre would have chosen the win over Camanachd because in all honesty at the time it seemed that it was worth more to the team - or maybe it just appeared that way when viewed through the half empty glass through which Yours Truly darkly peers at the world of shinty.
In the end no choice was required because the Glen got both results as well as a 1-1 draw with Kingussie seconds - and that was when the loss of a point at home to Kyles really hit home.

So here we are on the verge of crossing over the bridge to the former Isle of Mist to take on Skye - live on radio. It doesn’t get any better than this. Well it has to and perhaps will if we suddenly find some real goal scoring form or someone finds a way to clone Fraser Heath.
One or two things have annoyed this season though. The biggest one is the fact that a Glen player received a one match ban on the totting up system for a booking he should not have received. Yep - it’s out in the open. The ref booked a Glen player-rightly for a misdemeanour-but misidentified him.
Perhaps the ref forgot to note the number down at the time or simply thought he knew who the culprit was but didn’t really. First thing the club knows about it is when the paperwork comes through with the wrong player identified - and sadly that player was then banned for one game because he had done some stuff wrong last year.
Can the Glen appeal it?
No the Glen cannot- and now the player was not only out for a game but also has points on his record which in future may see him out for an even more important game. There might be a case for no appeal against a situation where the referee has interpreted an action as nefarious when in the opinion of others he was a little harsh in his judgement-but a simple case of mistaken identity which appears to be a genuine mistake? Come on.

Let’s just hope the Glen kids turn out alright-though to be fair with a 3-0 win over ‘Shiel under-17s and a 5-0 victory over Lochaber they seem to be OK so far. As ever of course the proof will be when the kids play against the Badenoch youngsters. We have been here so many times it isn’t true; every Glen generation has a story about the great lost hope-the lad who could keep to Ronald Ross in the juveniles. What happens to them? What happens is that they do not translate their talent into the seniors- and that is true for every other side-and  maybe it’s even true about Kingussie now though there remains a sneaking feeling that Badenoch always  bounces back.

Enough of girning already.
But before then just one last thing-in all the talk of sports facilities being revamped in the exciting new Inverness not a word has been heard about a wee revamp of the Bught. Given that shinty is the one sport which has its national HQ in Inverness it might have been though that some cash ought to have been put into facilities for the old game. Is there even an Astro which can take full size shinty? Not at all and is there likely to be? No- but doubtless there will be a velodrome before long. A shintydrome? Not even in Oban which has four shinty teams is there a full size astro for the shinty-indeed the chance to have one was blocked off recently because the rugby lads would not share. Maybe the CA ought to be pushing Candidate Hendry about how he is going  to further the cause.
The Wing Centre really have to stop this: he’s been reading Daniel’s BBC Blog and has been carried away by revolutionary fervour.

Daniel played for Oban Camanachd of course and last weekend the Glen edged to a 1-0 win over Camanachd as mentioned above. Though why Oban would want to annoy the Glen by turning up in Lovat strips eludes this writer. Anyway, for a few days the Wing Centre was feeling a little flat because the side had not played that well, though Fraser Heath’s goal was well taken. Oban will feel that they switched off for that one certainly. Then again Oban appeared to be a fit and competent side with young Connor Howe up front doing well but needing a bit of back up from Lorn Dickie and Andrew MacCuish-though the Glen defence were pretty solid.

In the end Oban missed chances they should have at least put on target while the Glen could easily have won it 2-0 when Paul Mackintosh fired a rasper just past the post which Oban keeper Robert Dunnings would have struggled to handle if it had been on target. Such are the narrow margins by which Premier shinty sides thrive or fail. Not that you need to tell the Glen that: that much was clear in the Kyles match.
The seconds now move on to play Lovat in some cup or other- and these are difficult games to predict. As always, it depends on who is in the side - or rather both sides. The last time the youngsters were playing they picked up a 1-1 draw with Kingussie in an excellent competitive match in which Kings, to be fair to them ,didn’t walk it by simply sticking Ronald up on the dust.
In that context it was very sad to hear of the sudden loss to Kingussie and to its club of ‘Andy’ Anderson. He was with the Kingussie side in the Glen two Saturdays ago and had a blether with the Wing Centre, Alan Bell and a pile of the older Glenners who’ve known him over the years. Of course he was a shinty great and all the rest of it- but above all he was cheery and enjoyed the crack with everyone- and for that he will be greatly missed. The sympathy of the “D” and all at the Glen club go out to the Anderson family at this sad time.

The pictures from the three games are from Sheena Lloyd. Thanks to her for these.

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