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The One That Got Away!
06 October 2011
Scottish Hydro Premier Division
Glenorchy 1-2 Oban Camanachd
The Mart Park in Dalmally has seen many a bruising and physical encounter between Glenorchy and Oban Camanachd over the years. So, as these two fierce rivals met again it was more of the same expected over the 90 minutes. Glenorchy went into game still looking to get off the mark points wise and Oban were needing the points to help with their quest for safety.
After last week's double figure pummeling at the hands of Kilmallie, Glen were looking for a positive response this week. The cause was boosted by the return of Ewan Murray and Kenny MacDougall to the squad and indeed starting line up.
The game started at a typically fast pace which is usually the case between these teams. Oban were first to threaten when Lorne Dickie received the ball just outside the dee but his shot missed the target by some distance and this was a massive let off for the home side so early on in the game.
This warning was taken on board and answered in the best fashion possible. Andy McLean won a foul about 25 yards from goal and centre Findlay Ross took responsibility for the free hit. He played a neat ball into the path of Duncan Smith who took one touch past the static Oban backline then slotted home beyond Gavin Stobbart in the visitors goal to give Glenorchy the advantage after 8 minutes.
This seemed to galvanise the side and players were fighting for the cause in a way that hadn't been seen for many a week. This momentum took a huge blow after 15 minutes however, when Alec MacPherson caught a blow to the hand which would end his day on the park and his place was taken by the perenially late Fulton Ronald, who moved into the forwardline.
Glenorchy were still creating chances though and Andy McLean was unlucky to see a close range effort deflect just wide on 20 minutes. Wing centre Scott Livingstone also saw a looping strike swerve just over as the hunt for the crucial second goal continued. Oban were looking menacing up front however and they proved this menace after 23 minutes when Aiden MacIntyre fired a powerful low drive into the corner of the net giving Glen keeper Andrew Smith no chance in goal.
Both sides then became embrolied in a midfield battle for supremacy with neither side really coming out on top as the game entered a lull midway through the half. Matt Rippon ended this when he collected the ball near the centre and went on a mazy run which saw him fire a shot away that was saved with his feet by Smith.
Oban took the lead SIX minutes into stoppage time which referee Graham Cameron somehow found when a long ball from Robert Alexander found that man MacIntyre again and he took one touch before a low bouncing shot evaded Smith's outstretched leg to nestle in the net.
The Glenorchy management were quite happy with the way in which the side was playing this week and could justifiably feel very unfortunate to be behind at the break yet again.
The message from Allan MacKechnie was for more of the same and that the equaliser would eventually come. The second period began with Oban doing most of the pressing as they tried to put the game to bed. MacIntyre, Rippon and centre Andrew MacCuish all with efforts which forced Smith into action to keep the deficit to just the one.
Try as they could though, Oban just could not find that killer goal and as the minutes ticked past through a largely uneventful second half the more belief the home side began to take. However, injuries to Kieran MacKay and Findlay Ross didn't aid the cause and the midfield duo were thrown up front for the last 10 minutes in a bid for that leveller.
It just didn't come though and no real chances were created at either end with defences on top as the final whistle blew. It was another defeat for Glenorchy but one in which they will feel the least they merited for their efforts was a point.
That elusive point and first victory still evades Glen though and they will be looking to sort out that record next time out when they await the arrival of Glenurquhart to Dalmally when revenge for the events up north will be utmost on the minds of the players.