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Back to shinty....... and reality!!
27 October 2011
Scottish Hydro Premier Division
Glenorchy 0-7 Kingussie
After a break of 2 whole months without a game of shinty, Glenorchy were thrust back into the action against a Kingussie side who had been runners-up in the Camanachd Cup just the previous Saturday. The game was also switched to nearby Taynuilt as a result of the Mart Park in Dalmally being unplayable. As re-introductions go, it couldn't possibly have got much harder.
The Glen were also missing Alec MacPherson, Fulton Ronald, Sandy Leiper and Scott MacKillop from the side which meant a return to the squad for the mercurial talent that is Steven 'JT' Turner. The defender turned forward has lost a remarkable amount of weight in recent times and he was welcomed back into the setup by his team-mates.
Proceedings began as was to be expected with Kingussie eager to make amends for the defeat to Newtonmore, they pressed the Glen goal and squandered numerous early chances from Martin Dallas, Thomas Borthwick and somewhat uncharacteristically Ronald Ross.
Glenorchy were gradually beginning to get a grasp on their hitting and began to create one or two openings for themselves. John McNulty and Duncan Smith forcing stand-in Kingussie keeper Craig Dawson into action.
Parity between the sides was eventually broken after 23 minutes when Martin Dallas waltzed past 3 defenders before neatly slipping the ball into the net past the advancing Andrew Smith to put Kingussie ahead.
The goal was no more than they deserved for the relentless pressure they were creating on Glenorchy's overworked backline. Still, the Kings continued to create chances but still they managed to miss them. Fraser Munro forced Smith into a decent save with his hand from close range.
Glenorchy's Grant MacPherson was doing a superb job man-marking Ronald Ross and his hard tackling and clean hitting seemed to be nullifying his obvious threat. Ross, however wasn't to be denied for long and just 5 minutes before the break he grabbed Kingussie's second when he drilled home low and hard from 25 yards.
This meant the half-time score was 2-0 to Kingussie and thoroughly deserved. Although, Glenorchy could take great heart from the way they had performed after such a long absence from lifting a caman in anger.
The second half got underway with the pitch beginning to cut up quite badly in places. This didn't seem to affect Kingussie however and they began in similar fashion to how they began the first with Ross and Dallas both looking eager to add to their own personal tally for the afternoon.
The next goal in the game was obviously going to be a very crucial one and Glenochy's forwardline of John McNulty, Duncan Smith, Andy McLean and Kenny MacDougall never really looked like netting that goal in truth. An injury to Graeme MacKechnie at full back meant the introduction of Steven Turner for his return to the side up front with Kenny MacDougall moving back.
The third goal of the game arrived after 58 minutes and it was that man Ross who got it with a neat turn and drive into the far corner of the net to put Kingussie 3-0 ahead. Just 5 minutes later Ross completed his hat-trick when he was first to react to a save from Smith and slotted the ball home to make it 4-0.
From here on in it was most definately going to be a damage limitation exercise for Glenorchy, who didn't want their confidence to be dented even further by another huge drubbing.
Manager, Allan MacKechnie made a switch in the aftermath of that goal by introducing Graham Morrice for only his second appearance of the season in place of the tiring Andy MacLean in the forwardline.
The Glen backline of Ewan Murray, MacDougall, MacPherson and James Livingstone were being ran ragged by this point as wave after wave of pressure engulfed them from all angles. In 73 minutes Kings' youngster Hamish Anderson fired home from 20 yards to make it 5-0 to Kingussie. It was a fine finish by Anderson and no more than he deserved for his creative play all afternoon.
Kingussie made a few switches as they decided to give some youngsters a chance at first-team action while they were in command. Glenorchy's midfield of Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross and Kieran MacKay were putting in a tireless and thankless task and coping with the runs' their respective opponents were making as they sensed the chance to get a goal or 2 in the closing stages.
With just 3 minutes to go, one of the Kingussie youngsters', Rory MacGregor shot low and hard into the net from just inside the box to make the score 6-0. Then in the last minute, just to rub that extra bit of salt into the Glen's wounds, Ronald Ross grabbed his fourth of the day with a fine drive home from 18 yards out.
The match ended with a blast of Robert Baxter's whistle with scoreline at 7-0 to Kingussie and this was more or less what they deserved for their enterprise and efforts. Glenorchy, on the other hand, will no doubt be demoraiised by yet another heavy defeat but taking into account the conditions, the opposition and the period of time they had went without a game they should't be too down on themselves.
Next up for Glenorchy is a home tie against near neighbours and fellow strugglers Inveraray in the Premier League.