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Ruthless Rothesay men advance in Celtic Cup
04 April 2012
AJG Parcels Celtic Society Cup 1st Round
Glenorchy 1-4 Bute
After starting the season with 3 wins out of 3, Glenorchy went into their first cup tie of the season with optimism that a shock could very well be in the offing at Dalmally. Bute would prove formidable opposition after they acquired 3 points from their opening 4 games in the Premier League however.
With players arriving and practising direct free hits, as was the rules in this particular competition, the referee, Innes Wood informed both sides that these rules had been scrapped and it was to be just a normal shinty game.
Glen made just the one change to the side which beat Taynuilt last weekend with John Sartain's hamstring injury meaning he faces a lengthy period on the sidelines and the creative forward's place was taken by Sandy Leiper.
Glenorchy's gaffer Allan MacKechnie had demanded a much improved start to the game after Glen had been really slow getting going in previous games this season and his wish was granted. Alec MacPherson at full forward was getting a lot of success against the experienced Hector Whitelaw and had a few attempts which brought Kevin Queen in the Bute goal into action to keep the scoresheet blank.
With this early pressure it was imperative Glenorchy made it count as Bute were always going to have a spell of chances. Kieran McKay came close when his shot flew just over the bar after a free hit from Fulton Ronald. Bute created their first chance of the game after 23 minutes and duly converted it through Robert Walker with a great finish low into the net past the helpless Glen keeper Andrew Smith.
Just 5 minutes later and it was 2-0 to Bute when Ruairidh Sloane reacted quickest to some poor defending from Glen with swipes being taken at the ball to prod home. As if this wasn't bad enough, Bute proceeded to make it 3-0 just a minute later when Iain MacDonald fired a long ball on target from his own half and the bounce of the ball deceived Smith as it flew beyond him into the net.
Glenorchy seemed shellshocked that after such a good start to the game they found themselves so far behind. Alec MacPherson created another good chance for himself though when he disposessed Queen and fired just wide of the target as Glen looked for a route back into the contest.
This route closed completely however just 3 minutes before the interval when another ball across the dee was misjudged by the Glen defence and Robert Ferguson slotted home to give Bute a 4-0 advantage. Glen's defence of Grant MacPherson, Ewan Murray, Duncan MacDougall and James Livingstone certainly had their work cut out now as the confidence of the Bute forwardline began to soar.
The half time words of advice from MacKechnie were that the performance was good and Bute were no better but had just taken their chances. He wanted his players to forget the scoreline and just go out to win the second half. The home side were dealt a significant blow during the interval when James Livingstone who was probably Glen's best player in the opening period succumbed to a groin problem and his place was taken by Kenny MacDougall who took up a place at wing centre with Fulton Ronald dropping back to defence.
Once again Glen came out the stronger side with Alec MacPherson and McKay both finding the target in the early stages. Unfortunately, McKay had to leave the action himself shortly afterwards in another blow to the Glen with Lorne Brown taking his slot at full forward.
Bute seemed quite content to sit on their considerable lead and it was the home side who were now doing all the running. Duncan Smith came close with a shot from the edge of the dee that Queen was once again equal to. But, after 63 minutes Glenorchy managed to get a goal back after good work from Findlay Ross in evading 3 Bute challenges resulted in Duncan Smith's shot being saved with Queen's foot but, according to the goal judge, this foot was off the ground and a penalty was awarded. Alec MacPherson assumed responsibility and his shot beat Queen to make the scoreline 4-1 to the visitors.
Alec MacPherson converts Glens penalty to make the score 1-4
Almost straight away Bute had chances to increase their lead as they sprang into action with Graham Fisher and James Craig firing past the target.
Sandy Leiper was doing a lot of running at half forward for Glen and he created a couple of chances for himself which he just couldn't finish off as Glen pressed for a second. The midfield of Scott Livingstone, Ross and Kenny MacDougall were becoming dominant and Ross began to venture further forward as he sensed a vulnerablility in the Bute rearguard to cope with his running power.
With 10 minutes to go Iain Livingstone was introduced in the forwardline for Glen in place of Duncan Smith. Bute's Iain MacDonald saw the only yellow card of the game for throwing the ball at Alec MacPherson as he lay on the ground with just a few minutes remaining. Although, Scott Livingstone and spectators alike were unsure whether he found his way into the referee's notebook after he was called over following a few fouls in a row.
The game petered out after this and ended in a 4-1 victory for the Rothesay men as they recorded their first victory of the season and inflicted Glen's first setback. Bute go on to a quarter-final encounter at home to Oban Camanachd.
Glenorchy will be greatly encouraged by their performance though against a Premier League side with the amount of pressure they had and chances created. Bute were just ruthless with the opportunities they had. Next up for Bute is a trip to take on Glenurquhart in the Premier League and for Glenorchy it is a trip to take on old rivals, Oban Camanachd in the Camanachd Cup Preliminary round.
Glenorchy: Andrew Smith, Grant MacPherson, Ewan Murray, Duncan MacDougall, James Livingstone, Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross, Fulton Ronald, Kieran McKay, Duncan Smith, Sandy Leiper, Alec MacPherson. Subs used: Kenny MacDougall, Lorne Brown, Iain Livingstone. Unused: Scott MacIntyre, Graham Morrice.