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'Al' To Play For As Rivals Can't Be Seperated
12 April 2012

 

Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup Preliminary Round

Oban Camanachd 1-1 Glenorchy

The round that nobody wanted to be in produced a tantalising draw between two fierce, local rivals in the shape of Glenorchy and Oban Camanachd. With both sides slugging it out at the top of south division one and the potential of six meetings this season they better get used to one another. With Mossfield in glorious condition, apart from Glenorchy's forward Steven Turner complaining that the grass was a bit long for his shooting abilities.

Following on from Bute's 4-1 win at Dalmally last weekend, Glenorchy manager Allan MacKechnie made three changes to the side with Kieran MacKay, Sandy Leiper and James Livingstone unavailable for varying reasons and being replaced by Kenny MacDougall at wing centre and Lorne Brown and Steven Turner at full forward. Optimism in the camp was high after an unblemished start to the league season and with Oban Camanachd the opposition, there was no need for extra motivation. This was emphasised in the warm-up when Glenorchy keeper Andrew Smith had to resort to putting his helmet on for his own safety as the shots were raining down on him. 

As happened the previous week against Bute, Glenorchy were the quicker side out of the blocks and the forwardline of Duncan Smith, Alec MacPherson, Brown and Turner seeing a lot of the ball and managing to create a few opportunities. After 10 minutes, a long ball from Fulton Ronald found its' way to MacPherson at the edge of the D and his shot whistled just past. Then just a couple of minutes later after a nervy beginning for Turner, he fired a shot from a tight angle high into the side netting as the Glen pushed for the opener.

Although Camanachd were looking dangerous on the break, the Glenorchy rearguard of Grant MacPherson, Ewan Murray, Duncan MacDougall and Ronald were managing to protect Smith in the Glenorchy goal as the pacy Camanachd forwardline struggled to get many shots away. After 21 minutes, Aidan MacIntyre found some space to fire in a low shot that Smith stopped with his feet and cleared for a shy. Then less than 5 minutes later, after some good set up play from teenager Malcolm Clark, Scott MacMillan struck from the edge of the D to leave Smith helpless in goal and put Oban Camanachd 1-0 up, somewhat against the run of play.

Even after ths setback, Glenorchy were still the stronger side, with the centreline of Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross and MacDougall winning their respective battles and supplying the forwards with good service. In this period, Alec MacPherson was unlucky to see a 30 yard drive fly just over the top. After 40 minutes, Oban Camanachd half back Matt Rippon found his way into the referee Dunkie Kerr's notebook. With both sides struggling to create many more meaningful chances, the sides went in at the break with the scoreline still unaltered at 1-0.

Glen manager MacKechnie was pleased with his side's performance in a fixture in which many experts had predicted a convincing home victory. He told his side if they performed as they did in he second half against Bute, in the second period here then they wouldn't be leaving empty-handed... and he was to be proved right! 

However, it was the home side who, after being on the end of a verbal lashing at the interval, came out stronger and created 4 or 5 early chances which Glen keeper Smith did well to deal with. Glenorchy were now struggling to get out of their own half as the Oban Camanachd centreline began to dominate possession. The next goal in the game was surely going to prove crucial and at this moment in time there was only one side who were going to get it.

The game was played in a surprsingly good spirit until an off the ball incident involving Glenorchy sub John McNulty, who had come on in place of Turner in the forwardline, and Oban Camanachd's David 'Digger' MacMillan which resulted in both players recieving a yellow card along with Glen's Lorne Brown, who appeared to be playing the role of peacekeeper. This seemed to spark both sides back into life after the game had entered a mundane period for a 10 minute spell.

After 63 minutes Glen's fullback Grant Macpherson had to make a terrific last gasp intervention to prevent Clark doubling Camanachd's lead. Glenorchy were still struggling to create any opportunities to notch the equaliser. At the other end, Aidan MacIntyre brought out a spectacular save from Smith with his hand which the crowd enjoyed and I'm sure the newly famous keeper took great delight in it aswell.

Glenorchy's Lorne Brown battles for the ball with Oban Camanachd's Daniel Cameron

With just 20 minutes to go time was running out for the visitors and, inspired by captain Ross, finally began to push forward more. This resulted in a free hit at the edge of the D, whch Ross himself took and found Alec MacPherson 18 yards out, and his low drive found its' way past Robert Dunnings in the Oban Camanachd goal to make the scores level at 1-1, I'm fairly sure you could have heard the roar back in Dalmally.

Then just 2 minutes later Oban Camanachd found themselves reduced to 11 men, after Matt Rippon collected his 2nd yellow card of the game for a foul on Duncan Smith. This would surely now mean the impetus was now with the away side, though as both sides pushed for a place in the 1st round, it was still the home side who managed to create the better opportunities as temperatures began to soar.

Iain MacMillan and namesake Scott both forced Smith into action as the clock ticked down. Glenorchy were forced into a 2nd substitution when the injured Smith was replaced by Iain Livingstone and Mackechnie made another switch by re-introducing the maverick Turner in place of McNulty, who had made a remarkable comeback from a broken back suffered on the slopes of Glencoe.

Glen's Ewan Murray was next to find his way into the notebook for a trip on Iain MacMillan as referee Dunkie Kerr began to have his work cut out for him. Glenorchy were struggling to make use of the extra man, as so often happens in shinty. The game petered out in a draw which means a replay at the Mart Park, Dalmally this coming Saturday, as both sides look for a place in the Camanachd Cup proper.

Glenorchy can take great encouragement from their performance, and with home advantage will be looking to advance. This fixture has forced the postponement of both sides' respective Balliemore Cup ties originally scheduled for this coming Saturday, with the Camanachd Cup taking priority. 

 

Glenorchy: Andrew Smith, Grant MacPherson, Ewan Murray, Duncan MacDougall, Fulton Ronald, Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross, Kenny MacDougall, Alec MacPherson, Duncan Smith, Lorne Brown, Steven Turner. Subs used: John McNulty, Iain Livingstone. Unused: Scott MacIntyre.

Duncan Smith




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