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Glorious Failure for Glen once again!
26 May 2012

Balliemore Cup 1st Round

Beauly 3-2 Glenorchy (After extra time)

Glenorchy made the long trek up north to take on Marine Harvest North Division One side Beauly in the opening round of the Balliemore Cup on Saturday after previous postponements for bad weather and other cup replays. With both these sides going well in their respective leagues and being in the easier side of the draw, the winners of this tie would be strongly fancied to reach the final.

Glen made 3 alterations to the starting 12 from the previous week against Oban Camanachd with Findlay Ross, Scott McKillop and Ewan Murray returning in place of John McNulty, Sandy Leiper and Kenny MacDougall. Kenny sustained a very nasty hand injury against Oban and will be sidelined for a few weeks at least.

With the pitch looking very cut-up after the earlier clash between Beauly and Glenuquhart in the Sutherland Cup and being very soft, Glen knew it wasn't a pitch for dribbling and this would suit the physical style of Beauly. Just how physical they would be was perhaps unexpected.

The home side started off very fast and young Jack MacDonald fired wide when it looked easier to score after just 4 minutes. It was all one way traffic and Beauly had 2 more chances to score which forced Glen's keeper Andrew Smith into action with one outstanding save in particular with his hand.

The Glen forwardline of Kieran MacKay, Duncan Smith, James Livingstone and Alec MacPherson were struggling to get into a passing game as the Beauly rearguard were extremely physical and were not letting them past by any means possible. These tactics saw Alec MacPherson felled off the ball at a free-hit which resulted in a Beauly player receiving the game's first yellow card.

Kieran MacKay then unleashed a rocket shot from the edge of the dee after 22 minutes which MacKay Murray in the Beauly goal saved superbly with his hand and Livingstone just fired the rebound off target.

This was very encouraging for the visitors as most of the momentum was with the hosts at this point as Ewan Murray harshly found his way into referee, Graeme Irvine's notebook for reckless swinging. Then after 31 minutes Beauly were awarded a hotly disputed corner by goal judge John MacPherson who thought he heard a nick of a stick. From the resultant corner, Jack MacDonald evaded one tackle then knocked the ball over the head of keeper Smith and slotted into the empty net to put Beauly 1-0 up.

The goal had definately been coming and at this stage Glen would have been happy to go in at the interval only one goal behind as Beauly stepped up their pursuit of a second. MacDonald and Innes Simpson then both had efforts on goal before Alec MacPherson came close for Glen with a long-range effort.

Manager, Allan MacKechnie was relieved to hear the half time whistle with the scoreline still 1-0 to the hosts. He emphasised to his side the need to start winning the second balls and to show a desire to win this Balliemore Cup as it was the best chance of reaching a final they would probably ever get.

The second period at Braeview Park got underway with Beauly again looking the more likely side to find the net as the Glenorchy defence of Grant MacPherson, Scott McKillop, Fulton Ronald and Duncan MacDougall had their work cut out coping with the quick Beauly forwards.

Glen made their first switch after 50 minutes with John McNulty replacing Kieran MacKay in the at half forward. McNulty made an immediate impact with a run which set up Livingstone for a shot just wide of the upright. But, just 5 minutes later Beauly doubled their lead with a well-taken strike from Ross Forbes after he reacted quickest to a save from Smith with his legs.

This was felt as a killer goal for the hosts as Glen looked disheartened and dishevelled as the midfield of Scott Livingstone, Captain Findlay Ross and Ewan Murray struggled to stop the momentum their opposite numbers were gathering. Ross succumbed to a nasty knock on the back after 63 minutes with Alec MacPherson dropping back to full centre and Sandy Leiper coming on up front.

Leiper was then quickly moved to the wing with Ewan Murray moving up to full forward. Murray himself smacked a low drive just past minutes later as Glen desperately searched for a route back into the game.

Beauly squandered a guilt edged chance from inside the dee when the forward fired over and had 2 or 3 other efforts which Smith dealt with excellently. Kieran MacKay was then reintroduced on the wing in a straight swap for Scott Livingstone. Then, after 75 minutes a good ball from MacKay made its way to James Livingstone who shrugged off his man before slotting low into the net to make it 2-1 to Beauly with just 15 minutes to go as Glen suddenly had the bit between their teeth.

Murray and Duncan Smith both had chances as Glen ramped up the pressure for an equaliser. This they duly got on 83 minutes when Leiper played in McNulty who feinted to shot then checked back and his looping shot deceived the keeper and went over the line to make the scoreline 2-2.

Extra time was now looming with just 5 minutes remaining but Duncan Smith missed a terrific chance to win it for Glen when he shot wide when it seemed easier to score. This was to be the last chance of the 90 minutes and it ended 2-2.

Extra time got underway with Glen making a quick change with Scott MacIntyre coming on for Duncan Smith up front then Duncan MacDougall was hit in the face off the ball and play was held up for a good 5 minutes whilst he was treated.

Ewan Murray then received a very nasty hit to the nose and he was patched up on the sideline as Ross came back on in his place up front. Beauly were having the better of proceedings now and Jack MacDonald had 2 good attempts which Grant MacPherson dealt with superbly to clear the danger.

The first period of extra time ended 2-2 as the referee ordered an immediate turnaround. Scott Livingstone was reintroduced for Leiper on the wing for the remaining 15 minutes. Scott MacIntyre had a chance after good play from Ross but just couldn't make the connection he wanted and the chance was lost.

MacIntyre then made way for Murray up front as Glen seeked to stem the waves of Beauly pressure. This was to prove almost impossible as the home side seemed determined to avoid the dreaded penalty shoot out.

After 114 minutes Andrew Smith made a terrific save low with his stick from Marc MacLachlan to keep the scores level. But just 3 minutes later Smith blasted a goal hit into the back of Grant MacPherson and MacLachlan reacted quickest to knock the ball into the unguarded net and make it 3-2 to Beauly.

This was to prove the winning goal as although Glen threw the kitchen sink at Beauly they just couldn't engineer a shooting opportunity and the final whistle sounded with Beauly winning 3-2.

Glen will be pleased with their performance and battling spirit after fighting back from 2 goals down but were extremely disappointed to crash out in such freak circumstances. Beauly got onto the quarter finals next weekend when they will take on Inverness at home for a place in the last 4.

Next up for Glen is a return to league business at Oban Celtic are the visitors to Dalmally for a South Division One fixture. This will be the final meeting between these sides this season after Glen won 2-1 in Oban on the opening day of the season.

Glenorchy: Andrew Smith, Grant MacPherson, Fulton Ronald, Duncan MacDougall, Scott McKillop, Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross, Ewan Murray, Kieran MacKay, Duncan Smith, James Livingstone, Alec MacPherson. Subs Used: Sandy Leiper, John McNulty, Scott MacIntyre. Unused: Iain Livingstone.

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